Christmas ‘Hanfu’ Gains Popularity
Ancient Chinese couture is getting a holiday makeover.
Bringing cheer to the internet are hundreds of young people in traditional Chinese clothing known as hanfu, but with a Christmas twist. Over the past few days, social and video platforms such as Douyin, Bilibili, and Weibo have been flooded with users posing in “Christmas hanfu,” with holiday hues of red, white, and green.
“It’s Christmas. As a hanfu lover, I naturally thought of Christmas hanfu,” said Li Feihong, a 25-year-old hanfu enthusiast.
In recent years, some hanfu lovers have taken their costumes a step further, incorporating Christmas themes to sprinkle in the holiday spirit and demonstrate how ancient couture is being adapting to new tastes and trends.
Li, a graduate student, said she first heard of Christmas hanfu in 2019, and thought of tailoring her own style this year. She and her friends bought the same costume ahead of the December holiday and matched it with a red cape for a photoshoot.
Liu Yizhi, a 25-year-old magazine editor and hanfu fanatic, said crossovers with holiday themes are a welcome interpretation. Previously, he said, people like him would make their own outfits, but with the style catching on, more clothing retailers have been experimenting and innovating.
Entrepreneurs like Xiao Fei say business for Christmas hanfu is booming, with one of his company’s designs trending as the most sought-after outfit this season.
Based in southern city of Guangzhou, the 29-year-old manager said he first produced such traditional outfits last year, and they were an instant hit. He has since branched out to tailor hanfu to local festivals, even designing cyberpunk-style hanfu, which he admits may be ahead of its time.
The clothing entrepreneur believes that, in the coming years, hanfu will continue to be appreciated. Bigger brands already have a large market share, he said, but smaller retailers can cash in on local trends to target younger customers.