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Palace Museum Cosmetics Achieving Attractive Sales

Time: 11:15 Dec-16

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By Wednesday, or "double twelve" — promoted as an in China — netizens had turned a new, limited edition set of lipsticks into a hot item after presales were authorized by Beijing's Palace Museum.

The staple with a royal twist was put on the virtual sales counter on Sunday at Palace Museum Cultural Creativity, the museum store on its public account on the WeChat social network. In the following days its popularity had exploded in cyberspace.

The cases of the set of six lipsticks were printed using 3D technology and combine auspicious patterns and colors from embroidery once owned by queens and concubines, taken from the museum's collections. The patterns include cranes, butterflies, deer, and blossoms and reflect traditional Chinese aesthetics. Each tube of lipstick sells for 199 yuan ($28.90).

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, was China's imperial palace from 1420 to 1911. It houses 1.86 million cultural relics that offer virtually endless inspiration for developing souvenirs with cultural themes.

The museum has indicated its intention to step into cosmetics for some time, generating lots of anticipation among fans of traditional culture.

Samples were shown at the eighth International Exposition of Museums and Relevant Products in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, in November. Still, the expo, mostly for museum industry professionals, did not create too much of a buzz. Those who order the item online will have to wait until January for delivery. While cosmetics opinion leaders online have shown great interest in the new product, feedback will require patience.

On Taobao.com, another major shopping platform, the Palace Museum Taobao store released its own series of cosmetics, including eye shadow and rouge, on Wednesday. The decorations of the cosmetics' cases were inspired by furniture, paintings and patterns from different cultural relics housed at the museum.

The two stores licensed by the museum seem to have created some confusion among fans, who jokingly speak of "an imperial harem competition", comparing their emergence to efforts by concubines at the royal court to win an emperor's heart.

Some have worried the competition will harm the Forbidden City's newborn fashion branding, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

The sets have sold out, as did several products on the Taobao store.

The museum's administrative office declined to comment on the phenomenon.

In October, Shan Jixiang, the museum director, told China Daily that about 10,500 kinds of souvenirs had been developed by the museum.

"Numbers are no longer the priority," he said. "Now it's time to focus more on how to create new themes and improve quality."

The museum had almost 16.7 million visits in 2017. But Shan said he considered such products close to people's daily lives, giving them the sensation of being able to "take" the exhibits home.

Products sold by the museum were once limited mainly to those considered to be high-end cultural items, but the museum's department of cultural creativity has changed the mindset in the past five years to use elements from cultural relics in articles of daily use.



(Source: China Daily)

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