All across the world, February is a month for celebration – and no we’re not just talking about Valentine’s Day (see our gift guide here). Just a few days before on February 10, almost two billion people will celebrate Lunar New Year, marking the first new moon in the lunar calendar.
Despite being commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, the occasion is celebrated across Southeast Asia, from Vietnam to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. Each country and culture may bring its own customs and rituals to the occasion, but the characteristics of the holiday remain consistent: skies full of lanterns, epic firework displays and, crucially, gift-giving.
Of course, the most traditional gift is hóngbāo, a red envelope containing cash typically given to children and unmarried adults. More recently, however, it has become a tradition that families also give material gifts to their loved ones.
This year marks the Year of the Dragon and, along with being the symbol of luck and health in Chinese culture, it also offers a fun opportunity for designers and brands to bring the mythical creature to life in their Lunar New Year pieces. With so many exciting collaborations and limited-edition collections, we’ve rounded up the most eye-catching to mark the occasion in style in this luxury Lunar New Year gift guide.
Olivia von Halle, Queenie August Gold Embellished Silk Velvet Robe
‘New Year, new me’ is a universal attitude, but one that is especially important in Chinese traditions. Lunar New Year centers around ridding one’s life of old energies, in fact, there is even the custom of wearing new pajamas on New Year’s Eve. We see that as the perfect excuse to start the year in unadulterated opulence with this gold-embellished kimono-style robe from Olivia von Halle. With its rich gold color and soft silk velvet material, a hand-embellished sequinned lion motif – that took more than 65 hours to hand-stitch – loungewear doesn’t get much more decadent.
Bottega Veneta, Dragon Earrings
Bottega’s reputation for ingenuous design and meticulously engineered goods never fails, and these Dragon Earrings are no exception. Hand enameled in 18-karat gold-finished sterling silver, the moveable construction means they can be worn in two styles; either as hoops or as drop-style. Bottega’s capsule collection includes a coordinated dragon necklace for the full-scaled look, so you can slay the dragon – in more metaphorical ways than one.
Chopard, Happy Sport Oval in Lucent Steel and Ethical 18-carat Rose Gold
To start the new year afresh, Chopard has reinvented its classic Happy Sport in a glamorous red color. The feminine oval case is made from Lucent Steel while the ethical 18-carat rose gold houses the self-winding movement, offering a 42-hour power reserve. Its all-red dial face has been delicately studded with seven dancing diamonds, all housed with sapphire crystal. While it is critical to remember that within some Asian cultures, the gifting of a watch can signify something coming to its end – it might be best that this timeless piece is reserved for someone equally eternal.
Loewe, the Jade Collection Pendants
Loewe’s Jade Collection is a masterful tribute to the ancient craft of Chinese jade sculpting. Partnering with three master jade carvers, each has created five pendants in the form of a cabbage, an eggplant and a pea pod, each mounted on an 18-karat gold chain. Each is a symbol of luck, success and abundance – and want-to-be buyers may need all they can get since the limited-edition pendants can only be purchased from flagship stores in Mainland China.
Lalique, Tianlong Dragon Sculpture
To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, luxury French crystal house Lalique has made the mythical creature the centerpiece of its Lunar New Year collection. The Tianlong dragon symbolizes power and honor, which Lalique has captured in the finest crystal. While the collection features an assortment of five gorgeous colors, it is the exclusive pink sculpture – limited to just 188 works – that has piqued our interest. Each individual scale has been delicately carved so that it majestically catches the light, no matter where it is placed in the home.
Fabergé, Heritage Year of the Dragon Surprise Locket
The Fabergé egg: throughout history has any other item symbolized wealth and status quite like it? Enjoyed by emperors and royals since the 19th century, today House of Fabergé’s Heritage collection not only draws on this legacy but offers buyers the chance to own a – albeit smaller – version for themselves. Crafted using the same traditional techniques of guilloché enameling and hand-engraving, the 18-karat Yellow Gold Diamond Dragon locket opens to reveal an intrinsically detailed gold dragon, staring back with its mesmerizing diamond eyes.
Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Dragon Pendant
Louis Vuitton’s cheeky Vivienne figure conjures the magic of Chinese astrological mythology for its Lunar New Year edition. Hand-crafted in yellow and white gold, the cheeky figure’s face is framed by monogram flower petals, each in a fiery red lacquer and sparkling with diamonds. Equally fun as it is functional, the jewel’s removable chain means it can be worn as either a brooch, a necklace or displayed as a precious conversation piece.
Mulberry x Mira Mikati, Credit Card Slip
Mulberry’s Lunar New Year collection is adorned – and adorable – with a dragon character that is unrecognizable from its usual ferocious reputation. Working with artist Mira Mikati, the creature has been playfully animated to capture the joyous spirit of the holiday season. Featured on this sweet yet sleek cardholder that has been crafted in smooth flat leather, it is available in a lively palette of sweet candy pink or bright acid yellow. In keeping with Chinese traditions that believe gifting a wallet or purse is an omen of losing your fortune, this may be a gift best reserved for someone in your household.
Glenfiddich, Gran Reserva 21 Year Old, 2024 Chinese New Year Limited Edition 70cl
Glenfiddich’s limited-edition series, ‘A Gift For Blossoming Futures’, makes the ideal tipple to toast in the Lunar New Year, with the Glenfiddich Reserva Rum Cask 21 Year Old leading the collection. The single malt whisky has been finished in Caribbean rum casks, resulting in a warmth and distinct flavor followed by a smoky, spicy finish – just like a dragon’s breath. On the outside, Glenfiddich has worked with multi-disciplinary artist Raku Inoue to bring its signature stag to life, inspired by the Wood Dragon – from the leaves of the forest, symbolizing an auspicious future in full bloom ahead.
$250, available here
Ulysse Nardin, Blast Tourbillon Dragon 45mm
Ulysse Nardin has completely immersed its Blast Tourbillon within the mythology of the dragon. The new release is the result of a two-year development process – the 3D, rose gold dragon figure, which had to be engraved and micro-painted entirely by hand, demanded four days of craftsmanship alone. Safe to say that dedication has not been wasted. As the dragon appears to slide between the watch’s hands and the gear train, it is a skillful testament to elite artistry and horology. With self-winding movement and a three-day power reserve, like a true dragon, it is both immensely powerful yet utterly mystifying.
Price on request, ulysse-nardin.com
Penfolds, Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz magnum
What is in a name? Well for Penfolds Bin 389, in Chinese culture the number three symbolizes new beginnings, eight for prosperity and nine for longevity – a perfect combination for this blend of cabernet shiraz 2021. Australia’s premier producer is maximizing the occasion with its limited edition magnum release for the Lunar New Year. While this may be a gift that is best stored and saved for now, since Penfolds recommends peak drinking begins next year, with a drinking window that extends until 2055, collectors will be toasting the good times until the latter half of this century.
Elie Bleu, “Dragon” Limited Edition humidor
Smokey is not just the name of a dragon around here, as leading global humidor maker Elie Bleu has released its hand-crafted, limited-edition dragon humidor. With an exterior constructed of beautiful sycamore wood, the lid is an inlaid of exotic woods with precious materials that form the motif of a dragon. Both a piece of art and a functional humidor, it is designed to hold up to 110 cigars and comes equipped with an Elie Bleu humidification system and hygrometer, so aficionados can be reassured their collection is being perfectly protected.
$8,888, available to purchase from Eight Lounge
Louis Vuitton, Red Palace Slipper
Slippers are an integral item within many Asian homes, as superstitions note outdoor shoes can bring bad luck into the home. This pair from Louis Vuitton ensures you relax in luxury and comfort. Inspired by hotel slippers, the calf-leather exterior has been brimmed with red detailing and a red rubber sole, while the gold-embroidered and Damier checkered print brings that signature LV touch.
Maison Martell, L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition Assemblage du Dragon
As keeping with annual tradition, this Lunar New Year, Maison Martell presents L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition – Assemblage du Dragon. Inspired to blend a cognac that retains the essential character of the original blend whilst subtly evoking the majesty of the Chinese zodiac, this rare and prestigious edition is available in fewer than 750 pieces. To showcase this limited edition, Maison Martell has worked in collaboration with Baccarat, the revered crystal manufacturer, on the sublime decanter, whose neck is embellished with engraved 19-carat gold and is also crowned with a stunning sculpture of a dragon’s head.
S.T. Dupont, Dragon Ligne 2 Lighter
S.T. Dupont’s Lunar New Year collection is a celebration of the mythical creature as much as it is a dedication to the brand’s craftsmanship – and no better is this on display than the Dragon Ligne 2 Lighter. The illustration of the fierce character that adorns S.T. Dupont’s iconic product has been inspired by anime and street art. Seen bursting from a cloud of confetti, it symbolizes the joy and infinite possibilities offered by the start of this new lunar year.
Arnold & Son, Luna Magna “Year of the Dragon”
According to the traditional lunar calendar, 2024 is expected to be an auspicious and untroubled year – and Arnold & Son‘s new release is certainly a good start. With only eight pieces available, the Luna Magna Red Gold “Year of the Dragon”, is a thoughtful and carefully crafted tribute to traditional Chinese culture. The watch face depicts an encounter between the moon and the dragon, composed of red gold and a choice of pietersite or onyx. In addition to the manual wound caliber and 90-hour power reserve, the movement also provides a secondary display of the moon’s age. Inspired by Chinese legends, the dragon ceaselessly attempts to chase the moon, as they are destined to be bound together – and we think any receiver will feel the same bond towards this special gift.
Price on request, arnoldandson.com
Hennessy, Paradis X Yang Yongliang
The French legacy cognac maker has tapped into its 163-year shared history with Chinese culture for its Lunar New Year collection. Working with Chinese artist Yang Yongliang, legendary dragons have been brought to life, dynamically dancing across the campaign. The stand out of the collection remains the Hennessy Paradis with its rich, fiery copper color, given by precious eaux-de-vie, aged only in very old barrels. This 2024 limited edition, with only 485 numbered units available, comes in a beautiful white and gold decanter, hand-crafted by Bernardaud, the 160-year-old French porcelain maker.
Price upon request, hennessy.com
Off-White, 2024 Lunar New Year Out Of Office
Just like most modern-day celebrations of Lunar New Year, these limited-edition Out-of-office sneakers from Off-White seamlessly blend contemporary style with touches of tradition. Influenced by basketball, street and running styles, the additional touches of red detailing give a festive nod towards the holiday. This may be a gift best saved for a loved one or family member, since the pronunciation of shoe (xié) is near-homophonic with the word for evil (xié) so it is typically suspicious to gift to someone outside the household – family members, however, will be grateful to hear that the taboo doesn’t apply to them.
Ralph Lauren, Lunar New Year Polo Bear Sweater
It feels like no occasion can go unmarked without the appearance of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bear, and the Lunar New Year is no exception. Knitted in fine wool, this sweater features intricate embroidery depicting the iconic character holding the traditional red envelopes, bow tie and smoking jacket – meaning the bear is likely to be the smartest dressed in any room. Available in styles for both boys and girls and ages ranging from one to 14, no little one needs to be left out.
Fendi x FRGMT x Pokémon, Yellow Leather Totem
Perhaps the most playful of all the designer collections, Fendi is celebrating the Year of the Dragon by making Pokémon luxury. In a multi-layered collaboration, Fendi worked with Hiroshi Fujiwara, the founder of Fragment Design, for this cartoon crossover. The standout of the collection – and not just for its generous size – is this leather Dragonite toem. Crafted by Fendi’s skilled artisans and requiring more than 30 hours of manual workmanship, it is a luxurious homage to the cartoon creature and is destined to become a sought-after collector’s item.
Gucci, Baby Interlocking G dress
Everyone knows that special occasions call for an equally special outfit, and this ivory-cotton dress is certainly that. The renowned interlocking Gucci ‘G’ logo has been carefully embroidered to cover the dress, adding a tasteful and colorful touch, while the delicate frill detailing around the collar and sleeves adds the perfect sweet finish – we just wish it came in adult sizes too.
Kenzo Kids, Red Reversible Dragon Letterman Jacket
Bringing an Americana spin to the Asian holiday, this cool reversible jacket from Kenzo Kids is the ideal outerwear to keep your child cozy and warm while they watch the festivities. Made from a soft, silky-satin twill in a vibrant red shade, the reversible design means there are more ways than one to wear it. One side features the eye-catching, repeating dragon pattern while the other side reveals the embroidered dragon and logo applique on the back – the only difficulty will be deciding between the designs.
Versace, Year Of The Dragon Baby T-Shirt
We couldn’t forget a little gift for the littlest member of the family, and this Versace t-shirt, available in pink or blue, is perfect to mark the first new year in someone’s life. The Year of the Dragon seems like the perfect fit for Versace since neither is shy about their symbolism of auspiciousness, power and grandeur. This soft cotton t-shirt with its gold snap buttons, featuring the Medusa head, means the youngest family member can celebrate in outrageous comfort and style.