May 15, 2020

We’ve had Athleisure. Is Homeleisure China’s Next Big Thing?

Across the globe, life is changing, and we are seeing the emergence of a COVID-19 economy. While China is slowly going back to normal as residents outside of the worst-hit Hubei province start to venture out again, many citizens have rediscovered the joy of staying home. Two months of quarantine have fostered a strong stay-inside culture, especially among the millennial population who were once living their entire lives outside by strolling malls and eating out. While this sounds like bad news for most luxury and fashion players, one very specific outfit has infiltrated all corners of young, affluent Chinese’ recent wardrobe: the homeleisure wear. 

Starting from late January when China halted all CNY-related festivities to stop the spread of COVID-19, homeleisure has reached unexpected stardom across social media. On the micro-blogging site Weibo, #OnePajamaForTheWholeCNY topped the site’s most searched hashtags during the CNY period as Chinese youngsters shared themselves wearing pajamas instead of the outfits originally planned for the celebration. 

Soon, as more stay-home millennials searched for ideas to up their pajama game, the acceptance of stay-in apparel that could pass for the work video-conference has grown. In February alone, home-fashion community hashtags such as #StayInFashionGuide and #StayInPajamaContest amassed hundreds of thousands of online participations. Some of the most influential voices in fashion’s upper echelon, like top-tier KOL Becky Li and media like Vogue China, published stay-in style manuals on WeChat, guiding their massive followings to endorse the act of living stylishly at home.