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Lunar New Year Is Here, and the Merch Is Fire This Year

It’s the Year of the Tiger, and AAPI-owned brands such as Fly by Jing, Omsom, and Tower 28 are all ringing it in with a bang.
the best drops for chinese lunar new year
Composite by VICE Staff

Envelopes filled with money, steamed dumplings, human-driven dragons in parades—what’s not to love about Lunar New Year? (And why can’t Western holidays follow a moon-based calendar, man? Buncha FOOLS.) We look forward to every Lunar New Year, but this year we’re kicking off celebrations with a special reminder to support Chinese and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesses in your own community, and on the web from the comfort of your couch. 

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The Year of the Tiger is about being ambitious and enthusiastic, and we could definitely use some of that energy during the long, cold, Northeastern winter. This year, that tiger cometh with a fingerlicking selection of drops and collaborations from brands, including Fly by Jing's hot pot set, spice blends from Omsom, and tiger-printed apparel from AAPI designers such as Charles & Keith. In New York City, the volunteer organization Send Chinatown Love has been working extra hard to amplify and support vendors in Chinatown across various boroughs, as it has since the beginning of the pandemic, by sharing new restaurants and Chinatown dinner ideas on Instagram, continuing to provide translation and marketing services, and running a Gift-a-Meal program that provides Chinatown locals with meals from the organization’s beloved merchants. New Yorkers can treat their neighbor to a meal, and if you give the organization a follow on Insta, we promise you’ll never be out of ideas for where to grab food on a lazy Sunday ever again. 

It’s also easier than ever to shop for Asian groceries online, and marketplaces such as Umamicart have curated an entire Lunar New Year smorgasbord for you and a dozen hungry buds to get jolly. The limits of Lunar goodness know no bounds in 2022, and we’re all about it, so let’s dive in. 

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Charles and Keith

To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, Charles & Keith has launched a ~roaring~ capsule collection with tiny, tiger print bags that give us big Y2K nostalgia, and shoes that are (unfortunately) giving our Tevas a run for their money. How great would they look with a pair of fuzzy socks, too? 


$56 at Charles Keith

$56 at Charles Keith

$49 at Charles Keith

$49 at Charles Keith

Fly by Jing

Ah, what we would do to have a lover ladle everything from Fly by Jing into our mouths while we sit on a faux-bearskin rug. The Sichuan-centric craft food brand was founded in 2018 by chef Jing Gao, who says she was inspired by “the amazing flavors of my hometown Chengdu and its famous fly restaurants—soulful hole-in-the-wall eateries so good they attract diners like flies.” The brand has just just launched its Year of Taste collection, of which the Hot Pot Starter Kit is the unabashed star. We feel warmer already, looking at its cheery red pot, knowing that the brand’s (wildly popular) Fire Hot Pot Base will soon be in our belly. And, for a limited time, VICE readers can get 20% off FBJ’s new finishing oils. 


$135 at Fly By Jing

$135 at Fly By Jing
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Minted

Minted is a digital marketplace where artists’ work is transformed into personalized stationary, photo albums, stickers, wall art and more that was founded by Mariam Naficy to bring a little bit of elegance into your every day life. Have you used your own stationary before? How about stationary with real gold foil, my king?


$70 at Minted

$70 at Minted

Nguyen Coffee Supply

“We're deeming 2022 the Year of the Brave,” say the folks at Nguyen Coffee Supply, which is one of our absolute favorite bean slingers/Vietnamese coffee educators, and “to celebrate this energy of tenacity and boldness” they’ve created special packets of lucky red envelopes with gold-embossed graphics. “Stuff these with money, love notes, or anything you want to spread joy,” the brand  says. “Chúc mừng năm mới! (Happy New Year!)”


$30 at Nguyen Coffee Supply

$30 at Nguyen Coffee Supply

Notte

Think of Notte Jewelry as the older sister of the eccentric BONBONWHIMS, because the designs are just as playful—often integrating dangling, amorphous pearls, smiley faces and blown glass—but the spectrum that Notte offers includes pieces that read less Godspell, and more Amalfi Coast. “The brand’s aesthetic is a fun mix of New York quirk with a hint of la dolce vita daydreams,” the website reads, explaining why founder Jessica Tse integrates a high-low blend of materials to create such unique pieces.   


$159 at Notte

$159 at Notte
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The XCJ 

When it comes to any and all things xiao-long-bao-related, count us in. So we're thrilled that one of our favorite dumpling purveyors, Xiao Chi Jie (The XCJ), has dropped these limited-edition Year of the Tiger crab and pork soup dumplings just in time for Lunar New Year. All of the brand's dumplings are crazy-delicious, super easy to prepare, and best served with the mouthwatering-umami XCJ Crafted Sauces, which makes them a fave of our editors. 


$49.49 at The XCJ

$49.49 at The XCJ

Omsom

When we just don’t have enough juice left in our one working brain cell to whip up a homemade sauce, Omsom’s starter sauce packets swoop in to elevate our humble stir fries, fish, and veggies. Founded by Vietnamese-American sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham, the pantry brand can help even the most kitchen-illiterate create delicious dishes including Chinese mala salad, or integrate Vietnamese lemongrass blends into their BBQs. Recently, they’ve teamed up with Instant Pot for a hot pot starter kit, and launched a pair limited-edition, really badass knife earrings to celebrate what they call “the strength of the tiger” and its ability to “carve out its own path (both in and out of the kitchen).”


$20 at Omsom

$20 at Omsom

$29 at Omsom

$29 at Omsom

Sanzo

We cheat on La Croix with Sanzo, and we don’t care who knows it—not to encourage any La Croix slander, but the latter is just really rockin’ our boat right now with their newest yuzu ginger flavor, to accompany the existing lineup of Mango, Lychee, and Calamansi flavors. According to one of our editors, it tastes light, crisp, and leans heavily into the refreshing, citrusy yuzu side of its flavor palate. It’s also only made with real fruit, and has no artificial flavors, preservatives, or added sugar. 


$29.99 at Sanzo

$29.99 at Sanzo
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$34.99 at Amazon

$34.99 at Amazon

Simple Retro

Simple Retro is what happens when the fashion of Paris and Guangzhou fall in love, and the brand’s latest, romantic capsule collection was inspired by the delicacy of traditional Chinese garments throughout the ages, from earrings to cardigans and more.  


$154.99 at Simple Retro

$154.99 at Simple Retro

$21.99 at Simple Retro

$21.99 at Simple Retro

Supernal

The cult-favorite indie beauty brand Supernal was launched by Melissa Medvedich three years ago on Lunar New Year (aw!) in homage to her Chinese heritage, and since then her Cosmic Glow Oil has become a coveted, award-winning facial oil for its easily absorbed formula of vitamin C and Omegas 3,6, and 9. Just look at that potion-green bottle (each of which is packaged by Medvedich in New York). That’s the bottle of a hot necromancer. Treat yourself to a full sized serum, and stay tuned for a miniature version to be launched February 8, 2022.


$108 at Supernal

$108 at Supernal

Tower 28 x Cocokind 

Don’t you love when friends collaborate? Cocokind and Tower 28, which are both AAPI-founded, clean beauty brands, have joined forces for a special Lunar New Year Kit. The bundle includes Cocokind’s AHA Jelly Cleanser and restorative Ceramide Barrier Serum, as well as Tower 28’s clear ShineOn Lip Jelly and BeachPlease Blush in a rosy nude. Plus, for every kit sold, $5 will be donated to the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.


$55 at Tower 28

$55 at Tower 28
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Tushy

Everyone’s favorite easy-install bidet cult company was started by Miki Agrawal with the hopes of bringing more pampering to your sweet peach, and according to our test run of their classic bidet, she knocked it out of the park. A DIY spa experience has never been more possible, and once you try it you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.


$129$99 at Tushy

$129$99 at Tushy

Umamicart

We can’t believe Umamicart only launched (about) a year ago, because we can’t imagine our pantries without the immense joy the online Asian grocery store brings. Umamicart has over 500 ingredients that include produce, frozen meats and fish, pantry goods, and enough Pocky and snacks to fuel our week-long Netflix binges, and to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the brand is offering an entire Southeast Asian feast of 15 curated items including pork belly, shrimp dishes, spring rolls, and more.  


$129.26 at Umamicart

$129.26 at Umamicart

Happy Lunar New Year!


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.