Out with the 2012 dragon, in with the 2013 snake.

Chinese believe that dragon is the symbol of Yang, and snake is the symbol of Yin.

2013 is the year of the water snake, according to Feng Shui consultant Marites Allen. It is the best time to start a new life. It has the presence of two wood elements, two water, tow earth, a metal, and a fire. So, this is a complete set of elements. In other words, snake-people like to possess the finer things in life.

To commemorate the Year of the Snake, many luxury brands have launched products with snake-themed designs. These brands are seizing the opportunity of the Chinese New Year to win over wealthy Chinese consumers globally. “Isn’t a snake-shaped watch the best present for myself this year?” said Sunny Sun, a Beijing local who saved up to purchase an item from Serpenti, a line of watches by Bulgari.

“China’s market is a big one and those international luxury brands know it. So they’ve launched all kinds of new designs with Chinese elements,” said Yvonne Xue, Marketing Officer for a top American luxury brand. “In the past, the luxury brands were so high above the normal consumer here, but now they are trying to break into China’s market. They want people to know more about luxury products. They want to devote more attention to Chinese consumers.”

Ironically, as China becomes increasingly westernized, Chinese elements are vanishing in China. International luxury brands continue to play the Chinese culture card, incorporating Chinese elements to endear to Chinese buyers and betting that cultural traditions are hard to rid.

“Products with Chinese elements are surely more appealing to me, and carrying a bag with dragon patterns or Chinese rose embroidery next to a logo of a luxury brand makes me feel special and unique,” Sun said. “And I believe many other Chinese will think the same way.”

In addition to Bulgari’s Serpenti, here are more products designed for the Year of the Snake:

“The Legend of the Chinese Zodia” by Vacheron Constantin

Snake’s Year Limited Edition Handbags by Hogan

Snake Cameo Rings and Earrings by Pomellato

Ferrari 599 GTB China Cracked Porcelain by Ferrari

Dartz Motorz Snake Skin by Bentley

Dartz’s Year of the Snake-Inspired Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Year of the Snake Collection by Cross

Year of the Snake Gold Bar Collection by Chow Sang Sang

Year of the Snake Notebook by Moleskine and Shanghai Tang

Swarovski Chinese Zodiac Schlange

Premium cigar brand Davidoff releases 2013 “Year of Snake”edition. This collection is inspired by the Chinese love story “White Snake Story” that can be traced back to Ming dynasty (1368AD).

BVLGARI, New York. The giant, light-up snake is installed across the facades of the flagships in NY, Rome and Tokyo.

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