Local Celebs Raise The Chic Quotient As Lagerfeld Exhibition Hits Mainland
Tomorrow, Chanel’s “Little Black Jacket” exhibition kicks off the China leg of its global tour. Featuring photos by Karl Lagerfeld, the show hits Beijing tomorrow, Shanghai on June 21, and Hong Kong in July.
The exhibition showcases shots of international models and celebrities wearing the label’s iconic jacket in a variety of ensembles. Notably, the roster includes Chinese celebs Sun Feifei, Zhou Xun, and Li Yuchun—an indication of Chanel’s interest in mixing traditional Chinese elements and edgier styles in its China-based promotional campaigns.
Chanel has taken to the web to promote the Chinese version of the show, featuring it on a mini-site on its Chinese website and promoting on its Chinese social media. Elaborately stylized videos and photos position the iconic jacket as a timeless, versatile piece.
The broader campaign has been globally cosmopolitan, stopping everywhere from Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, and New York. By contrast, the Chinese version skews heavily local, emphasizing Chinese models like actresses Zhou Xun and Sun Feifei, and pop singer Li Yuchun. Li Yuchun and Sun Feifei are also interviewed in a behind-the-scenes video on the Chinese Chanel site.
Between them, Li Yuchun and Sun Feifei give the video an appealing mix of traditional Chinese and edgy pop cultures. For instance, Sun Feifei, who recently played an empress in a historical drama film, is shown with a short-sleeve version of the jacket worn over an ensemble heavy with traditional Chinese style elements.
Li Yuchun, on the other hand, works her familiar “rockstar” look, noting that the black jacket is very ku (cool) and fengkuang (wildly popular) in China–words that her fans often use when talking about her.
The star is becoming a significant asset to international brands looking to score with younger Chinese consumers. She recently generated a massive amount of online publicity as a L’Oreal China spokesperson, in a social media campaign that successfully tapped into her huge, self-organized fan base, which ardently participated in its Li Yuchun promotions.
Chanel’s choice to feature these stars is likely part of an effort to appeal to both China’s wealthy young consumers and tradition-oriented clients. The decision to show the exhibit in first-tier cities only is unsurprising, as the label has often noted its strategy to hold off on broad expansion in order to maintain exclusivity.
Look below for a video promoting tomorrow’s Beijing exhibit, which is featured on Chanel’s Weibo account.