Chinese Whispers: Fan Bingbing’s Short-Lived Comeback to Louis Vuitton and More

In “Chinese Whispers,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that have yet to make it into the English language. In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • Fan Bingbing’s short-lived comeback to Louis Vuitton
  • Sneaker trade platform Nice tackles price manipulation
  • Chinese couturier designer Guo Pei about to host a runway show in V&A museum

Fan Bingbing’s short-lived comeback to Louis Vuitton – Fashion Business Daily 
It was roughly a year ago when Chinese celebrity Fan Bingbing was fined by the government for tax evasion. Several brands cut ties with Fan right away, and the celebrity herself disappeared from the public for quite some time. It came as a surprise, on September 27, to discover that Fan has once again reemerged as Louis Vuitton’s brand spokesperson in the latest LV’s Instagram and Weibo post.

Within an hour, reposts and comments numbered close to a 100,000, with netizens commenting that Fan’s great style deserved the spokesperson spot, while others voiced that the general public should not overlook her past wrongdoings. The next day, perhaps out of fear of a backlash, Fan’s image had disappeared from LV’s Instagram and Weibo posts, leaving only brand-friendly Zhong Chuxi, singer Rihanna, supermodel Hailey Bieber, and actor Urassaya Sperbund. This begs the question: how long it will take Fan to recover her reputation — to be forgiven — for brands to work with her once again. Regardless, in the past, Fan was an important figure for Louis Vuitton to build its popularity in the China market. Fan Bingbing still has a sizable fan base — 62 million on Weibo.

Sneaker trade platform Nice tackles price manipulation – Sohu Fashion 
The Chinese sneakertrading platform Nice announced on September 27 that it would tighten regulation against price manipulation. The regulation intends to punish sellers from artificially surge pricing various styles by banning them from trading. Apparently some sellers would go as far as to create multiple fake accounts to place multiple orders, or to organized price hikes, making false transaction records, etc. According to the announcement, Nice already shut down the transaction map, hot sales list, and cleaned up the content and comments section on the community page. Nice is one of the few players in the $1 billion sneaker resale market in China, Poizon is another player. Both have built loyal user bases and tried to tightened control on their platforms. They are important weathercocks for sneakerheads in China, acting as a pricing benchmark, trend keeper of the latest listings, and authentication services of shoes that fans have bought elsewhere.

Chinese couturier designer Guo Pei about to host a runway show in V&A museum – Business of Fashion China 
Guo Pei, the Chinese couturier designer who attracted worldwide acclaim in 2015 after she designed Rihanna’s flowing yellow Met Gala gown, will participate in an upcoming exhibition “Fashion In Motion” at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, as part of the initiate to bringing top designer to the general public. The inclusion of Guo Pei signals the newfound power of Chinese design, putting her on the international map along with previous shown namesake designers like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. The show, which opens on November 1, will be free to the public.

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