Luxury brands have been all about holding attention-grabbing exhibits in China over the past few years, but none have been as enthusiastic about it as French fashion house Dior. The label just launched its second major exhibit in a Chinese city this year, merging the marketing power of Chinese and Western celebrities, Chinese artists, and social media in one.
Going on now through July 20, the “Miss Dior” exhibit at the Shanghai Sculpture Space features works by 16 female artists tapped to create pieces for the exhibit in celebration of the brand’s iconic Miss Dior perfume. For the exhibit’s glamorous opening party last Thursday, stars Natalie Portman, Zhang Ziyi, Ni Ni, and Angelababy graced the hound’s-tooth-patterned carpet. In order to gain the notice of the general public, the brand is heavily promoting the exhibit on its Weibo and WeChat accounts.
The exhibit comes on the heels of several Dior China exhibits, including 2013’s “Esprit Dior” in Shanghai and “Lady Dior As Seen By in Hong Kong,” as well as this year’s “Le Petit Théâtre Dior” in Chengdu. Like many other Western luxury brands, Dior has merged art and marketing for the event with the help of Chinese contemporary artists. The company enlisted Chinese painter Liang Yuanwei to create a painting inspired by Dior’s signature floral dress and Chinese photographer and Beijing Film Academy graduate Liu Lijie to create triptych Fan Fan, a series of surreal photographs featuring a model in a pink Dior dress.
Dior has previously expressed strong support for Chinese artists by enlisting their work for its Hong Kong exhibit last year as well as teaming up with the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) for its Christian Dior & Chinese Artists publication.
Dior isn’t the only Western luxury brand to recently harness the marketing power of Chinese artists. Bottega Veneta frequently sponsors Chinese art exhibitions, and Tiffany & Co. recently announced its collaboration with painter Yu Hong for a series of celebrity portraits.