Chinese Actress’s Global Appeal Captures Brands’ Interest
The creators of Iron Man 3 should have thought twice about cutting Fan Bingbing scenes from versions of the film shown outside China, because the attention she is receiving for her upcoming appearance at Cannes Film Festival shows her international “it girl” status. Luxury brands are also taking notice and seeing her as an increasingly important style icon for markets outside Asia.
When Fan attends the Cannes Film Festival starting on May 16, she will be representing both L’Oreal and Chopard as a brand ambassador. Her celebrity status has been a staple for these companies and others such as Louis Vuitton hoping to appeal to domestic Chinese consumers. In addition, her appearance at Cannes demonstrates her growing status as an international brand representative and tastemaker for global audiences.
She is being pursued by many international luxury brands and fashion designers alike, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which will be awarding her with its International Artist of the Year award on the third day of the festival. According to the publication, “Fan’s reputation as an actress and trend-setter stretches across China and the world.” She previously attended this year’s Oscars with producer Bill Mechanic and Chopard’s Caroline Scheufele, and has attracted attention for her bold fashion choices at previous Cannes festivals.
Fan is one of several Chinese stars receiving broader global recognition and heightened status as an international style figure. A number of Chinese actresses and models recently made their appearance on the red carpet at this year’s Met Gala donning internationally recognized designers. This international notoriety helps to bolster brands’ images both inside and outside China.
Fan is intent to use her style icon status to build China’s image as a sophisticated fashion center. “There was a period when China was very label-conscious. But now I think Chinese women will use more of their creativity,” she said to The Hollywood Reporter. “There are more people who really know fashion as a lifestyle, an attitude. China is catching up.”