The Italian luxury and fashion powerhouse Gucci took to its home turf on May 29 to showcase its 2018 Cruise Collection. At the show, which took place in the Palatine Gallery at the historic Palazzo Pitti, Gucci invited Chinese actress Ni Ni, who rose to fame when she starred in Zhang Yimou’s 2011 film The Flowers of War.
Appearing on the list of attendees this time with Ni Ni were Chinese online fashion bloggers Mr. Bags (who also showed up at Louis Vuitton’s 2018 Cruise Show in Kyoto, Japan earlier this month) and Miss Shopping Li (becky_li) who recently attended Christian Dior’s Resort 2018 Collection on the West Coast.
Gucci Brand Ambassador Ni Ni Was the Only Chinese Celebrity Invited
According to the fashion magazine Vogue China, Ni Ni was the only celebrity from China invited to the 2018 Cruise Collection runway show. The brand’s official Instagram account posted Ni Ni’s show look along with other invited celebrities including Kirsten Dunst and Jared Leto.
In the post, Ni Ni was dressed up in a blue velvet outfit designed by the brand’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele and carried a Gucci Nymphaea handbag. She also sat for an interview with Harper’s Bazaar China before heading to Italy.
In January 2017, Gucci appointed Ni Ni to become the Asian ambassador for its eyewear brand. Ni Ni is widely perceived to be one of the most stylish young Chinese actresses among consumers. Her chic style has earned her many admirers and has also helped her win the hearts of luxury brands in recent years including Tiffany & Co. and Dior. However, Ni’s exclusive invitation to attend this significant 2018 Cruise Collection Show is further evidence of her importance to Gucci.
After hosting the previous two Cruise Collection shows in New York and London, the brand reportedly made a huge effort in securing the spot at the Palatine Gallery at the Palazzo Pitti. No fashion show has ever been staged in that part of the palace before.
The fashion show was part of a project called Primavera di Boboli, which will also involve a restoration of the Boboli Gardens with a 2 million Euro donation by Gucci along with the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism as well as support from the Municipality of Florence and a collaboration with the Uffizi Gallery. Gucci’s contribution will be paid to the Uffizi Gallery over three years.
Hosting the event in Florence, the heart of the Renaissance, also has significance to Michele, who has been credited with bringing the Renaissance spirit to the brand.
“The success we have achieved in recent years through the vision of our Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, is reliant upon the skills, spirit of innovation, passion and abilities of the craftspeople and everyone else who works for the brand in Florence and the surrounding area,” said Gucci’s president and CEO, Marco Bizzarri, in a statement.
Chinese Fashion Bloggers Never Miss the Game
As the favorite handbag brand among Chinese female consumers for now, Gucci like other luxury brands also relied on Chinese fashion bloggers to engage with consumers.
This time, China’s “Handbag Guru” Mr. Bags and the styling expert “Miss Shopping Li” were both invited to the show. Compared to Chinese celebrities, fashion bloggers can provide luxury brands with a more targeted channel for communicating with Chinese consumers due to their massive loyal following.
The frequent appearance of Chinese fashion bloggers at different exclusive fashion events further indicates that high-end brands have widely embraced the significance of online KOLs in today’s luxury market in China. This trend is quite similar to what is happening in the Western fashion industry where people see more and more fashion bloggers making their debut in the front row of some of the most exclusive fashion events. Whether or not their sway will last is another story.