If you’ve ever wondered which luxury brands are preferred by China’s sports stars, a comprehensive 50-photo slideshow on Chinese website 163.com should lay all questions to rest. Discovered by Abe Sauer at Brand Channel, the images shine light on the ostentatious taste of the country’s Olympians, soccer players, and basketball heroes. These photos also show the huge difference in fortunes between former professional athletes, as they stand in stark contrast to news of less fortunate former Chinese Olympians found begging in the subway.
The feature doesn’t hold back on harsh, judgmental commentary: when describing the country’s lackluster national soccer team, a caption bluntly states, “Although the national soccer team’s accomplishments aren’t worth admiration, in China’s sporting circles, they are still absolutely classified as belonging to the gao fu shuai (“tall, rich, and handsome”, 高富帅) social class.”
In the classic tradition of professional athletes showing off their wealth, the flashy style of some of these stars can be quite entertaining. Some of the highlights are included below.
The national soccer team has been nicknamed the “LV team” thanks to their love of the brand’s luggage, according to the caption of this photo of team members loading up the bus:
Soccer star Feng Xiaoting (冯潇霆) is looking especially sharp with his designer luggage and belt.
Soccer player Gao Lin (郜林) drives a Land Rover, and reportedly bought his girlfriend a Porshe.
Unlike the ostentatious soccer team, NBA star, national hero, and budding vintner Yao Ming (姚明) keeps it simple with a classic BMW.
However, not everyone can be Yao Ming: basketball star A Lianchao (阿联潮) wears a knockoff Chanel hat paired with a pink bag adorned with stuffed animals.
Liu Xiang (刘翔), the 2004 Olympic gold medalist for men’s hurdles, wears a $42,000 watch.
Olympic gold medalist Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) enjoys shiny, expensive handbags. The caption also tells us that she wears purple shoes worth “4,600 yuan” and a “1,600-yuan bracelet.”
In addition, Guo has as many cars “as there are hairs on an ox” (多如牛毛).
Two-time Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan (林丹) really likes Dolce & Gabbana.
He really likes Dolce and Gabbana, according to this grainy photo which shows him decked out head-to-toe in the brand.
His wedding also featured a Porsche motorcade:
Chinese Olympic swimmer Sun Yang (孙杨) tries on a gold Cartier bracelet, seeming not to mind that it clashes with his Olympic tracksuit:
Click for the whole slideshow.