Prada deepens Chinese cultural footprint with Jia Ling ambassador announcement

    In an effort to deepen its footprint in China, Prada has enlisted the acclaimed film star as its latest brand ambassador. Ling joins a growing line of local envoys for the brand.
    Jia Ling is Prada’s latest brand ambassador. Image: Prada

    Expanding on its cultural footprint across China, Prada has announced the appointment of renowned comedian, actress, and director Jia Ling as its latest brand ambassador.

    The news, which broke on June 2, was made public via a campaign featuring Ling styled in a Prada trench coat, paired with the brand’s new Prada Galleria bag in Soft Grain. The images were lensed by Shanghai-based female photographer Wang Ziqian.

    Netizens were quick to positively react to the partnership. On Sunday, the hashtag “Jia Ling Prada” trended on Weibo for over seven hours, accumulating a topic reading of 210 million, discussion of 46,000, and interaction of 333,000. Another hashtag reading #Prada选对人了 (Prada chose the right person) has amassed over 43 million views and made it to number six on Weibo’s hot search list for four hours.

    One of China’s most acclaimed actresses, Ling made her directorial and performance debut in the 2021 feature Hi Mom, for which she became the highest-grossing female director worldwide for a single film, before being overtaken by Greta Gerwig‘s Barbie last year.

    Ling rose to fame with her directorial and performance debut in “Hi Mom.” Image: Prada
    Ling rose to fame with her directorial and performance debut in “Hi Mom.” Image: Prada

    Most recently, she worked both as a director and actress for the film YOLO. The film reached the top of the Chinese New Year box office earlier this year, earning over $450 million (3.23 billion RMB) in February. Ling’s dramatic physical transformation for the role kicked off a countrywide boxing trend.

    Ling is the latest to join the long line of Chinese idols that Prada has been inking deals with. Last July, the house announced its long-term partnership alongside China’s national women’s football team. Other official envoys include table tennis player Ma Long, basketball player Yang Shuyu, and Chinese actor Li Xian.

    The news arrives in line with Prada’s recent efforts to diversify its pool of spokespeople beyond celebrities. Following a slew of China star scandals, the house has turned its attention to athletes and other industry luminaries to save face across the mainland.

    Ling’s enlistment also marks Prada’s latest dive into China’s rich cinematic universe. The brand has frequently collaborated with the mainland’s film scene on various projects; its most recent being its capsule collection launch alongside Wong Kar Wai’s hit TV series Blossoms Shanghai.

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