Xiao Zhan is Wedgwood’s first brand ambassador

    English fine china favorite Wedgwood unveils a mural of Chinese actor Xiao Zhan to mark its first-ever global brand ambassador appointment.
    Shot in China, Xiao Zhan for Wedgwood. Photo: Wedgwood
      Published   in Fashion

    Betting big on China, renowned British luxury brand Wedgwood has named Chinese actor and singer Xiao Zhan as its first ever global ambassador. No stranger to luxury, the Chinese star is also an ambassador for Gucci and Tod’s.

    To commemorate this historic move for the brand, a mural has been unveiled in Shoreditch, London, blending a portrait of the star with Wedgwood’s iconic Portland vase.

    The English fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories manufacturer has never hired a global representative until now. However, to reach new demographics of consumers, the high-end homeware brand must evolve with the times, and leveraging celebrity partnerships is one way to do so.

    Having released NFTs and more youth-focused collaborations, such as with Palace Skateboards and emerging artist Navinder Nangla, the heritage brand is evidently refreshing its identity in the new era of homeware.

    Xiao’s predominantly Gen Z and millennial fanbase makes him a natural choice for brands seeking instant clout. After becoming a member of boy band X Nine in 2016, he then went on to star in a Tencent-backed boys’ love (BL) TV series called The Untamed in 2019, amassing a meteoric following. His name, #肖战, has 256 billion views on Weibo.

    In 2023, Xiao’s influence was further consolidated when he generated media exposure worth $19.8 million as the face of luxury brand Tod’s, according to Launchmetrics.

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    In fact, the Chinese actor and singer commands such a frenzied fanbase that he became embroiled in a boycott back in 2020. The controversy erupted when his fans engaged in a campaign to report explicit fanfiction and fan art featuring the actor, leading to the fanfiction site Archive of Our Own being blocked in China. This triggered a significant backlash from those affected by the campaign, resulting in a temporary boycott of Xiao.

    However, through proactive engagement and cooperation with platforms like Weibo, Xiao’s management successfully navigated the crisis, reinforcing positive guidance and fan behavior.

    Fast forward to 2024: Xiao is known as the “King of Luxury.” He continues to serve as Gucci’s global brand ambassador, in addition to working with Tod’s, Zenith, and YSL Beauty, to name just a few.

    With the mural in Shoreditch symbolizing a blend of East and West, Xiao Zhan’s ambassadorship is set to usher in a new era for Wedgwood, appealing to a global audience and solidifying the brand’s presence in the international market. This partnership not only underscores Xiao Zhan’s global influence but also highlights Wedgwood’s commitment to contemporary cultural relevance.

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