What Happened: Homegrown underwear brand Ubras announced its new brand ambassador — Chinese supermodel Liu Wen. Nicknamed affectionately “big sister” by netizens, Liu Wen is only the second spokesperson the brand has had after the Gen Z idol, Ouyang Nana. Moreover, Liu Wen has over 26 million loyal followers on Weibo and already endorses a host of high-end brands, including Chanel, Erdos, Estée Lauder, and e-commerce giant JD.com.
Ubras was founded in 2016 on a design concept that prioritizes comfort, launching rimless bras and size-free underwear that has won the hearts of young consumers that increasingly preferred comfortable lingerie. In addition to their lingerie products, Ubras has also introduced both a sportswear and homeware collection.
The Jing Take: The appointment of Liu Wen as brand ambassador has delighted netizens, with many of them commenting below the announcement post: “The brand now looks so high-end.” Indeed, having a supermodel, who walks for international top tier brands and endorsed Chanel, has definitely elevated Ubras positioning in the mainland. Also, by hiring Liu Wen, Ubras hopes to reach a more mature, and wealthy, clientele. While young consumers mainly drive growth for most brands today, having both a Gen Z idol and a “big sister” as ambassadors has hopefully secured the brand a larger slice of China’s lucrative lingerie market.
Nonetheless, while Liu Wen — once a Victoria’s Secret’s angel — can help the brand to retain a more exclusive positioning with her perfect figure, the size-free bras label may lose some of its inclusive vein. In fact, domestic rival Neiwai and the aforementioned Victoria’s Secret are all tapping for more diverse spokespersons and campaigns to meet the changing demands of consumers. For example, Victoria’s Secret recently announced plus-size clothing founder Yang Tianzhen as an ambassador.
However, Liu Wen’s widely recognized style and loyal following are definitely going to benefit Ubras, which to date, can be seen from netizen’s positive reactions. Yet, the brand may need to start diversifying its celebrity endorsements, sending a more inclusive message for its consumers, if it doesn’t want to be seen as nothing more than a rebranding of Victoria’s Secret past.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.