With Asian cinema growing in importance, Hollywood’s leading ladies are increasingly finding themselves overshadowed on the red carpet by their eastern counterparts.
At a recent Christian Dior show in Paris, recent Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence found her entrance eclipsed by the arrival of Korean beauty Gianna Jun, who is adored in her native Korea, Japan, and China for her flawless and elegant beauty.
With a potential fan base of over a billion to tap into, it’s no wonder stars such as Gianna are zooming to the top of designer hit lists.
As the luxury spending power of Asian consumers continues to rise, so does the cachet of the stars they follow. Designers who used to rush to sign up American stars to model their wares are now eyeing the hugely bankable generation of rising Asian A-list talent.
Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld has identified Europe as a “crumbling old world,” and has his sights set on the east for the future of fashion design. Fashion’s decision makers are increasingly adapting their collections to suit local tastes in Asia, and are heading to luxury hotspots such as Taiwan and Singapore in their droves to showcase their collections to the booming affluent populations.
Dior’s collection was “not just being about Paris and France, but about the rest of the world” too
Many identified Raf Simons’ multicultural show for Christian Dior as a blatant pitch to these new emerging markets. Featuring models from a multitude of ethnic backgrounds, the Belgian designer commented that Dior’s collection was “not just being about Paris and France, but about the rest of the world” too.
According to Brian Buchwald, CEO of Bomoda, a website providing information for Chinese luxury goods consumers, identifying and responding to the wants and desires of Chinese consumers was now the “overriding opportunity for western companies. The rising role of the Chinese consumer is driving their business,” adding that last year they were “responsible for 60 percent of all luxury goods purchases in Europe“.
For this reason, we can expect to see more and more Asian stars on the iconic Paris Fashion Week front rows as time goes on.
One such star is Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who was photographed wearing Valentino, Elie Saab and Laurence Xu at Paris fashion shows and the Cannes film festival this year. Her appeal to designers and luxury goods companies is cited as coming from “her beauty, her sense of fashion and her ability to reach and move the Chinese consumer.”
According to Buchwald, “She is a risk taker, she breaks the mould. She makes her own fashion choices and while many Chinese women may not be comfortable enough to wear what Fan Bingbing may wear, just the fact that she’s out there making certain choices becomes very aspirational for them.”