In the last few years, Michael Kors has started driving more toward what a lot would say is a big-spending fashion demographic often under prioritized—the chinese market.
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At last year's New York Fashion Week, Kors brought Chinese actress Yang Mi to its flagship Rockeller Center boutique for a meet-and-greet that attracted a sizeable crowd. Days before the event, the brand also made use of a slew of social media platforms that overseas Chinese residents usually use such as Facebook, Weibo, and WeChat. The brand also worked with Chinese student groups in the Big Apple to spread the word.
Despite increasing complications between economic superpowers around the world, many labels still host sizeable assets in the mainland. Kors, for example, recently took back control of 100 of its stores from Chinese licensees, and maintains a manufacturing base there.
The fact of the matter is, high fashion is finally paying attention.
The American brand's latest move that proves this shift is its current campaign and ambassadors. Leo Wu is one of the faces of the fashion house's Qixi campaign.
Born on December 26, 1999 as Wu Lei, Leo Wu is known in China as “the Nation’s Little Brother,” as well as one of the “Four Little Heavenly Kings.” The latter moniker refers to him being one of the four rising entertainment stars of his generation, and is a reference to the four gods of Buddhism. He shares this title with fellow actors Liu Hao Ran, Wang Jun Kai, and Wang Yi Bo. Wu began his career in 2002, by appearing in commercials of a Chinese dietary supplement brand, and has appeared in over 50 commercials in two years.
After gaining popularity through his roles in television dramas, Wu starred in what is perhaps his biggest break in last year's fantasy epic Asura, which had a budget of US$110 million. (The movie, unfortunately, bombed.) Apart from all of these roles, Wu has received numerous awards for his work in the industry. Outside of his film work, Wu attends the Beijing Film Academy and has his agency, Wu Lei Studio.
Apart from Wu, the brand also chose actress Lareina Song for the Qixi campaign. The two stars will be wearing a special edition capsule collection in celebration of Qixi, a traditional Chinese festival celebrating love and romance. "I am honored to work with Michael Kors," Wu enthuses, "it is synonymous with style, energy, and fashion and is always optimistic.”
The campaign was shot by renowned Chinese photographer Kai Z Feng, and convey the core values of speed, energy, and optimism of the brand. The line features the brand’s Qixi Graffiti print, which combined with hand-drawn hearts, stars, and phrases like “XOXO,” “LOVE,” and “KORS,” across a wide array of handbags, shoes, and jewelry.
This graffiti print is a nod to Wu’s youthful exuberance, as the phrases reflect teenage slang, and are written in a somewhat chaotic manner as if to reach a more youth-centric audience. The Qixi festival itself is centered on the Chinese folk tale of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, a pair of star-crossed lovers who were separated by the Milky Way. In Chinese, the word "qi" means "seven," and the word "xi" means "night," which symbolizes how the two may only meet once a year on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.
The collection features Michael Kors’ Cosmo Qixi Leather Trainer, a sleek, white, chunky rubber sole shoe that complete with graffiti print and a red heel. The shoe is 100 percent leather and includes a pull-tab on both the tongue and the back, as well as a lace-up fastening design. Inside, there is soft textile lining with a lightly padded foot-bit for comfort. Currently, the Cosmo Trainer is valued at P12,450.
Michael Kors is located at the Central Square in Bonifacio High Street Central, Greenbelt 5, Newport Mall, Power Plant Mall, Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-La Plaza Mall.