China's Top Male Model Hu Bing Is London's First International Fashion Envoy
The 2015 London Men's Fashion Week took off on a promising note for China with the appointment of top male model Hu Bing as fashion ambassador. The British Fashion Council is shifting all eyes on the mainland for its capacity to reel in a huge market for luxury men's wear and drafting Hu as its first international envoy is seen as a clever move. China is increasingly becoming an influential hub for luxury men's apparel in Asia, with the rising interest among Chinese men to improve self-image. Dylan Jones, chairman of the London Collections Men (LCM), expressed his pride in tapping Hu to bring British brands closer to Asia.
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"His [Hu] enormous influence, knowledge of the Chinese market, and enthusiasm for fashion makes him a perfect choice," Time quoted Jones.
The 45-year-old Hu has been in the fashion industry for more than 20 years. Since his launch as the first Chinese male model to walk international runways, Hu has graced campaigns of many top fashion brands, including Gucci, Cartier, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana. Aside from modeling, Hu is also a famous actor, singer, philanthropist, and former member of the Chinese National Rowing Team. His popularity is overwhelming that he has 10 million followers on Weibo, China's biggest microblogging site.
Early in his appointment, Hu already has a goal: to make London Fashion Week the top of its kind in five years. He recognizes that so much has to be done when it comes to making the Chinese market understand and appreciate the distinction of "British fashion" from "European fashion." Hu aims to boost the trend among Chinese men who "pay greater attention to their personal appearance and pursuit of a better lifestyle," Jing Daily cited.
According to Business Insider, Euromonitor International proclaimed China as the fifth largest market for luxury RTW for men in 2014. The rank is expected to leap a greater height in 2017, being second only to the United States. In fact, Chinese investments steered the game for established British brands in Asia, including Gieves & Hawkes, Kilgour, and Hardy Amies.
In line with his role, Hu will encourage young Chinese designers who want to showcase their collection in London and educate British fashion houses about the dynamics of the Chinese market. Eliminating the stereotype and highlighting the Chinese people's interest in new things are only few of Hu's tasks to bridge London to China.
"You need to know the real China . . . Things happen too fast in China," Time cited Hu.