Burberry enlists acclaimed Chinese actor Chen Kun as its newest global brand ambassador, highlighting a strategic effort to regain its foothold in the Chinese luxury market. This significant move signifies a fresh chapter for the brand, following a turbulent period in China.
In an effort to revitalize its presence in the Chinese luxury market, Burberry has appointed celebrated actor and cultural icon Chen Kun as its latest global brand ambassador. The announcement comes after a challenging chapter for the brand in the wake of the Xinjiang cotton controversy in 2021.
The collaboration between Burberry and Chen Kun will be officially revealed at the China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan Island, a well-known duty-free shopping hotspot often referred to as the “Hawaii of China“. The partnership represents a crucial milestone for the brand, as it aims to reconnect with the Chinese market.
Chen’s relationship with Burberry dates back to 2011 when he attended fashion shows during Christopher Bailey’s tenure. In a statement, Chen expressed his admiration for the brand, saying, “I have always admired Burberry for its timelessness and innovation, and I am inspired by its breakthroughs in classic heritage and modern fashion. I look forward to breaking boundaries and writing more stories together in the future with Burberry“.
The partnership will be launched with a series of images featuring the 47-year-old actor dressed in Burberry’s iconic beige trench coat, set against the backdrop of a mangrove conservation and restoration area on Hainan Island. This initiative is supported by Burberry as part of the brand’s commitment to global conservation efforts.
Throughout his two-decade career, Chen has earned critical acclaim and box office success for numerous film roles. Additionally, he is the co-founder of The Dome Studio, alongside Chanel ambassador Zhou Xun and director Chen Guofu, where they actively support emerging talent in the Chinese entertainment industry.
Chen’s appointment as Burberry’s first global ambassador from China since the Xinjiang cotton incident underscores the brand’s determination to rekindle its relationship with the Chinese market. The brand faced backlash after the controversy, with former collaborators Zhou Dongyu and Song Weilong terminating their endorsement deals and Tencent’s popular video game “Honor of Kings” canceling its virtual costume collaboration with Burberry.
China’s recent reopening to the world signals a willingness to reestablish ties with the West and move past previous disagreements. Last month, Versace, another brand caught in China’s geopolitical storm for a controversial t-shirt design, appointed singer Chris Lee as its latest ambassador. Her presence at the brand’s Los Angeles show garnered significant exposure on Chinese social media.
Chen Kun’s appointment as Burberry‘s global brand ambassador marks a new chapter for the brand in China and signifies a shift in China’s relationship with the West. As luxury brands continue to navigate the intricacies of the Chinese market, forging partnerships with influential figures like Chen Kun can help cultivate deeper connections and pave the way for future success.