The luxury fashion house Prada appointed the renowned Chinese basketball player, Shuyu Yang, as their latest brand ambassador.
Known for her prowess on the basketball court, Shuyu Yang has risen to national prominence, amassing more than 3 million followers on Weibo, China’s leading microblogging site. Her exceptional skills, which led China to secure a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in the women’s 3×3 basketball tournament, has certainly contributed to her mass appeal. However, her allure extends beyond her sporting abilities.
Yang’s androgynous style has resonated with a wide demographic, carving out a space for herself in a market that values both aesthetic diversity and gender neutrality. This is an appeal comparable to that of singer Chris Lee and Dior’s China ambassador Liu Yuxin, both celebrated for their gender-neutral fashion choices.
“Yang’s appointment underscores Prada’s commitment to embracing a broader representation of beauty and style, a concept that today’s discerning consumers value“, said a Prada spokesperson. “Her androgynous appeal and sporting prowess align perfectly with our brand ethos“.
Yang is not the first sportsperson to be appointed as Prada’s brand ambassador in China. The brand had earlier associated with Chinese table tennis champion and Olympic winner Ma Long. Furthermore, Prada featured four Chinese Olympic athletes, including Yang, in its Douyin campaign, demonstrating a clear shift in its strategy towards sports celebrities.
The pivot towards sports endorsements is a considered move, especially in the aftermath of the 2021 controversy involving former brand ambassador Zheng Shuang. By selecting ambassadors with positive public images and immense following, Prada aims to reestablish its brand image and continue to connect with its growing Chinese customer base.
Prada’s list of Chinese brand ambassadors also includes prominent figures from the entertainment industry like singer Cai Xukun, actor Li Xian and actress Chun Xia.