While K-pop stars are certainly in-demand where fashion is concerned, let us not forget the influence of Chinese celebrities.

Big names in China have a huge following too, and luxury brands are quick to capitalise on this. Xiao Zhan for example, was recently named as the ambassador for Tod’s.

The actor and singer will be bringing a fresh outlook to the classic Italian leather goods brand. He is described as having a “powerful presence”, balanced with a “unique charm”.

Also known as Sean Xiao, the 29-year-old has starred in dramas such as Douluo Continent (2021), The Wolf (2020), The Untamed (2019) and Joy Of Life (2019).

His April 2020 music single Made To Love set the Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling digital album within 24 hours of release. It had a sales volume of 25.48 million.

Xiao Zhan’s followers on Chinese microblogging site Weibo totals more than 29 million. He is also considered the most influential on the platform, with the most interactions.

In the past, he has endorsed Estee Lauder’s fragrance and beauty line. He made his runway debut for Li Ning in April this year.

For the new Tod’s campaign, he is photographed in a selection of limited-edition items.

In one photo, he sports a chic hoodie, plus a new belt bag and sneakers, all designed just for him. For another look, he wears a blue navy T-shirt paired with a classic suede shirt jacket and casual-styled sneakers – further matched with a sling bag.

This is not entirely a new thing for Chinese celebrities though. Earlier this year, Mulan star Liu Yifei was named as the face of Louis Vuitton in China.

Other luxury brands looking East (specifically China) include Burberry, Cartier, Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Emporio Armani, Tiffany & Co and more.

Although, the phenomenon isn’t so much about global appeal – rather, a testament to the spending power of Chinese consumers.

In November last year, Forbes reported that China is headed to be the world’s largest luxury market by 2025.

A research report jointly published by Bain & Company and Tmall Luxury Division in December stated that while the global luxury market shrank by 23 percent in 2020, mainland China’s market share nearly doubled. It grew from about 11 percent to 20 percent.

It further added that the country’s millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) and Gen Z consumers (born after 1995) are fueling growth in the luxury sector and exert powerful influence over brands’ increased digitisation.

Thus, it is only natural that luxury brands are going into overdrive to recruit celebrities that will appeal to China’s consumers.