Burberry appoints Chinese star Chen Kun as global brand ambassador

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Burberry x Chen Kun

Burberry announces the appointment of renowned Chinese actor Chen Kun as their latest global brand ambassador, signaling a strategic move to strengthen their presence in the Chinese luxury market.

This partnership comes after a challenging period for the brand in China and signifies a new chapter in Burberry’s history.

Burberry is set to make a bold statement in the Chinese luxury market by naming Chen Kun, an accomplished actor and cultural icon, as its latest global brand ambassador. The announcement will be made at the China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan Island, a popular duty-free shopping destination known as the “Hawaii of China.” The collaboration marks a significant milestone for Burberry in China, following a challenging period after the Xinjiang cotton controversy in March 2021.

Burberry x Chen Kun

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Chen Kun’s long-standing relationship with Burberry dates back to 2011, when he attended the brand’s fashion shows during Christopher Bailey’s tenure. In a statement, Chen expressed his admiration for Burberry, 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 Chen, 47, donning Burberry’s iconic beige trench coat 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.

With a career spanning two decades, Chen has earned critical acclaim and box office success for his roles in numerous films. He is also the co-founder of The Dome Studio, alongside Chanel ambassador Zhou Xun and director Chen Guofu, where they actively support young talents in the Chinese entertainment industry.

Chen’s appointment as Burberry’s first global ambassador from China since the Xinjiang cotton debacle highlights the brand’s intention to reconnect with the Chinese market. In the wake of the controversy, Burberry faced backlash, 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 the brand. Burberry is now no longer associated with the Better Cotton Initiative.

However, as China reopened its doors to the world in January, the country seems ready to reestablish ties with the West and move past previous disagreements. Last month, Versace, another brand embroiled 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 not only marks a new chapter for the brand in China but also signals a shift in China’s relationship with the West. As luxury brands continue to navigate the complexities of the Chinese market, partnerships with influential figures like Chen Kun can help foster deeper connections and pave the way for future success.

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