Prada has named Chinese basketball player Shuyu Yang as its latest brand ambassador.
The athlete appears in a series of photos and a short film wearing pieces from the brand’s latest men’s collection and playing with a red basketball, or listening to music from a vintage turntable.
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With more than 3 million followers on Weibo, China’s own Twitter, Yang reached national fame by helping China score a bronze medal in the women’s 3×3 basketball tournament in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Her gender-neutral appearance attracts a following similar to the likes of singer Chris Lee, who is the face of both Gucci and Versace, as well as Dior’s China ambassador Liu Yuxin. Both Lee and Liu are known for their androgynous way of dressing.
Yang is the second sports superstar that Prada appointed as a face for China. The brand named Chinese table tennis player and Olympic champion Ma Long as a brand ambassador ahead of its men’s fall 2022 show last year.
The brand also dressed four Chinese Olympic athletes last year for its Douyin campaign, featuring Yang, Tokyo Olympics shot put gold medalist Gong Lijiao, marathon runner Li Zhixuan, and China women’s national water polo team member, Xiong Dunhan.
This shift in Prada’s celebrity-endorsement strategy in China comes after it received backlash in 2021 as former brand ambassador Zheng Shuang was caught in a highly publicized child dispute.
The brand’s other ambassadors from China include singer Cai Xukun, whose appearance at Prada’s fall 2023 show created $1.37 million and $2.2 million in earned media value on Instagram and on Weibo, respectively, actor Li Xian, and actress Chun Xia.
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