China's film and TV stars are increasingly becoming the face of European and British brands. From perfumes to makeup, fashion and food, many are partnering up with international brands to expand in China's booming consumer market. Maryam Behmard reports.
From high-end designers like Burberry and Chanel, to high street darlings like Top Shop and Mulberry, many European brands are teaming up with Chinese stars, of stage, screen and music to strengthen their presence in China's robust consumer market. While the idea isn't new, the likes of Gong Li and Lucy Liu are regular ambassadors for European brands, what is new - is their influence over the brands style and direction targeting China's market, which in 2010 was worth an estimated $1.7 trillion. And new research projects the domestic consumer market to grow to $16 trillion within a decade. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LINDA DONG, CEO, SSRJ RETAIL, (BEIJING )SAYING: ''Not only are celebrities major influencers, but they're actually the key trend-setters. Outside of China there are a lot of design houses and alot of people will follow them, but here in China the mass majority of people look at what celebrities are wearing and how they're styling it." But designers and international brands have realized it's not easy to tap into and grow in China's consumer market. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KEVIN GESSAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR PMK BNC, SAYING: ''It's not one size fits all. So especially in Europe, You have to look at the market and you have to understand the minutia in that market. And in Asia it's the same thing." Local U.K. brands like - Lavish Alice - are also taking it one step further. Teaming up with stars like Liu Shishi to design a clothing line from scratch. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Lee Bloor, Director, LAVISH ALICE, SAYING: "It was super important that we got it right from the beginning. Because there are alot of international retailers that have either pulled back or scaled down operations or pulled out all together, and that's where Liu Shishi steps in, really influential really respected girl next door kind of movie star." Joining forces with Chinese stars also adds a taste of the Far East to international trends, suggesting - where consumers are spending - sets the tone for future trending.