Tiananmen Square, selfies and a hutong pedicab star in Dolce & Gabbana’s Beijing social media shoot ahead of fashion show
Instagram campaign shot to promote Italian fashion brand’s couture show in Chinese capital, where its courting of China’s newly wealthy is likely to reap rich rewards
Tiananmen Square in Beijing is an unlikely place for an impromptu fashion shoot, but the Morelli Brothers managed it for Dolce & Gabbana’s social media feed… and one by one the images started popping up on Instagram – banned in China. Oh, the irony: in one shot Mao Zedong’s portrait peeks out from behind a Chinese model’s shoulder, as a local passer-by wearing a baseball cap smiles in front.
In another image, model couples walk arm in arm through the square amongst bemused locals and Chinese tourists. Others show one of the famous pedicabs that take you around the city’s hutongs, and a model in green floral dress emerging from a Beijing taxi as the driver sits, surly-faced, in his seat.
Dolce & Gabbana like to localise, celebrate and poke fun at the status quo. The Italian brand used the tongue-in-cheek social media campaign shot around the Chinese capital to mark the countdown to its first couture show and collection dedicated to China (on April 21). It’s something Dolce & Gabbana has done whenever it has taken its Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria shows outside its Milan headquarters; previous destinations have included Naples and Hong Kong, where the brand posted shots of Hong Kong street scenes and night markets on social media before presenting its couture collections.
This week’s show in Beijing is a continuation of the Greater China charm offensive begun in Hong Kong by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in December. Then, their show at The Peninsula hotel featured more than 100 looks for men and women and an all-Chinese cast of models. Friday’s show in Beijing will be another ode to China. As with the brand’s other Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria shows, each outfit shown is unique; naturally, their exclusivity is reflected in the prices.
Dolce & Gabbana has, cleverly, become the first big Western luxury fashion brand to localise its couture collection to appeal to the growing ranks of Chinese millionaires. I’m predicting it will reap handsome rewards.