This Olympics offers big upside potential for sponsors hoping to make an impact on China’s huge emerging population. But China is also a land mine of potential downsides, and sponsors and advertisers risk being associated with some of the nation’s controversial policies that already have created worldwide protests during the torch ceremony and in the international press. A few of the issues that may steal the spotlight from the athletes at the Beijing Olympics are:
• Tibetan organizations, such as Students for a Free Tibet, have protested China’s human rights treatments of Tibet, calling for independence. China has banned ethnic Tibetans from working at the Games, fearing they may initiate protests.
• Other human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have voiced concern over China’s policies in Sudan’s Darfur region.
• China’s air is highly polluted, an issue the country has worked to improve before the Games. But for the athletes, whose lungs must be pristine at this level of competition, the air quality is still an issue, and some are delaying their arrivals to protect their lungs. U.S. athletes entering China now are sporting masks to filter the air.
• Never a country big on free speech, China had promised to allow open media access during the Olympics, but Human Rights Watch has accused the country of failing to follow through with its pledge. Sites at the Games with controversial content, such as protests and Tiananmen Square, likely will be off limits to journalists.
• Monday’s deadly ambush, which killed 16 in China’s majority Muslim northwest region, has fueled ongoing terrorism fears for the Olympics. Some have speculated that China would use the heightened Olympics security as a pretext to crack down on long-standing issues with the Uighur minority group, part of which (the East Turkestan Islamic Movement) has been blamed for this week’s attack. China has called the group terrorists and the greatest threat to the Olympics.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia