LONDON — While uncertainty looms over LVMH’s $16.2-billion offer for Tiffany & Co., the American jewelry house is moving ahead with its expansion plan in China, appointing actor-singer Jackson Yee as ambassador in the region on Wednesday.
His appointment was announced with an energetic short video that showed the star dancing on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, paying tribute to the famous West Side Story staircase scene. The video, which generated nearly 70 million impressions and 629,000 mentions on Weibo within hours, shows Yee wearing rose gold bracelets and diamond-studded rings from the T1 collection.
Tiffany & Co. told WWD last year that it has big plans for China when it brought the dazzling “Vision and Virtuosity” exhibition to Shanghai’s Fosun Foundation. Although the brand is a storied American jeweler, it has had less awareness and traction in the market than European peers like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. The brand soon after opened a flagship store inside Shanghai’s Hong Kong Plaza, along with a Blue Box Café, the cafe concept decked out in the brand’s signature robin’s egg blue shade.
The choice to have Yee wear rose gold men’s jewelry in the campaign appears to be a strategic one. Reed Krakoff, Tiffany’s chief artistic director mentioned earlier to WWD that rose gold dominates in popularity for the Chinese market, and its men’s jewelry could resonate especially well in the market.
“In China, the men’s customer is much more engaged, much more enthusiastic about men’s fashion and much more comfortable with wearing jewelry, cosmetics, fashion all these different categories,” Krakoff said at the time. “The opportunity is really quite big.”
Yee was born in 2000 and became popular as a member of the band TFBoys. Now with 84 million Weibo followers, he has been the face for numerous brands in China including Adidas, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy Beauty, Rimowa, Armani Beauty, BMW and McDonald’s.
His performance in the romantic film “Better Days” garnered the approval of critics, and earned a Best New Performer Award at the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards last year.