Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Advertorial Wedding

Angelababy wearing a Chaumet diamond tiara
French jeweller Chaumet is defying the bleak retail economy thanks to its sponsorship of the celebrity wedding between actors Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming in October last year.

On social media the bride showed off a six-carat, US$1.6 million wedding ring that was quickly dubbed the "Angelababy Ring" by millions of netizens.

The jewellery house has a long history of being the official jewellery to Emperor Napoleon I, making the crowns and ceremonial jewels for him and his wife Empress Josephine as well as other monarchs since the late 1700s. But it has lost out in terms of brand recognition, because well, you don't need a tiara everyday.

The infamous "Angelababy ring" with a six-carat diamond
Nevertheless, this massive wedding held at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre has hit the jackpot for Chaumet, says chief executive Jean-Marc Mansvelt.

He recalled the overwhelming response from Chinese clients for the Josephine Airgrett Imperiale ring, as well as for two antique diamond tiaras Angelababy wore at her wedding.

Mansvelt is quick to point out many shoppers flock to the Chaumet stores in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, asking for the "Angelababy ring", but "it was not something that was originally designed for her," he says.

But do Chinese consumers care to know who Empress Josephine was?

And why should Mansvelt care anyway? He's seeing "more than double-digit growth" in revenue in greater China from its 20 boutiques on the mainland, five in Hong Kong and four in Taiwan.

There doesn't seem to be any thought about how over-the-top the wedding is, and how the bride and groom profited from the sponsorships and tie-ups with companies, pitching their stuff by wearing or using it.

No-frills couple Shu Qi and Stephen Fung
This contrasts starkly with the recent wedding of Taiwanese actress Shu Qi and Hong Kong-based actor and director Stephen Fung in September. She wore a pink dress from H&M given to her two years ago, and they didn't even have a wedding banquet.

Seems like you either do the full-on, with everything on top kind of wedding, or the other extreme of keeping it as plain as possible...

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