LONDON — The top 10 Chinese stars who attended fashion shows in Milan and Paris this season generated more than $49 million in earned media value across Weibo and Instagram, data compiled by influencer marketing agency Lefty revealed.

Lea Mao, marketing manager of Asia Pacific at Lefty, expected that the return of the Chinese might slow down the K-pop boom.

Despite the Chinese luxury market contracting by 10 percent in 2022, Bernstein said the market is set to grow by 13 percent in 2023, presenting an opportunity for brands to work alongside influencers in the space, especially across native platforms such as Weibo.

China used to be the leading market for luxury, but the effects of the pandemic saw brands focus on other growing markets such as South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam. As a result, brands activated influencers across these regions throughout fashion weeks — hence the K-pop boom,” she explained.

But with China fully reopening on Jan. 8, a slew of celebrities, buyers and the press from China have returned to the fashion calendar and took up big and key spaces at shows, sitting next to company owners or other major stars.

Mao also noticed that Chinese influencers this season “are ambitiously building their image overseas.”

Fans of Xiao Zhan wait for his arrival at Tod's fall 2023 show.

Fans of Xiao Zhan wait for his arrival at Tod’s fall 2023 show.

AFP via Getty Images

Take Xiao Zhan, for example, who is the face of both Gucci and Tod’s in China. The actor created an Instagram account during Milan Fashion Week and garnered more than 463,000 followers in a week. Xiao alone generated more than $9.3 million in earned media value on Weibo.

Meanwhile, musician Cai Xukun’s appearance at Prada created $1.37 million and $2.2 million in earned media value on Instagram and on Weibo, respectively.

Model Liu Wen and actress Liu Yifei also created millions of dollars worth of buzz for their respective appearances at Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

But the biggest social media winner from China this season was Liu Yuxin, the face of Dior in China. Her appearance alone represented half of the overall top 10 media value, generating $23.6 million in earned media value on Weibo, and $693,000 on Instagram.

In comparison, the top 10 global key opinion leaders amassed more than $75 million in earned media value this past Fashion Month.

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