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Chanel global ad with Asian model sees Chinese netizens split on Asian beauty ideals

Chanel global ad with Asian model sees Chinese netizens split on Asian beauty ideals

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The recent video ad of luxury brand Chanel has drawn mixed reactions from Chinese netizens, with many questioning if the Asian model was chosen to belittle the Chinese citizens. The luxury brand published three video ads globally upon the launch of its “Hydra Beauty” skincare series, featuring white, black and Asian girls as models respectively.  However, the video with the Asian model was called out by Chinese netizens for choosing a model who they described as stereotyping Asian faces, and vilifying Asians. Many also called out her features such as wide eyes and nose. 

However, some netizens commented on Chanel’s Weibo account that the model featured in the video ad is Korean Bomi Youn, and commented that the aesthetics of the East and the West should be diversified. The model has worked with various brands and magazines such as Triumph, Fendi, W Magazine, Vogue and more. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Chanel for a statement.

chanel model 1


In recent times,  global luxury brands have often faced the wrath of Chinese netizens for their depiction of Asian faces.  Last year, Dior faced a backlash in China after an image of a Chinese model with dark skin dressed in traditional attire holding a Dior bag made its rounds in the market. The image polarised netizens with some saying the brand was “smearing” the image of Chinese women, while others speaking up for the photo depicting a different type of beauty from the usual fair skin and large eyes attributes.

Most recently, Dior also faced another PR blow in China after introducing a mid-length pleated skirt, which is said to resemble an ancient Chinese horse-face skirt. Also known as "ma mian qun", the ancient skirt dates back to the 10th century Song dynasty and was commonly worn by women during the Ming and Qing  dynasties. An opinion piece on has accused that the Dior skirt is similar to the Chinese horse-face skirt, “When many details are the same, why is it shamelessly called a ‘new design’ and ‘hallmark Dior silhouette’?” questioned the commentary published by on 16 July 2022.  

Related articles:

Chanel withdraws duty-free business in Korea
Chanel speaks up after getting mocked for advent calendar on TikTok

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