Photo: Peng Liyuan
The popularity of China’s new first lady, Peng Liyuan, who on her first trip abroad has received much praise for her elegance, has increased interest in the fashion brands of the Asian giant.
Not Louis Vuitton, not Chanel, not Hermes ... This week, Chinese women who want to be fashionable are flocking en masse to the stores of a local company, Exception, because that is the brand of handbag and overcoat that Peng was seen with last weekend upon her arrival in Moscow on the first state visit abroad by President Xi Jinping.
Many Chinese women this week have gone to the franchise’s stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu to request black handbags just like the one carried by Peng in Russia, although the particular model she used was specially made for her.
In fact, the prices of Chinese fashion brands have jumped on the Shanghai stock market after predictions that the companies will be able to capitalize on the first lady’s success.
The good impression made by Peng, 50, continued in Tanzania, the second stop on Xi’s tour, where she disembarked from the presidential jet wearing a radiant white dress and carrying a matching purse.
It is a big opportunity for Chinese fashion companies, experts say, along the same lines as when Michelle Obama or Carla Bruni have promoted local brands.
Peng has been famous for three decades in China, quite apart from her marriage to her current husband, given that she is a well-known soprano who has performed at televised galas.
Since her husband’s political rise, she has almost completely forsaken the stage however, shifting her activities into beneficial causes such as supporting people infected with the HIV virus or suffering from AIDS.