It’s been a big week for Elite. Not only is the modeling agency celebrating the 28th edition of its annual Model Look Contest in Shanghai, it has also just announced the launch of its first Chinese branch in the same city.
This will encourage local shoots, boost Chinese models’ careers worldwide, and add Asia onto Western models’ radars, explained Elite World’s president Vick Mihaci.
This is hardly a surprising move considering China is the world’s second largest luxury consumer while production costs remain remarkably low. Efforts by big western brands to target the local market are endless, ranging from the soaring number of Western mags’ Chinese editions (including the local-only Elle Man or Harper’s Bazaar Art, to Hermès’ China-only brand Shang Xia, to big brands like Burberry, Chanel putting on shows in Shanghai or Prada putting on a show in Beijing.
But Elite’s new venture is a two-pronged effort: