Emma Raducanu, Jung Ho-yeon and luxury brand Draft

The dust had barely settled on Emma Raducanu’s victory at the US Open before mainstream British media began to speculate on her awaiting wealth empire.

“Emma Raducanu is on her way to becoming a billion pound athlete as she applies for her own brand,” reads a quintessentially enthralling article from The Sun, citing the very lawyer, Anthony Brierley, who had filed the application. The only catch in the story was that Brierley had withdrawn his candidacy two days before the victory.

When he did it initially, it was without permission from the Raducanu team.

Even though the “scoop” was grossly inaccurate, it is only a matter of time before the 18-year-old sensation seeks to protect her name in law. Since Wayne Rooney’s breakthrough at the age of 16 in 2002, there has not been a revolutionary athlete who has garnered so much attention, with some media going so far as to compare the fervor to Beatlemania.

Naturally, brands have noticed.

Everyone, from Uniqlo to Aston Martin to Lacoste, has been named as future partners, while Tiffany & Co. has already made her a member of the family. Inevitably, haute couture followed suit.

On October 19, Raducanu was announced as Dior’s Global Ambassador. The announcement came as a surprise, given that she had recently appeared at this year’s Met Gala in a Chanel look.

“[Raducanu] – winner of the US Open 2021 – has already shaken up the codes with his unique style of play, his multicultural personality, his authenticity and his extraordinary career “, we can read in the press release.

The appeal of Raducanu is obvious. Born in Canada to Romanian and Chinese parents, she is a citizen of the world who is fluent in Mandarin in addition to English, which is handy given that the United States and Asia-Pacific are two growth markets. keys for luxury brands. Assuming her form continues, it’s a certainty that, in the same vein as Naomi Osaka, her fame will transcend far beyond the British shores.

One week before Raducanu’s Dior announcement, Squid game Actress Jung Ho-yeon announced a similar ambassadorial post for Louis Vuitton in an Instagram post that has since racked up 7.6 million likes.

Ho-yeon is the rising star of Netflix’s biggest series. Even though she is 10 years older than Raducanu and has been well known to Korean audiences for a minute, her overnight rise to world fame has been even more meteoric.

Prior to the show’s launch, Ho-yeon had 400,000 Instagram followers and now has 20 million. On a smaller, but still impressive scale, Raducanu entered the US Open with just over 400,000 Instagram followers, which rose to 1.8 million by the end of the tournament.

This formidable presence on social networks is a defining characteristic of the new guard.

Brands have always sought to recruit the best talent, but the speed at which they are now moving to do so is unprecedented. Established names aren’t completely out of date, but battle lines have changed, and Gen Z and Millennial trendy have become real objects of obsession. This makes sense, given how quickly pop culture is changing these days.

It’s almost like a fantasy football game, with talent scouts on the prowl everywhere – sports, TV, music, the arts – to attract the most prominent talent. Simply put, these prodigies have Stan armies online and cross-marketing potential that their predecessors didn’t; see the K-Pop world for proof.

Brands want to enter their worlds early and suck them in as if they were building their own Avengersstyle lists.

Looking at it the other way around, maybe the talent will be tilted towards one “team” over the other if there are increasingly unique carrots – join Gucci for X amount dollars, or do you sign with Givenchy for a considerably smaller sum, albeit with your own capsule collection promised down the line?

As a quote often mistakenly attributed to Andy Warhol puts it: “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.

Now, it seems just as likely that fleeting fame will come with a major contract with a fashion brand.


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