Prada comes out swinging in the new year with Jia Ling sponsorship

Grossing over 3 billion RMB (417.13 million USD), Jia Ling’s new film YOLO has topped the CNY box office. Recently, discerning netizens noticed that many pieces from her roadshow outfits were from one luxury fashion brand – Prada. Incidentally, Jia sports Prada from head to toe in her latest cover shoot with Harper’s Bazaar.

Directed and starring herself, Jia’s sophomore film as a director, YOLO is a remake of the 2014 Japanese film 100 Yen Love. YOLO tells the story of Leying, played by Jia, a socially withdrawn young woman who picks her life up after learning boxing. The film went viral before release, having at one time 10 topics on the Hot Search list on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent.

Compared to its original, the plot has a distinct element, which became the focus of the online discourse surrounding the film: Jia’s weight loss. Jia had always been known as a plus-size comedian and actress, and oftentimes her weight served as her jokes. As Leying learns to box in the film, Jia was determined to shed her weight for the character development.

In her exclusive interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Jia details her journey of weight loss and muscle gain, as well as the training and filming processes for the film. Jia stresses that she did not make the film to lose weight as she doesn’t feel there was anything wrong with her previous weight. The weight loss was purely for the athletic development of the character Leying.

Irrespective of aesthetics, the film and its behind-the-scenes story is an inspirational tale of a woman’s (and her character’s) will. Prada, ever supportive of women empowerment, which includes their partnership with China’s national women’s football team, is quick to leverage its sponsorship with Jia Ling. From roadshows before the nationwide release of YOLO to the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar after the viral success of the film, the team-up between the luxury brand and the director/actress fit like a glove.

By sponsoring Jia’s wardrobe during the press tour, Prada gained a strong association with the inspirational image of Jia Ling, with commenters on social media praising that they found the right partner. Meanwhile Jia’s ascension to the cover of Harper’s Bazaar created further inspiration for social media, so the partnership is a win-win situation for all involved.


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