CFI Take: While we like to think we did a good job profiling Fan Bingbing in our Sky Gods and Heavenly Queens article, this piece from our sister site Jing Daily takes a closer look at where Fan, considered China’s highest-paid actress, really makes her money: endorsements and fashion.
Among the top celebrities and film professionals who have gathered on the French Riviera for the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival is Fan Bingbing. The Chinese actress, who first turned heads at the event seven years ago when she wore Lawrence Xu’s sensational Dragon Robe on the red carpet, attends this year as a member of the jury for the competition—other jurors include Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, and Pedro Almodovar—for the Palme d’Or, the highest award given by the festival.
Along with Fan’s role at Cannes, another thing that has evolved is her fashion sensibility and her influence over luxury brands. All major brands are vying to dress this stunning lady who has been a known quantity in China since 1999 when she was featured in the television series “My Fair Princess” and has in recent years taken star turns in Hollywood blockbusters including Iron Man 3 and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
As expected, three dresses that Fan Bingbing wore during the opening night have quickly sparked heated debate among those in the Chinese media and online communities. She first appeared in a light blue gown from the Elie Saab Spring 2017 Couture Collection at the opening gala dinner. Chinese viewers generally like her look, which was much less flamboyant this year than in previous years, but was better suited to her professional role as a juror.
Fan later showed up for a photocall in a black-and-white piece from the Ralph & Russo Spring 2017 Couture. Before the kick-off event, Fan was spotted at the juror’s dinner at the Hotel Martinez in a white dress from the Chloe Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear collection.
This is the sixth time Fan has attended the film festival in Cannes. She followed her startling 2010 debut with a great number of dramatic looks. In 2015, she wore a sheer Marchesa gown covered with 3-D flowers and topped with a floral crown.
But Fan has also caused a raised eyebrow or two for frequently visiting the storied festival without representing a film. Some critics even called her a ”red carpet moocher.”
More recently, the actress’s image has undergone a change. She’s been awarded for films she’s appeared in at several A-list film festivals. In 2010, she won the Best Actress award for Buddha Mountain at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and in 2016, she won an award in the same category for I Am Not Madame Bovary at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain.
She is now more known for being a modern and independent woman. Forbes magazine reported that she was the fifth most highly-paid actress in the world in 2016, with a supposed pre-tax income of $17 million.
Fan’s success has also helped her gain recognition from luxury brands including Louis Vuitton. She is perhaps the brand’s favorite Chinese actress, having been invited to attend many important events. Before flying to Cannes, she made a stop in Tokyo, Japan where she shared the front row at Louis Vuitton’s 2018 Cruise Collection with international stars such as Sophie Turner and Jennifer Connelly.
We look forward to seeing what other styles Fan will choose on her 12-day sojourn on the French Riviera.
— This article originally appeared on China Film Insider‘s sister site, Jing Daily.