As Western luxury fashion brands seek to break into the Chinese market, fashion PR expert Melvin Chua (Chai Wai Zhe), 45, is on hand to arrange a long list of celebrity appearances, shows, parties and exhibitions in the country for the likes of Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel and Lanvin.
The former advertising executive was born in the Philippines but has roots in China’s Fujian province. Following a degree in finance and business at the Wharton Business School, part of the University of Pennsylvania, Chua moved to Hong Kong and then Shanghai, where he led a team of 100 at advertising agency McCann Erickson. In 2004, he launched Ink Pak Communications, an agency specialising in events planning, promotions and celebrity collaborations to ease the entry into China for global luxury brands.
From his offices in Shanghai and Beijing, the ebullient Chua’s cross-cultural collaborations have included an ’Art of the Trench’ exhibit at Shanghai’s Burberry store, which included photographs of 50 Chinese celebrities wearing the iconic coats around the city. In Beijing, the 10th-anniversary bash for Alber Elbaz and Lanvin featured Chinese electro-pop and fashion sensation Shang Wenjie.