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GuangYuYuan mixes medicine with fashion

In a Paris Fashion Week first, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) brand, GuangYuYuan Chinese Herbal Medicine, has sponsored a runway show.

With a history of nearly 500 years, it is the oldest TCM brand in China. GuangYuYuan board chairman Guo Jiaxue says the brand’s Paris Fashion Week campaign is all about connecting with younger consumers.

“We are the oldest of the ‘big four’ TCM brands, so it’s easy to mistake us for being old fashioned. Today, we are reinterpreting our legacy with innovation and flair.”

Its global debut in Paris was as a sponsor for fashion designer Liu Qing, also known as Big-King. It was also his first Paris runway show.

Fashion show - GuangYuYuan 1

Big-King typifies the young customer GuangYuYuan is seeking out. At the show, he revealed 10 modern looks using elements inspired by traditional Chinese motifs and themes. The event was attended by celebrities such Celina Jade, and representatives from top fashion houses including Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin presents GuangYuYuan Chairman Guo Jiaxue with an award for "Most Influential and Innovative International Brand" at the 2017 Select Fashion Awards

The unusual collaboration between a TCM brand and fashion design was the brainchild of new hire Wang Xinyu, GM GuangYuYuan’s brand centre. Wang is leading the company through a marketing modernisation strategy. The runway show was co-organised with tech giant Tencent.

Founded in 1541, GuangYuYuan was acquired by pharmaceutical conglomerate Xi’an Dongsheng Group in 2003, and in 2006 the Chinese Ministry of Commerce gave the brand its “Time-Honoured Brand” appellation. Two of GuangYuYuan’s oldest products have been declared to be part of China’s intangible cultural heritage, and their formulas have been named national secrets.

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