The world’s largest multi-brand luxury retailer NET-A-PORTER has just announced to team up with Shanghai art fair ART021 (directed by powerhouse Kylie Ying) to launch the “Incredible Female Artist Award,” a new format aimed at boosting contemporary female Chinese artists.
The announcement revealed Chinese actress Tan Zhuo to be the judge for the new activation. Furthermore, a group of 10 emerging female artists have been nominated to submit work themed around the phrase “She Says”. Submissions will be presented in a group exhibition at JINGART, the annual Beijing art fair run by ART021, where a panel of five art industry professionals and Tan will judge. The winner will be exhibited at NET-A-PORTER’s booth at the 2021 ART021 fair in November.
There’s an e-commerce element to the project with NET-A-PORTER selecting elements from the 10 artistic responses to “She Says” and creating tote bags which will be sold on the brand`s official Tmall flagship store. All profits will then be donated to a Shanghai foundation geared towards supporting female artists. For ART021, the collaboration raises its awareness into a new, fashion savvy audience, while NET-A-PORTER aims to benefit from being associated with a powerful cultural brand.
But in China contemporary art, high-end fashion, and celebrity sharing space in China is nothing new and the last edition of ART021 past November was a playground for art and luxury collaborations. But in terms of going beyond a classical artist x brand collab and adressing female empowerment, NET-A-PORTER’s “Incredible Female Artist Award” is smart means of speaking to women’s issues, art, and fashion, and in doing so, smartly collaborating with women driving force of the global luxury industry.