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Takeshi Kaneshiro, New Armani Guy

  • (Photo courtesy: China Daily)

Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion designer, is known for selecting the world's most attractive men to promote his internationally celebrated brand.

British soccer star David Beckham has modeled Armani underwear lines. Brazilian soccer player Kaka has posed for Armani Jeans. American actor Josh Hartnett can be seen smiling in magazine ads for Armani's fragrance, Diamonds for Men.

Now the designer has announced the new face of Emporio Armani's 2008 autumn and winter marketing campaign: Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro.

This marks the first time an Asian model has fronted a campaign for the Italian label.

"I am so happy that Kaneshiro joins the EA 2008 fall/winter campaign," says the designer. "He has an inborn attractiveness and looks so charming on and off the screen. His personality as well as good-looks perfectly match EA style, and that's why he is the very best man for EA collection."

Armani adds that Takeshi Kaneshiro's international appeal will be an asset for the campaign.

"He is the true idol in the Asian movie and fashion industry and also enjoys popularity in the Western countries."

For his part, the model says he is thrilled to be associated with the upscale Armani brand. "Armani is always the label I love," he says. "I admire Armani's achievement in the fashion industry--as well as his support for the movie industry."

The two men first met in 2006 when Armani was hired as a wardrobe consultant on a film in which the actor starred, Forlorn City.

"As an actor, I feel so pleasant to work with Armani, and it's my great pleasure to join the campaign for its new collection," says the actor.

The contract is reportedly worth 7.5 million yuan (US$1.09 million).

Kaneshiro's faced has recently graced other international marketing campaigns, including promotions for the Korean car Elantra and the French cosmetic brand Biotherm HOMM.

His first prominent modeling contract was with another Italian fashion label, Prada, which featured the actor in a marketing campaign a decade ago.

His latest acting credits include The House of Flying Daggers, directed by Zhang Yimou, and Red Cliff (Chibi), directed by John Woo.

The designer says he plans to open 13 new Armani boutique stores in China by the end of 2008. (By CHEN JIE/ China Daily/ ANN)

MySinchew 2008.07.22



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