China’s vibrant fashion industry has its own unique and fascinating terms to classify levels of luxury fashion brands: 6 Da Lan Xue and 8 Da Hong Xue (6大蓝血，8大红血 – lit. 6 big blue blood, 8 big red blood). They are among the top luxury fashion brands that many celebrities would be dying to endorse. Representing these brands can help them to uplift their reputation and increase commercial value.
The hierarchy of luxury brands
In his book “The Bling Dynasty: Why the Reign of Chinese Luxury Shoppers Has Only Just Begun,” Ewan Rambourg has created a brand pyramid to show the luxury power rank.
He points out that brands are the best way to show off wealth, thus, brands that too accessible become less attractive to rich buyers. For instance, Louis Vuitton is now considered a “brand for secretaries” in China.
However, from celebrities’ perspective, the brand rank from the world’s authoritative model website Models.com (MDC) is more impactful to celebrities as brands’ models. MDC evaluates and ranks brands based on how particular brands have influences on models’ endorsement performances and statuses.
This hierarchy does not mean that brands themselves are high or low in terms of reputation but only represents their influence on the development of the models.
Da Lan Xue brands > Da Hong Xue brands > Xiao Lan Xue brands
Da Lan Xue Brands/ Blue Chip Brands (大蓝血)
Da Lan Xue can be referred to as Blue Chip in English, but its literal meaning is “big blue blood”. The term “blue blood” originated from the wealthy and powerful ancient nobles who claimed that their blood was the noblest and purest, with blue blood flowing on them.
- Louis Vuitton
- Calvin Klein Collection*
*Calvin Klein Collection is a luxury branch of Calvin Klein, but Calvin Klein itself doesn’t belong to the list of 6 blue-chip brands.
Da Hong Xue Brands (大红血)
Da Hong Xue literally means “big red blood” which refers to 8 luxury brands following the 6 Blue Chip brands. Although they are not included in the 6 Da Lan Xue, they still play an important role in the fashion landscape.
- Giorgio Armani
- Saint Laurent
Some other sources include Dolce&Gabbana, Fendi, and Balenciaga as the new Da Hong Xue brands (which make 11 Da Hong Xue brands) but the “6 Da Lan Xue and 8 Da Hong Xue” model is more popular.
Xiao Lan Xue Brands (小蓝血)
Xiao Lan Xue literally means “little blue blood” which refers to luxury brands that are slightly less popular than Da Lan Xue and Da Hong Xue brands.
- Roberto Cavalli
- Elie Saab
- Oscardela Renta
- Tom Ford
- Michael Kors
- Hugo Boss
The lists could be updated based on brands’ businesses and MDC’s measurement mechanism. When it comes to celebrities’ endorsements, although brands’ positioning affects a good deal on the celebrities’ status, the contract value, benefits and resources that the brands offer play a great proportion on the actual value of the celebrities.