Digital Cover: It's Angelababy!

Digital Cover: It's Angelababy!

Digital Cover: It's Angelababy!

Meet the international, multi-hyphenate it-girl you need to know.

Meet the international, multi-hyphenate it-girl you need to know.

Photography: Connor Franta

Styling: Christian Stroble

Text: Ian David Monroe

For New Yorkers not well tapped into Chinese culture or didn’t catch Independence Day: Resurgence, the name Angelababy probably means very little. But for a throng of fans ten times larger than the population of NYC, Angelababy is a household name. With a staggering social following surpassing 100 million, the Chinese actress is easily one of the most famous people in her country, a country making a major step on the global stage in fashion. It’s no surprise then that she is often referred to as the “Kim Kardashian of the East.” There are, however, others that make for a better comparison. 

Like Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman, Angelababy is a brand ambassador for Dior, sitting front row at the brand’s international runway shows and helping fete launches. In China, brand ambassadorships are an incredible honor and not chosen lightly. At the time of Angelababy’s appoint, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano told WWD that social influence had little to do with the choosing. "When we do partnerships with someone, it's not about the number of followers, not about the number of Millennials she can capture or not. We're good at having ambassadors that have the kind of elegance that we like,” he says. Angelababy’s elegance and poise are reminiscent of her favorite actress: Audrey Hepburn. “She is the one and only,” she says.  

On the day of this shoot, Angelababy brings her 3-year-old son, known affectionately in China as “Little Sponge.” They wore matching outfits and were practically inseparable except for the moments Angelababy stepped in front of the camera. “My son is my sunshine. I enjoy every single moment and part of motherhood,” she says, adding, “I want to spend as much time as I can with my child; I don’t want to miss a second. He brings so much more joy and happiness than I have ever experienced before. We play together like friends, and I hope that doesn’t change as he grows,” she says on her desire to strike a perfect work-life balance. 

Given the extreme celebrity of his parents, “Little Sponge” is surprisingly rarely seen in photos, and that’s exactly how Angelababy wants to keep it. When he’s old enough, he can choose on his own whether he’d like to step into the spotlight, because a well-developed childhood is important. It’s in those early years, where Angelababy fell in love with fashion, often playing dress up in the fashion store her father ran in Shanghai. When asked what advice she’d give to her younger self, she says, “Never give up on yourself and do your best at everything.” And that’s just what she’s doing today. 

Professionally, Angelababy has her sights set on continuing her career in television. “I'm working on new commercial productions, reality TV shows, TV dramas, fashion magazines covers, and some public welfare projects.” And is there anything she hasn’t done yet but wants to? “I don’t set a limit. Maybe I will try everything if possible.”

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