Twenty-four-year-old Mr Bags, real name Tao Liang, boasts 3 million followers on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, and WeChat, a messaging and ecommerce app, and is said by PR staffers to command tens of thousands of dollars per post from brands seeking sales among the world’s biggest luxury consumers, reports a global media Monday.
According to consultancy Bain, in 2016 Chinese shoppers were responsible for 30 per cent of luxury purchases, more than any other nationality.
He is one of a league of fashion bloggers — a subset of what the industry calls key opinion leaders (KOLs) — who are at the vanguard of luxury marketing. Bloggers have filled a void on the internet in China, ahead of luxury fashion brands and publishers, say analysts at Exane BNP Paribas, a French bank, which ranked Mr Bags third on its list of China’s top 10 fashion bloggers.
As bloggers rise in influence, the lines between journalism and promotion have become blurred. Several top bloggers have their own stores on WeChat, where they sell products directly, taking a cut of the proceeds — the model used by Mr Tao for his Valentine’s promotion.