Vancouverite Godfrey Gao was recently chosen to be the new face of Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2011 Ready-to-Wear campaign. This is the first time that the 157 year old luxury brand has ever featured an Asian model.
The first released image of the ad campaign shows the handsome Gao sporting the newest Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Elvis messenger bag. For the first time, Louis Vuitton is explicitly aiming to market to the Asian population. Asians have a voracious appetite for luxury brands, especially in China, where Louis Vuitton and other high-end fashion retailers have opened stores.
So who is the man behind the latest Louis Vuitton ad? Gao was born in Vancouver but was raised by a Taiwanese father and Malaysian mother. The 26 year old's interests include basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, taekwondo, wakeboarding, DJ, playing the drums, track-and-field and ice skating. In his English interview with UrbanWire, he talks about his love for food and cooking.
Gao graduated from Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver and studied at Capilano University. At 6'4" (195 cm), he has modelled in local fashion shows for Mantique, Torino and Ecko (G-Unit) clothing. His early acting credits consist of small roles in Star-gate SG-1 and Still-Life -- both of which were produced in his hometown.
He decided to base his career in Taiwan and was immediately embraced by the industry. Godfrey has appeared in seven Taiwanese dramas, from The Kid from Heaven in 2006 to the most recent Volleyball Lover. The paparazzi in Taiwan and Hong Kong has started to follow him everywhere, a sign of his increasing celebrity status. Even though this star is rising fast, Gao still remains a very humble, unassuming and soft-spoken guy known as 'G' among his closest friends. In spring, his face will be seen in magazines, websites and stores around the world.