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Sports star gets model makeover

By Sun Yuanqing | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-27 07:38

Sports star gets model makeover

A photo from Lin Dan's new book. Photo provided to China Daily

Lin Dan is best known as the invincible "Super Dan" on the badminton court, but he is also pretty fierce in a designer suit.

Last week in Shanghai, the two-time Olympic badminton gold medal winner published an album of photos of himself in collaboration with Italian design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

A-listers, supermodels including Naomi Campell, Du Juan and Carina Lau, socialites and top clients, came to celebrate the new book at an extravagant banquet in the Shanghai Exhibition Center. DJs and dancers flown in from the UK kept the party going late into the night.

Styled by Gabbana and photographed by Dolce, the book depicts Lin as a new icon of masculinity. He poses in a variety of settings from a tailor's studio to a posh restaurant to a magnificent mansion.

The book, as well as T-shirts with Lin's image, are now available in all Dolce & Gabbana stores in China.

Dolce and Gabbana have dressed famous athletes from soccer club AC Milan to the Italian National Football Team. The Italian designers met Lin at a party in Beijing four years ago. A longtime fan of the brand, Lin soon bonded with the designers and became a frequent guest at their shows.

"The commanding and charismatic personality of Lin Dan has intrigued us since the first time we met. His aesthetic sensibility, his taste for beauty, his elegance and innate affinity for fashion impressed us immediately," Dolce and Gabbana write in the preface of the book.

Lin was named brand ambassador in 2013. The fashion-conscious athlete came up with the idea of making a photo book and the designers were delighted to collaborate with him on the project.

"Number one, he is Chinese. And this is the first time for us to collaborate with a Chinese sportsman. Number two, he has very good style and nice looks. It's not easy to find a sporty and popular champion with style. It's like David Beckham in Europe," says Gabbana.

The pictures were taken over the course of two years in different locations and with different collections.

The looks are a mix of classic Dolce & Gabbana, which the designers chose for Lin, and the more fashionable pieces, which Lin chose for himself.

"He is a new face of the new Chinese generation," Dolce says. "It could be surprising for the Chinese audience to see an athlete styled like a movie actor and icon."

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