So much ink has been spilled about Eileen Gu that there remains very little left unsaid about the world champion freeskier. Her meteoric rise to stardom would obviously be credited to her outstanding athletic pursuits although only partially. Being a freeski prodigy certainly helped her career, but there’s more to 18-year-old Gu that endears her to Millennials and Gen Z-ers all over the world—plus scores of luxury and lifestyle companies looking for the perfect brand ambassador to reach that lucrative target segment.
It’s also not just her youth and beauty, even though the American-born-Chinese is stunning by any and all standards. Nowhere has she appeared that she hasn’t turned more than a few heads. Gu’s chiselled features and naturally athletic physique has fronted countless magazine covers and advertising campaigns for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci, Oakley, Beats By Dre, with more surely to come.
And they have. In June 2021, Tiffany & Co. signed her as one of three new brand ambassadors alongside Tracee Ellis-Ross and Anya Taylor-Joy. Gu also wore Tiffany & Co. high jewellery to the 2021 Met Gala.
Says Gu of this new partnership: “Wearing a beautiful piece of jewellery, especially one that is meaningful or motivational in a personal sense, is an inexorable feeling—it’s empowering, inspiring and exciting to express myself, to feel seen and heard without having to utter a single word,” adding, “I’m obsessed with the balance between elegant simplicity and striking boldness that the new T1 collection offers.”
Next, in January 2022, Swiss watchmaker IWC came a-calling, and Gu—one of only a few women professional freeskiers—aims to use her voice to drive change in her sport.
As she appears in the brand’s latest campaign, she states: “I always believed sport has no boundaries. It’s one of the best vehicles to unite people, promote understanding, forge friendships, and create bridges between cultures. With IWC, I share the absolute will to achieve perfection and the clear focus on excellence—values also represented by the other talented athletes in the brand’s universe. I am looking forward to our collaboration.”
That natural ease with which Gu finds parallels between two worlds is the likeliest reason for her global appeal. Fluent in Mandarin and English, combining beauty and strength, smashing gender stereotypes in her sport… she stands at the point where different worlds overlap, just as she represents the ideal cultural combination of East-meets-West—political beliefs notwithstanding.
With her million-dollar smile and that magnetic personality, Gu leads the pack in today’s line-up of young sporting heroes driving change in the world. Her authenticity and genuine love for fashion permeates everything she does. Gu’s fans know for true that worn underneath those thick skiing gloves are stacks of gold Tiffany rings.
At the end of the day, when not shredding snow on the slopes—or cramming for exams—or appearing on magazine covers—Gu is just doing what other fashion-loving girls do all day: eating, shopping, spending time with friends and family, finding happiness in their own ways, until the next challenge comes along.