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Simu Liu is once again showcasing his martial arts chops (as well as many other creative tricks of his trade), this time for luxury outerwear brand Nobis. The Chinese-Canadian star is the latest global brand ambassador for the Toronto-based label, which is launching a new winterwear collection and a cinematic campaign to celebrate its 15th anniversary and its new celebrity face.
The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings actor suits up in the Canadian company’s fashion-meets-function parkas and puffer jackets ($495 to $1,195) in a collection of vignettes that reveal his talents in music, sports and writing. One scene sees Liu boxing and backflipping in a white hooded reversible parka with a tactical vest, while another short features the 32-year-old former stuntman — though he still performs his own moves — wearing the sleek down-filled Yves coat while writing a script in the director’s chair.
And a VHS-style video (complete with rewinds) offers a behind-the-scenes peek of the production and crew, which was comprised of 30 percent people of color — a personal request of Liu’s.
“For me, it’s really important to support Asian creatives including Asian entrepreneurs, tastemakers and changemakers,” Liu says in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “This is what really drew me to Nobis. The spirit of Nobis [and co-founder Kevin Au-Yeung] celebrates that same kind of excellence… A partnership is so much more than just endorsing a specific product, it’s all about ensuring our core values align. And for me that’s what made me feel connected to Nobis.”
Nobis was co-founded by Kevin Au-Yeung, an investment banker before Nobis; and Robin Yates, a former vice president of Canada Goose.
He continues: “I knew right from the start that my values and the importance of inclusion was going to be a match with Nobis. As part of this partnership, I asked an inclusion rider to ensure there were 30 percent [people of color] across our entire crew, and seeing everyone on set [during filming], this was easily met. This is just one example that speaks to Nobis and I’s alignment as partners and the way we support each other.”
Au-Yeung and Yates say that Liu “embodies our core values both as a brand and as Canadians… Our goal is to challenge conventions and celebrate individuality proudly, which we believe aligns seamlessly with [his] vision to lead with excellence, passion, and inclusivity.”
Marvel’s first onscreen Asian superhero is a well-documented advocate for representation in Hollywood, four years after the record-breaking Crazy Rich Asians, which earned $238.8 million at the box office worldwide. Shang-Chi became the first pandemic-era film to hit $200 million in North America, and was nearing $370 million globally at the beginning of October.
Calling his new ambassadorship a “personal” one, Liu says in the statement that the role has “provided me with the chance to do my part in paving the way for those denied opportunities based on their ethnicity, and help inspire them to tell their stories and bring their voices to the forefront. I am proud to stand with Nobis and the notion of defying society’s parameters through fashion.”
As for his fellow Great White Northerners, Liu explains that Nobis’ is his go-to “for the brutal Canadian winters because they are comfortable, breathable and are all around just my favorite jackets to wear during the winter months.”
See more from the campaign and shop Nobis’ new fall/winter collection online at nobis.com.
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Taraji P. Henson