ELLE Magazine


ELLE Magazine


How Kelly Prehn became the most powerful woman of fashion in China

From top model to powerful business woman

Model, Creative Director, Ambassador of British fashion, protector of animals – all these titles describe Kelly Prehn, a business woman who is considered one of the most influential people in China’s fashion scene.

But how did this British young woman found in China, replace the title of ‘model’ to that of Creative Director and become one of the most influential women in this region?

Even if you intensively follow the world fashion scene, it is likely that you may not have heard about the modest Kelly Prehn.

The successful British girl entered the world of fashion in the nineties, as a young high school student when discovered by the agency Models One during a school trip. She began to work in London, and her career headed upward when the famous Japanese makeup artist, Shu Uemura recognized and engaged as their constant model.

Prehn then began shooting campaigns for Chopard, Lancôme, The Body Shop and Selfridges and became a familiar face on the Chinese and the Japanese market, which is where she received early insights into the economy and the way the fashion industry.

By 2005, this young British star recognized the potential of the Asian market and the ways in which British brands there could benefit, and slowly began to build the way to success.

Due to the fact that until then she had worked as a top model and worked mainly with cosmetic brands, Kelly began to write in the beauty department of the South China Morning Post, at that time, the SCMP was the most profitable newspaper in the world.

In her writing, Kelly focused on popular brands such as Bobbi Brown and gradually came to collaborate with British brands such as Elemis, Aromatherapy Associates and Neal’s Yard, which were suitable for branding in the Asian market.

This proved to be very successful and Prehn soon realized that she could contribute to other British brands. In 2007 opened a company that helping brands to break through to the markets in China and Hong Kong.

Due to the extensive knowledge of the Asian market, which she had previously acquired, alone, the company launched and automatically became successful. From the first months it was working with large companies such as Sony Pictures, City of Dreams, Hypoxi, Hyatt, Talika, Benefit, Bliss and Power Plate.

And so in a short time, Kelly Prehn become a very influential business women in China and it is experienced to bring European brands to the Chinese market through various cooperations and stores openings, among them Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and others.

Kelly became Creative Director of the China Wine and Spirits Awards, the largest and most prestigious wine competition in Hong Kong and China, which is responsible for the sale of 90 million bottles of wine per year. This commitment to the Chinese market has led to working with brands such as Haig Club, LVMH, Wolf Blass, Pernod Ricard, Camus, Robert Mondavi, Treasury Wine Estates, Wedgwood and Diageo

Due to her varied career, but also as an ambassador of many charitable associations and foundations for the protection of animals, ChinaInfluence.org declared her one of the most influential women in China today.

Kelly Prehn’s style of life is similar to a number of celebrity women today, especially other catwalk models that decided to transition into serious business ventures, for example, Karlie Kloss, making them true role models.