We’ve yet to learn whether Chinese eventing rider Alex Hua Tian prefers his cocktails shaken or stirred, but he clearly shows enough of the X-factor to step into the role of brand ambassador for Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes.
Gieves & Hawkes, founded in 1771 and one of the oldest bespoke tailoring companies in the world, is the epitome of elegant British tailoring and is renowned for dressing legendary figures including the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Mikahail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton.
When he was 16, Hua Tian’s father, Hua Shan, brought him to the Gieves & Hawkes’ flagship store at No.1 Savile Row, London to buy his first suit and he has been a devoted fan ever since.
“My father instilled in me the understanding that it is the heritage and quality of their tailoring that makes Gieves & Hawkes so special,” said Hua Tian, 24. “While wearing their clothes, one is conscious of following in the footsteps of great men and maintaining a tradition for understated British elegance. I am deeply honoured to represent such a wonderful brand.”
Hua Tian, who represented China at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the age of 18, was the youngest rider to compete in the discipline at that level. He remains the only Chinese rider to compete at the highest level of international eventing.
Alex Hua Tian grew up in Beijing and Hong Kong and then moved to Britain to study at Eton. He received special permission to compete as an adult when just 13. Now based in Cheshire, England, he has a stable of talented young horses that he is preparing for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
Creative Director Jason Basmajian said Gieves and Hawkes’ felt that Hua Tian’s “charm and sophistication” were a perfect fit for the company’s brand.
“His love for the brand is genuine and began long before we met. We are very proud to dress such an accomplished and elegant young man”.
Hua Tian will appear in the new Gieves and Hawkes film showcasing the spring/summer 2014 collection, shot on location on Lake Como by twice Oscar nominated British film director, Mike Figgis. The commercial will première in February 2014 to coincide with the start of the Chinese Year of the Horse.
Stills from the advertising campaign, shot by Testino protégé, Eddie Wrey, will appear in spring 2014.
Next Thursday in London, Hua Tian will be hosting a party in aid of World Horse Welfare sponsored by Bentley. WHW is the leading charity involved in equestrian sports and adviser to the FEI. They run 11 international training programmes (from Haiti to Cambodia) to improve the lives of working horses and the communities that depend on them.