Luxurious Wedding Cements Chinese Fashion Dynasty Partnership

The children of the founders of Xtep and Septwolves have tied the knot, potentially forming a Fujianese fashion empire

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3:41 PM HKT, Thu June 27, 2024 1 mins read

In a scene resembling a European royal wedding or something out of a soap opera, Ding Jiamin, daughter of the founder of Xtep (特步 Tebu), recently married Zhou Liyuan, son of the founder of Septwolves (七匹狼 Qipilang). The wedding earlier this month purportedly cost at least a few million RMB, while the betrothal price (a tradition where the bridegroom’s family offers a monetary gift to the parents of the bride) was claimed to be as high as 1.8 billion RMB.

Established in 2001, Xtep specializes in sports footwear, but has been expanding into the broader field of sportswear. Xtep made big waves internationally at the end of last year when it bought out its China joint venture with Wolverine World Wide, absorbing a major share of Saucony Asia. Though the brand recently divested its shares in K-Swiss and Palladium, it continues to sell merchandise for outdoor brand Merrell in China. Ding Jiamin currently works in a managerial role at Xtep.

Septwolves is a fashion brand known for its idiosyncratic jackets. The brand is also raised international eyebrows back in 2018 when it purchased Karl Lagerfeld’s holdings in China. Zhou Liyuan manages Karl Lagerfeld’s business operations in China, as well as co-managing the board of Septwolves.

The union is the latest in a series of marriage alliances between five Fujianese business families, who are behind Xtep, Septwolves, Anta (owner of the very-popular-in-China brands Arc’teryx and Salomon), bathroom and kitchen fitting brand Jomoo, and tea company Bama. The collected net worth of the five families would amount to more than 60 billion RMB (roughly 8.2 billion USD).

Quanzhou Family Chart

If you ever needed a chart of marriage connections between Quanzhou’s mega-rich, here you go. Image via Jingjidaoli.

The business impact of Ding and Zhou’s nuptials remain to the seen, but it’s certain that Xtep and Septwolves will continue to have a major impact on fashion and pop culture in China. Besides extensive business and political connections, the families also have a wide social network of celebrity friends: Hong Kong actor Nicolas Tse is a long term Xtep brand ambassador, while star Dilraba Dilmurat has also endorsed the brand and co-hosted events with Ding.

Banner image via Fenghuang Weekly.

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