For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

{alt missing} Featureflash :

Zhang Ziyi


She shot into the spotlight for her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and has modeled for multiple high-end fashion brands.


Chinese actor Zhang Ziyi has appeared in blockbuster movies in both her native country and the West, including critically acclaimed films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha. Her elegance, poise and style on the red carpet have also won her the admiration of many fashion enthusiasts and publications, such as Time and People magazines.

Displaying a natural grace and talent from early age, she was quickly enrolled at the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy, an all-girls boarding school. While there, she won a national dance competition and also started acting in television commercials.

After she moved onto the acclaimed Central Academy of Drama, she was cast in director Zhang Yimou’s film The Road Home, before being cast as the main character of director Ang Lee’s breakout hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The movie remains one of the most influential Chinese films to come out of the country and catapulted Zhang onto the international stage. It was nominated for multiple Oscar Academy Awards (winning Best Foreign Film) and a Golden Globe. Since then, she has continued to appear in films both in Asia and the West and has become an important member of several industry organisations, including a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a jury member at the 2006 and 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Zhang’s ascent to the global cinema stage has also landed her much attention from the media for what she wears, as well as lucrative endorsement deals with brands like Omega Watches, Visa and cosmetics line Maybelline. Her red carpet and everyday outfits are also carefully chronicled on many celebrity fashion blogs, including The Cut and The Huffington Post. Elle China has put her on the cover and she was also chosen to run a leg of the Olympic route with the Torch leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Vital Statistics

9 February 1979


Member since

Similar Profiles

Yara Shahidi

Actress & Activist

Adesuwa Aighewi

Model & Activist



What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.