This article is sponsored by TITIKA, a luxury activewear brand based in Canada led by an all-Asian, all-female executive team. TITIKA aims to empower women to feel their most confident selves through their versatile and stylish designs.
Asian Canadian actor and supervillain in Netflix’s “Jupiter’s Legacy,” Chase Tang, recently joined TITIKA as the brand’s first male ambassador and host of their upcoming “No Labels” IGTV Series.
While it may be uncommon for a male spokesperson to represent a women’s activewear brand, Tang hopes to demonstrate that anyone — not just females — can play a part in standing up for gender equality and support women’s empowerment.
“We can all think of so many girls and women that have made a very big difference in our lives,” said Tang.
Advocate and cheerleader
Rather than a typical brand ambassador, Tang describes his role as an advocate and cheerleader. He will be sharing his platform with a group of women from diverse cultural and career backgrounds, to “give them a bigger stage and louder voice.”
“I would like for people to see that the spotlight is not about Chase Tang, but the fact that he’s playing second-third strings to these other women, who[m] he is interviewing and telling stories about,” said the Halifax-raised star.
An Asian, female-led company
Tang first discovered TITIKA while he was on a commercial shoot in Asia. Celebrities from Hollywood to Hong Kong currently covet the luxury activewear brand, known for their multi-functional fabric and sleek aesthetics. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that TITIKA was a Canadian company based in Toronto, and led by an all-Asian and all-female executive team.
“The founder and chief designer Eileen Zhang – she herself is a very dynamic, strong individual,” said Tang.
Prior to starting TITIKA, Zhang made a major professional and personal transformation by leaving her well-established marketing business behind and returning to school to study fashion business. Eventually, she moved to Canada to jumpstart her dream of launching her own athletic wear.
Inspired by Alexander McQueen, Zhang believes that each piece tells its own unique story. The storytelling element of her design philosophy has become the heart of the brand and the community it has created.
Celebrating women around the world
From the brand’s culture to its messages, “everything is very much based around women of all backgrounds, shapes, sizes and ethnicities feeling very confident [about themselves],” said Tang.
TITIKA embarked on the 100 Fit Women Campaign from June to August of 2020 to celebrate females of all professions and backgrounds who are staying positive and active throughout the pandemic.
By embracing diversity across all spectrums, the brand challenges the culture of labels to empower women to freely explore their identity without judgement.
Letting go of labels
A recent break-out star, Tang has led an unconventional career journey, pivoting from the corporate world to the entertainment industry at the age of 27. When he decided to take the leap, he was often told by friends, family and agents that he was too old. Fortunately, he ignored the negative voices and persisted.
Prior to pursuing acting, Tang went through a severe depression in 2015. During that time, he felt like a failure because, compared to others, he was behind in achieving traditional professional and personal milestones, such as getting married and starting a family.
“I did go through a very tough time,” said Tang. “It was simply because I held onto all these [labels].”
After letting go of the cultural and societal expectations that he realized were deeply rooted in his upbringing, he feels that his life “has been more at peace.”
“If you are looking after your health, you are building good relationships and your professional life is getting better,” the mental health advocate said. “As long as you are moving in the right way, there is no right way of doing things.”
“You can never define women by one label”
Tang’s own experiences are what make him a great fit for “No Labels.” The video series — created by TITIKA’s Chief Marketing Officer Melody Shang — will feature 12 multi-dimensional women who have overcome unique challenges to reinvent their own success.
“The reason why we call it ‘No Labels’ is because we believe you can never define women by one label,“ he said.
In an interactive interview format taking place over video chat, the series will shine a light on the raw and unfiltered side that is not often displayed on social media.
“We are not wanting to interview someone who has lots of followers, but somebody whose story we think will inspire hundreds of other girls who end up watching the video,” he said. “Most of the time, people would never know [their back stories] if they just met them on the street.”
Tang was especially awestruck by the story of one woman he interviewed – a dedicated family physician and talented entertainer. Driven by her passion for the arts, she continued performing at night clubs and acting as a host on Youtube, all while undergoing a rigorous nine years of medical education and training.
“When I listened to this woman and [heard] how many things she could do — and she makes the most out of every moment she has — it opened up my perspective … on what [I thought] was possible,” said Tang.
He hopes the series will inspire both women and men to defy labels and discover their limitless potential.
“No Labels” will be released at the end of October 2020 on IGTV and Youtube.
Featured photo credit: TITIKA
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