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At just 17-year-old, Eileen's impressive résumé includes being one of the most-watched athletes in the world. Earlier this year, she made history at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, by becoming the first female rookie to earn a medal in all three events she partook in. In total, she took home a bronze and two golds – with which she also became the first athlete representing China to ever win gold at the games. When she’s not on the slopes, Eileen is also a professional model and a regular teenager preparing to embark on university life as she heads to Stanford University in 2022. She is the embodiment of a multifaceted modern woman, making her a natural fit for Tiffany & Co's coveted ambassadorship.
Eileen makes her debut as the brand's latest ambassador with the new “Give Me The T" campaign. Shot by legendary fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti in New York City, the campaign spotlights pieces from Tiffany &Co.'s T1 line. “I love the way that you can layer these pieces but each is able to still speak for themselves and have that kind of individuality,” says Eileen, who joins Anya Taylor-Joy and Tracee Ellis Ross for the occasion.
Eileen shot the campaign shortly after having finished training camp for freestyle skiing and describes the experience as a “refreshing” return to the world of beauty – and also a dream come true. “Being a Tiffany & Co. ambassador has always been all about creativity, individuality, and this deep-seated sense of timelessness,” Eileen told Teen Vogue. “As you can see throughout the whole campaign, it's different situations that relate to the letter T. A lot of them have to do with [the] connection between New Yorkers, who initially may have started off as strangers, but through a mutual respect for jewelry, were able to connect on a deeper level and gain each other's respect.”
For her, the campaign was also special in how collaborative it was. “[In the last year], everybody has learned so much about how much we took community and teamwork for granted. So being able to come back and meet new people has made me that much more grateful. Nobody succeeds alone.” Before this past year, Eileen hadn’t spent much time in the city, which made her all the more appreciative of New York City. “There's such an unmistakable vibe in the city. It's busy and everybody is connected to something. Everybody’s ambitious, everybody's motivated, everybody has that drive,” she says. “I think this is a very unique and very New York sense of campaign. It does embody the energy of the city in a way that only Tiffany's can.”
“Give Me The T" comes at a time when the role of celebrities is hotly debated, particularly in the light of diversity and inclusion conversations. What makes Eileen stand out is how she uses the platform she’s been given. In-between the slopes and the photoshoots, Eileen is intentional with her time and energy, whether it’s working with Tiffany & Co. or advocating for Chinese-American relations.
Eileen might be based in San Francisco but she fully embraces both sides of her heritage. The skier made headlines when she chose to compete on behalf of China in the X Games and the upcoming Winter Olympics. However, she’s spoken out numerous times in the past about the importance of being a role model for young women in China who might wish to compete in sports — an experience that she’s intimately familiar with as a female athlete in a notoriously male-dominated field. “Female empowerment to me is all about advocacy. It's about showing up. It's about representation,” Eileen tells Teen Vogue. “Being able to feel empowered looks different for every person, so that's where individuality and self-expression come in. Female empowerment is accepting yourself as you are and being able to comfortably and confidently express that to the world. Every woman can use their voice to create positive change and make their own individual and unique impact on the world.”
Eileen Gu's gaze is fiercely set on the 2022 Winter Olympics, taking place in Beijing, which will become her first Olympics – but almost certainly not her last. Despite her young age, Eileen’s impact has already been undeniable and she's only just getting started. Just as Tiffany & Co. has been a leader in the jewelry business, Eileen is also spearheading a generation that is consistently setting new standards and examples for others to follow.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue