Schaffhausen, 11th August 2021 – IWC Schaffhausen is proud to welcome Eileen Gu to the brand’s universe. Shortly before her 18th birthday, the prodigy is a medal-winning freestyle skier, sought-after fashion model and future university student. She is the perfect embodiment of a multifaceted modern woman, using her voice to drive representation and inclusion in her sport, aiming to inspire and empower a whole new generation of girls and women across the globe.
As a teenager, Eileen Gu has accomplished more than many others have in a lifetime. Born in 2003 in San Francisco to an American father and a Chinese mother, she is a rising Freeski star, a successful fashion model and an aspiring university student. She started recreational skiing aged three, before delving into the world of freestyle skiing when she was eight. Freeski is an action-packed extreme sport that involves spectacular acrobatic skills like flips, spins and slides. Her most significant achievement to date came at the X Games 2021 in Aspen, Colorado, where she made history as the first rookie woman ever to win three medals. Just two months later, she claimed three more medals at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships.
To prepare for competitions more effectively, Eileen set herself the goal of finishing high school quicker. She eventually graduated after completing two school years in the time of one. Recently, she saw her dream come true after being accepted to Stanford University. As if all this were not enough, the young athlete has also launched a modelling career. She has graced the covers of many international magazines and was invited to major fashion events in Paris and New York. With such an impressive résumé, it comes as no surprise that Forbes China made her the youngest person ever to make it on to the influential “30 Under 30” list.
“With her multifaceted personality, Eileen reflects the broad spectrum of our collections with timepieces ranging from casual or elegant to sporty. Her discipline and ambition, constant striving for perfection and strong commitment to using sport as a force for unity make her the perfect partner for our brand going forward,”
But Eileen is not only committed to succeeding as an athlete and model. From the very onset of her career, she has made it a priority to be a voice of change and an activist for women’s empowerment. Having been the only girl on her ski team for many years, Eileen is highly aware of issues like representation and inclusion. Using her voice as an athlete and her Asian-American background, she aims to inspire millions of young girls and kids to get into skiing and pursue their dreams.
“I always believed sport has no boundaries. It’s one of the best vehicles to unite people, promote understanding, forge friendships, and create bridges between cultures. With IWC, I share the absolute will to achieve perfection and the clear focus on excellence – values also represented by the other talented athletes in the brand’s universe. I am looking forward to our collaboration,” says Eileen Gu.
In 1868, the American watchmaker and entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland and founded the ‘International Watch Company’ in Schaffhausen. His visionary dream was to combine advanced American manufacturing methods with the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to make the best pocket watches of his time. In doing so, he not only laid the foundation for IWC’s unique engineering approach but also established the centralised production of mechanical watches in Switzerland.
Over its 150 year history, IWC Schaffhausen has developed a reputation for creating functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered technical watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as titanium aluminide and Ceratanium®. Preferring the principle of “form follows function” over decoration, the Swiss watch manufacturer’s timeless creations embody their owners’ dreams and ambitions as they journey through life.
IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment, creating intrinsically sustainable timepieces that are built to last for generations. The company prides itself in training its own future watchmakers and engineers, as well as offering an excellent working environment for all employees. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.