Friday, May 01, 2015

The Top 6 Chinese Models You Should Know

The Top 6 Chinese Models You Should Know:

Next week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will pay homage to the Far East with the Costume Institute’s newest exhibition: China: Through the Looking Glass, which will explore the influence of Chinese art, film and aesthetics on international fashion designers. Of course, China has supplied the fashion world with more than just inspiration: An increasing number of today’s most sought-after models call the country home. With that in mind, we felt it time to take an in-depth look at six of the country’s most successful catwalkers, who continue to break barriers throughout the industry.  Get to know the runway power players here:

1. Liu Wen

Born in 1988, in Yongzhou, Hunan Province, Liu Wen has gone on to have unparalleled success in her field, with The New York Times naming her, “China’s first bona fide supermodel.” The phrase couldn’t be more fitting: Not only was she the first Chinese model to walk the runway in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but she’s also the first China-born model to be named a face of Estée Lauder and to appear on Forbes magazine’s annual highest-paid models list beating the likes of Cara Delevingne and Alessandra Ambrosio. With 875,000 followers on Instagram and another nine million on the Chinese microblogging site, Weibo, it’s clear no matter how you crunch the numbers: Liu Wen is a force to be reckoned with from East to West.

2. Fei Fei Sun

With her enviable cheekbones and wide-set eyes, the classically beautiful Fei Fei Sun has become a regular both on the runway and in the pages of Vogue, where she appeared on the magazine’s cover this past September alongside her fellow Instagirls (yet another first for an Asian model). Hailing from Weifang, in Shangdong Province, the 26-year-old became the first Asian model to grace the cover of Italian Vogue in 2013, channeling Richard Avedon’s muse and fellow Chinese supermodl, China Machado, for the Steven Meisel-lensed spread.  She has since starred in campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Chanel and Giorgio Armani Beauty among others.

3. Xiao Wen Ju

Hailing from the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, Xiao Wen began modeling in 2010 after she entered a popular modeling competition.  After seeing an image of Xiao Wen online, IMG Models wasted no time in snapping her up. In 2012, she landed on New York’s runways and since then has walked for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga, Chanel and Calvin Klein among others.  Her energy and playful personality has made her a prime target for ad campaigns — she’s appeared in ads for Chanel, Kenzo, Coach, DKNY and Dsquared most recently — and also earned her the title of muse/face/sometimes stylist of the New York-based clothing label Baby Ghost (which also just so happens to be her nickname).

4. Shu Pei Qin

Over the past five years, the 25-year-old from Kaifeng has used her razor-sharp cheekbones and captivatingly cute eyes to nab a Maybelline contract, a Gap campaign, and, most recently, tours down the fall runways for Altuzarra and Chanel. These days, Shu Pei splits her time between Shanghai and New York, where she continues to inspire street style photographers with her ‘contemporary chic’ aesthetic.

5. Ming Xi

In just a few short years, Ming Xi has gone from Shanghai native to one of the industry’s most in-demand Asian models.  After being hand-picked by creative director Riccardo Tisci to walk exclusively for Givenchy in Paris — a first for a Chinese model — the designer affirmed his adoration of Ming by choosing her as the face of the brand’s fall 2011 campaign.  Since then, she’s become a frequent fixture of both American and Chinese Vogue, and has walked the runway for Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Michael Kors and Victoria’s Secret, earning her the title of the next great Chinese supermodel.

6. Du Juan

Born in Shanghai, Du Juan was studying ballet before entering in China’s Ford Supermodel Competition in 1999. After winning first place in the East China Region, she went on to win the Miss China contest in 2003. It wasn’t long before the industry started taking notice .  In 2005 she was one of five Chinese models picked to be on the cover of the first ever Vogue China issue, after which she promptly signed with IMG.  That same year, she scored the cover of French Vogue and remains, to this day, the first and only Asian model to have done so. In the years that followed, Du Juan scored campaigns with brands like Louis Vuitton, YSL, Roberto Cavalli and Gap before retiring in 2011 to focus on her burgeoning acting career.

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