Vogue UK recently published an article on the rise of Asian models in their mag. I glimpsed through the article, and in my opinion, it is well written with several insights on Asian models, and the reason they are increasing in numbers at full force in the fashion industry, which still remains largely dominated by Western faces and designers.
I agree that the rise of Asian models is in tandem with the blooming Eastern economy. Western fashion houses see a growing, untapped base of customers and fans of their products in the Asian market, thus attending to their needs and wants is a smart and necessary move to internationalize. Think of how LV didn't stop at selling monogram bags in mega stores in Chinese cities, and went to conceptualize an entire Orient-inspired collection for Spring 2011. Think of how Chanel didn't stop at selling couture to the rich Chinese, and even went to open the prefall 2009 show in Shanghai, calling it the Paris-Shanghai Métiers d'Art Collection.
Above: Louis Vuitton SS 2011 shot by Steven Meisel.
Thus with the vast array of fashion collections with Mandarin collars and Cheongsam-inspired thigh high skirt slits showcased on the runway every season, it seems natural that more Asian faces walk down the runway as well.
My favourite new comer is Xiao Wen Ju. Her face resembles a chinadoll. She is definitely one of the most unique faces I see after Emma Xie. Another relatively new model in the Western scene is Sui He. She was placed among the top 10 new faces this fall on style.com, and she grabbed the opening spot at Ralph Lauren, making her the first Asian face to do so.
Below: Xiao Wen Ju, Far below: Sui He in Marchesa
I'm also excited that Singapore finally has a representative at the Ford Supermodel of the World competition next year! I realized that in the past, Singapore used to participate in this competition broadcasting the competition on Channel 8, but it has ceased for a long time till this year! The winner is Chinese-Indian Puvana S. She was called "ugly" by her classmates, according to the local press. However, she is far from ugly! Her unique look is sure to take her far in the world finals in NY.
Well, I hope that using Asian models on the runway is not like Sportswear looks on the runway -- just a trend that will fade in time. Examining the fashion scene and economy now, Western designers' love with the East should not, and I hope will not wane in the near future.
From left: Ming Xi, Sun Feifei, Xiao Wen Ju, Liu Wen
sources: thefashionspot, style.com, fordsupermodel.sg