|Huang Xiaomeng "feels a little hip hop" in her outfit for the BCBGMAXAZRIA Fall/Winter 2013-2014 collection featured in New York Fashion Week, she told China Daily. (Caroline Berg / China Daily)|
Five years ago, New York Fashion Week catwalks were devoid of Chinese models. Now, some of the biggest names in the business are Chinese.
"Chinese models are totally on our radar," said Andrew Weir, model casting director at ACW Worldwide, who has worked in the fashion industry for 15 years.
During a casting call last week for apparel designer Jill Stuart, Weir said he wished Qin Shupei or Liu Wen would have been at the audition.
"We can't afford them," Weir said. "They're selective now, which has been a complete turnaround because before there were no Chinese models to be found."
The website MODELS.com considers Qin among the ranks of such super models as Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Kate Moss. The Chinese model made it onto the website's "Money Girls" list of top 25 income-generating models for 2012.
Liu Wen made the MODELS.com top 50 models list at number five, along with Chinese models He Sui (13), Sun Feifei (14), Ju Xiaowen (22), Tian Yi (38) and Wang Xiao (50).
"We constantly get requests from clients asking for more Asian girls, particularly for cosmetics campaigns," Weir said.
"I think this is because the fashion industry has finally come to realize that Chinese models are very much a part of the picture," the casting director said. "Designers recognize this demographic's buying power and also realize they must reflect the needs of the American population, which includes a large Chinese population."
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