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06-07-2011
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Paulo is well known here TFS because he's a regular at Givenchy Men, but I would hardly classify him as a top model (although friends from his agency have told me he's a sweetheart...). And if Paulo is the barometer to which Asian male models are measured, then it's speaks volume how few Asian male models are working in high fashion on an international level.

And it's definitely disappointing that there aren't more prominent Asian models, even now that China has become such a sought-after market and power-player in high fashion. Asian models, male and female, are still hugely under-represented, especially with Hong Kong and Japan being such huge markets of high fashion in the past. And with such icons of fashion, like Rei and Yohji, it always disappoints me why these designers would not promote Asian models more-- or at all for that matter, as I've hardly seen many Asian models, if at all, walking for them.

Asian models, despite the huge Asian market in high fashion and influence of Japanese designers, have and remain the underdogs. Black models have always been around: there are black supermodels like Beverly Johnson, Iman, Veronica Webb, and Naomi Campbell. And this dates back to the 1970s. Can anyone name one Asian model of supermodel status from any era?

Did I mention my friends tell me Paulo is a sweetheart?

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06-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phuel View Post
Paulo is well known here TFS because he's a regular at Givenchy Men, but I would hardly classify him as a top model (although friends from his agency have told me he's a sweetheart...). And if Paulo is the barometer to which Asian male models are measured, then it's speaks volume how few Asian male models are working in high fashion on an international level.

And it's definitely disappointing that there aren't more prominent Asian models, even now that China has become such a sought-after market and power-player in high fashion. Asian models, male and female, are still hugely under-represented, especially with Hong Kong and Japan being such huge markets of high fashion in the past. And with such icons of fashion, like Rei and Yohji, it always disappoints me why these designers would not promote Asian models more-- or at all for that matter, as I've hardly seen many Asian models, if at all, walking for them.

Asian models, despite the huge Asian market in high fashion and influence of Japanese designers, have and remain the underdogs. Black models have always been around: there are black supermodels like Beverly Johnson, Iman, Veronica Webb, and Naomi Campbell. And this dates back to the 1970s. Can anyone name one Asian model of supermodel status from any era?

Did I mention my friends tell me Paulo is a sweetheart?
Exactly right. I was gonna go into the entire Asian market thing, but I got lazy, lol. Alexander McQueen has 3 flagship stores in the U.S. and 4 in Japan I believe.

I do believe this is the reason why we're seeing more Asians on the runway, but it's still a slow crawl... an even slower crawl for Asian male models.

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06-07-2011
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^^^And who's promoting these Asian models? It's the "westerners", whether for altruistic, or progressive, or simply a matter of catering to the growing Chinese market in high fashion-- they're the ones who are bringing Asians into the modeling arena. Asians in prominent positions in high fashion certainly aren't doing it.

I think Asians in general, need to get pass that Caucasian features are more beautiful, superior, desirable, or whatever it may be, and start supporting their own in an arena that they've contributed to so strongly for so long.

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06-07-2011
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I often feel that part of the problem with lack of Asian models lies in the mind set of the general Asian population. I'm eurasian and whenever I go to Asia randoms always comment on my european features as being beautiful. It's like they don't see the beauty in their own distinct features. The result in that most of the Asian models that get put onto billboards, magazines have porcelain white skin, big/wide eyes, a longer nose with a bridge and smaller nostrils. Basically any feature that can be associated as being 'european'. This may also kind of explain the trend in Asian models which seems to go from Japanese to Koreans and now Chinese.

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06-07-2011
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^^ Changing the mind set of any population is difficult, seeing baby steps in my previous post is already pretty radical. Especially when most people aren't happy with what they got from their DNA. If you're pale white you probably want to be tanned. If your tanned you may want to be whiter etc.

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06-07-2011
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^^^Phuel, right again! But interestingly the models that you see on the "Western" (Europe, NYC) runways that have roots in China, Korea, Japan (Liu Wen, Du Juan, Daul Kim) have not been marginalized by the euro-centric beauty standards that East Asians have (in other words, they all started in China & Korea!). Do the modeling agencies in China, Korea, Japan all have westerners working there or something? And if you look at the fashion models of East Asia (that have not yet "made it" to the European/NYC runway) they do look quite different than the Asian celebrities.

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06-07-2011
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purplethistle, you make a very interesting point...
I just realized that at first it was Devon Aoki and Juliana Imai
Then it was Daul Kim
Now it's Liu Wen, Sun Fei Fei, and Du Juan

Very interesting.

But still, where are the males?

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06-07-2011
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^ Maybe males in general always lagged behind women. I think when black women were breaking ground in modelling black men trend then followed. I think it'll be the same with Asian women who will provide the way for Asian men.


Last edited by purplethistle; 06-07-2011 at 09:31 PM.
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^Interesting thought.

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06-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplethistle View Post
I often feel that part of the problem with lack of Asian models lies in the mind set of the general Asian population. I'm eurasian and whenever I go to Asia randoms always comment on my european features as being beautiful. It's like they don't see the beauty in their own distinct features. The result in that most of the Asian models that get put onto billboards, magazines have porcelain white skin, big/wide eyes, a longer nose with a bridge and smaller nostrils. Basically any feature that can be associated as being 'european'. This may also kind of explain the trend in Asian models which seems to go from Japanese to Koreans and now Chinese.
I think "western" features, as you've mentioned, will always be the ideal when it comes to high fashion models, whether they be black, asian, latin, middle eastern... We can't escape that "requirement" when it comes to models. Even with the black models, from Beverly Johnson to Jourdan Dunn, they've always had prominent "western" features; just like the requirements of being tall and lean are standards of high fashion models. Sharp and prominent features will always be a desired trait in models.

Having said that, there are definitely Asian woman-- and men, that are able to fit that high fashion model profile. It's just a matter of there being a market demand for them.

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06-07-2011
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I agree that it's hard to change a population.

I'm spoiled being in Toronto where we see all different kinds of people. Same with NYC or other great cities in this world.

But a lot of major Asian cities, (not that I have any idea what it's like to be in one besides Bangkok) will not be very multiracial. Therefore it makes sense to me that their ideals of beauty would be pretty consistent. Most of the population in that particular city will somewhat agree more with each other on what is beautiful much more than the people in say, Toronto.

In somewhere like Toronto every person will have a different ideal, therefore it's a more openminded city. We can't change the views of a Shanghai or a Tokyo overnight. But eventually it may happen. These cities might become like Toronto/NYC.

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07-07-2011
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The term "significantly relevant" was used in the original post about male models and in my book Paolo fits that bill, but if someone wants to use being ranked on the MDC to define relevance so be it, and I can see why on that basis Paolo does not qualify.


I agree with the two points that one, there may be a lag effect and that a male Asian model may rise to prominence on the coattails of Liu, Ming, Feifei and others, and two, not to give the western designers and media a pass, but that the best way for this to happen would be for the fashion decision makers in China, Japan, Korea and other Asian markets to start casting Asian male models, and from there like what happened with female Asian models, they may start getting booked by Western designers and editors / photographers.

I also wonder, based on the threads for some of the Asian magazines, if despite there not being a top Asian male model, that male Asian celebrities get tapped into, which is also the case with Latinos and Blacks, especially when it comes to campaigns and covers.

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27-02-2012
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but it is bizarre to me that the cast for the Chanel shows are so freaking large and yet a black model has not walked for Chanel for quite a few seasons, I think the last time was when Jourdan walked the cruise show which was in 2009 (I think). Although interestingly, back in the day, Chanel has a decent track record on this front. Also it should be noted that Asian models have been cast in recent Chanel shows, but again what I find bothersome is that the cast is so large for Chanel and there are quite a few black models to choose from these days... scratching my head.


P.S.
Armani also sticks out on this front.
OK Chanel is off my ish list, Black models have been casts in recent shows and beyond that Joan Smalls is the face of the mainline for SS12 and Alyssah Ali was the face of one of its beauty lines. Armani is weird because they have seldom cast Black models in their runway shows in recent times, but Rihanna is the face of one of their diffusion lines and she even "designs" for them.

ETA:
Also it should be noted that the recent Armani casts have not been all white; Asian models have been represented in recent casts.


Last edited by agee; 27-02-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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27-02-2012
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^ Correction to my previous post: Lais Ribeiro walked the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani shows this season.

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