Friday, September 19, 2014

EVER SINCE SHANGHAI-BORN beauty China Machado exploded onto the scene as fashion's first non-white supermodel back in 1959, Chinese models have struggled to break into the industry. Hampered both by racism and the traditions of their own culture which frowned upon modelling as a profession, Chinese models were neither seen nor heard within fashion magazines or advertising campaigns.


Now the picture is very different, and most recently the speed of change has been nothing short of remarkable. The last five years has seen a plethora of beautiful young Chinese women break into mainstream fashion, led by Liu Wen, the 25-year-old model from Yongzhou, Hunan, who has chalked up campaigns for Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Estée Lauder and many others, ever since she arrived on the international fashion scene in 2007. The growing power of these young Chinese women within the industry is marked by Forbes 2013 list of the world's highest-earning supermodels, which placed Wen at number five, with $4.3 million — ahead of supermodels Joan Smalls, Carolyn Murphy and Lara Stone.


So, why are Chinese fashion models suddenly so popular? The answer is about economics, as opposed to some liberal desire for equality within the fashion industry. The fact is, China's burgeoning economy that has made them power players within the luxury goods market, and consequently, mainstream fashion has been forced to reflect the faces of these wealthy new customers within their advertising campaigns.

For the girls themselves, it's all good news, and now Google's stats are tracking just how popular Chinese women models are around the globe. Our top 10 list ranks the most beautiful according to the number of Internet users who type their names into their search engine every month. By now, you can guess who's number one, but there are nine other Chinese beauties who are hot on her heels.

CHINESE FASHION MODELS IN BLOSSOM: The world's top 10 Chinese fashion models, according to Google search, reveals the extent to which these ambitous and beautiful young women have quickly assimilated into the mainstream, after being non-existant in fashion less than 60 years ago.


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