Asia Major

As fashion begins to realize the importance of diversity, we start to see exciting things happening; case in point the Asian models feature in the new issue of Vogue. Starring Liu Wen, Du Juan, Tao Okamoto, Lee Hyun Yi, Hyoni Kang, Bonnie Chen, So Young Kang and Lily Zhi in a punk remake of Cecil Beaton’s classic shot of models wearing Charles James, the images by Steven Meisel and Grace Coddington accompany an article on the meteoric rise of models from China, Japan and South Korea.

What makes the story truly interesting are some of the quotations from the girls themselves:

The challenge for me, and for Asian models in general has been convincing editors, stylists and photographers that we can have mass appeal, but Asian, especially Chinese models have become a stronger presence. Just a season or two ago, there weren’t many models for me to talk with backstage in my native Mandarin. Now I usually have no trouble finding someone at any show.” – Liu Wen

“There still are brands or clients that would not consider using an Asian model, but things are changing dramatically and quickly. I am not sure if being Asian was or is a hinderance. In fact I think it is a plus.”
– Du Juan


  2. I love the photograph, the casting, and am looking forward to reading the article. I DO SINCERELY HOPE that American Vogue will continue to use Asian models, however, and that this is not some ‘flash in the pan trend’. After all, American Vogue has never featured an Asian model on its cover, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a single Asian girl story in the magazine. Nonetheless, it is commendable that this feature is present. All the models look so stunning and gorgeous, individually, as well as working together as a whole.

  3. All I can say is, ITS ABOUT TIME! This should not be a big deal! Fashion has to reflect more of the true colors in our world and VOUGE needs to lead the way. American Vogue needs to get on board with the rest of the world. The time is NOW!

  4. Asia IS major right now. Glad to see that Vogue is finally getting with the program, even if this story is too short.

  5. could someone please tell me who is who in each of the pictures
    i thought i could tell them apart really well until i see so many of them together!
    but i love this feature!

  6. Honestly , considering the team ,I think this editorial should have been far better than it is . The ideas exciting , this editorial is disappointing

  7. The Biggest Challenge of the Asian Models are convincing the Asian People to patronize their Own Beauty and Products.

    The Asian Market is HUGE! China is a power House. But Asian so also love buying Western Products like Abercrombie, Gucci, YSL etc. where models are literally White. It’s a status symbol.

    If Asians truly realized how beautiful they really are, and embrace their features that sets them apart like their eyes, the skin, the delicate or strong features, over what is perceived beauty through their eyes….. Imagine how they will take over the market and the world Ha ha ha!

  8. betty – when was the last time an asian model had a fashion story to herself in american vogue?

    i can only think of navia and irina pantaeva in the 90’s…

  9. WOW WOW!!! So suprise to see this happen to American Vogue, come on is American Vogue!! Awesome!!! Just wondering how many pages of this acticle?
    Ana Wintour must have some great Asian food especially Chinese lately…lol

  10. I love this editorial! The way they reinterpret the classic editorial with a punky twist is fresh and witty.

    Plus, I love how the cast mixes star Asian models like Du and Liu with new faces like Bonnie and Lily. I’m especially excited to see Lee Hyun Yi…she does so much amazing editorial work in Korea, it’s awesome to see her getting featured prominently in an American magazine!

  11. what a joke. TWO pages? why isn’t there a full-on editorial or a cover? Not to mention there is more to Asia than those 3 countries. next month’s i’m sure will feature a whopping corner image.

    the girls however do look great/

  12. As much as I applaud this, I’m almost sure that in a few months we’ll look back on this and wonder why we never saw any of these girls in Vogue again. It’s like the black issue or the size issue: We see something we don’t normally see in Vogue and we cheer the mag for seeing the light but then they go back into its usual mode.

  13. @eek

    I know for a fact that one of the models featured in this story is already booked for an upcoming US Vogue editorial….

  14. this is awesome! the girls look good and so do their dresses.. im glad that Vogue is opening its doors to other forms of beauty….

  15. Gem.K.Nia, the models featured are:
    L–R: Du Juan, Tao Okamoto, Lee Hyun, Hyoni Kang, Liu Wen, Bonnie Chen, So Young Kang, and Lily Zhi.
    and in the beauty shot Du Juan on the left and So Young Kang on the right.

  16. This editorial is absolutely stunning! It feels amazing to see these extremely hardworking girls rise to the VERY top!!!

    I, being an Asian fashion stylist had gone thru a tough time just about 3-4 years ago back in NYC trying to convince photographers to cast ETHNIC models… For some reason, they’re usually very reluctant, and one of the reasons given was that they found it difficult to figure out the lightings… See how far we’ve come… And I’m proud to say that NYC has been one of the first markets that sees the importance and potential of Asian models and designers!!!


    Cheers!!! Let’s celebrate… And let’s hope this isn’t a fad – and keep the momentum up!

  17. In this team of asian models was missing only Juliana Imai, the most beautiful asian model in high fashion… she is brazilian, but asian too!

  18. though there isn’t any taiwanese model
    I’m still proud of I’m an Asian 🙂
    hey! NEXT,FORD and IMG please come to taiwan we have so many beautiful and unique girls want to become international supermodel
    just give them a chance and they will try their best:)

  19. good for the acknowledgement, but they all look the same, it’ll be good if they can embrace different types of Asian beauties, Asians are just as diverse looking as Europeans, some are darker, some are pale, some have double eyelid big eyes, some have single eyelid small eyes. some are curvy and tall some are petite. those slanted eye skinny girls is misleading to western readers.

  20. Asia is a big continent – there’s much more then South East Asia. There’s the Indian subcontinent and the middle East too. More stereotyping as usual…

  21. someone said the the girl on the right for the 2nd shot is lily zhi? hmm she’s lovely
    i wish we could get a close up shot for every girl
    further away they all look the same x]

  22. I do agree, Juliana Imai is the best asian model in high fashion and should be in this editorial. She can be brazilian, but she is still asian. And more, she had been in several China and Brasil’s Vogue covers but never appeared in an American Vogue. It is time to Vogue America give her a cover or editorial.

  23. @ Lily “Anyway, why does everyone give thumbs up to an all asian models editorial and thumbs down to an all black models editorial.”

    People are excited about an all-Asian models editorial, because Asian presence in any industry, except maybe in science, healthcare, and finance, is rarely recognized. Black people are present, and though, many still feel the effects of racism in their lives, their presence is still recognized–ALWAYS. Asians take a more passive approach in bringing awareness about the racism they experience, because many intend to live their lives in the hopes of a better one. As long as nothing gets in their way, everything’s good. They don’t realize that’s not enough. To finally see recognition of the race in the fashion industry, for once, creates exposure that is often limited in the West. Rarely, do you ever see an Asian on the cover of a magazine. Rarely, do you ever see beauty products geared toward Asians in your local drugstore. An editorial–although very brief–speaks tenfold. In the commercialized world, exposure brings about subconscious recognition, adoration, and awareness. That itself is worth a thousand words.

  24. I’m excited!!! I’m Asian, and it’s about TIME! And yet, American Vogue under Anna Wintour will NOT PUT an Asian model as the cover model. As long as she stays on the position, there won’t be one for sure. Plus, LOOK AT MORE than half of the population working at Vogue: tall, skinny Caucasian women. Sadness….

  25. And let’s not Forget the Perfection known as Bruna Tenorio, Anyone?

    Yes she’s Brazilian. But she’s also Asian. And Perfect.

  26. I’m glad that Vogue decided to finally give some recognition to Asian models, but it needs to feature more Asian models regularly, not just in some special asian editorial.

  27. And I do agree: Anna Wintour don’t like asian models. She gave these two pages for an editorial with asian models for pure pressure. Ms Wintour have to face the new economic face in the fashion world and star puting asian models in the cover of Vogue America! 🙂

  28. @Sandra Shin

    Wow, that makes Bruna Tenorio the Most Asian looking non-Asian. Ha! I read her wiki….. but let’s not Forget she’s from Brazil which is a melting pot of Race. And brazil has the Most Japanese population outside of Japan. Somewhere I’m sure she’s a product of these mixtures.

  29. 感谢vogue US!
    Thanks !
    welcome to China!
    It’s the first time i have seen too many asian girls on the vogue us.
    I like du juan best!She is the most famous one in the China.

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