Bits & Bytes: Asian Revolution

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To all those who say Givenchy Haute Couture 2011 casting was just a “gimmick”: As an Asian person, it makes me deliriously happy that a blue chip designer who references the East ACTUALLY uses Asian models. (And the clothes were, of course, supremely divine). For his just finished men’s collection, check out the perfectly cast show by the trailblazing team of Daniel Peddle and Drew Dasent.

Fashion news:

See the elusive Martine Sitbon on Showstudio.

I am getting tired of the way girls walk in those high shoes.”
Karl Lagerfeld during his Chanel Couture Spring 2011 interview. Women’s toes/arches everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

Calling all young ‘uns. Fashionista has the best college majors for breaking into the biz. Just know that once you get in, you are NEVER getting out!

Modeling news:

Art & Commerce, who always has amazing polaroids of the models has a new blog address.

The Ford Supermodel of the World winner has been chosen and it’s a beautiful Filipina, Danica Magpantay.

Jed Root’s new model agency has arrived.

Ah who remembers the good old days of modeling when both Paul Rowland and Michael Flutie had that unbelievable passion and unerring eye. The Imagist talks all about it.


Fashionologie has the Bill Cunningham trailer. We love him.

Fashion Copious has a hilarious (and true)rant on digital magazines’ #1 mistake.

  1. AYY !
    this is amazing, the hats and the back of the garments are amazing. But i love the fact that they used ASIAN Models. πŸ˜€
    maybe next time it well be black models…you never know :O

  2. 1 minute people are criticizing the lack of diversity in modeling, then as you noted, a blue chip designer uses Asian models and it’s “too gimmicky.”

    The fact that Ricardo used all Asian models made the collection (which is astounding,)that much more desirable IMO.

  3. I don’t meant to be mean with my comment so PLEASE read it first and then judge.
    Ok, I like the diversity on model castings I thing everyone should follow Riccardo’s example not only in terms of asian models also in terms of black models (don’t you think so Mr. Lagerfeld, Mr. Costa etc..) But there is something that has been bother me for a long time because asian models had always been in the business so it’s weird to say at least that now that China is an strong economy and the fact that fashion houses are expanding over China wouldn’t be this just a way to tell chinese rich woman “Can you see it?? you girls would look amazing in our clothes, why don’t you ask your rich husband his credit card and buy some clothes??”
    I think that designers should do divesity castings not only to get more money because of a moral statement because at the end of the day we all are equal and all diserve the same oportunities.

  4. I dont understand why sometimes we tend to over analyze things. I think it’s pure and simple. The use of asian models here, is not gimmicky, but as part of the whole theme of what Tisci was going for. It brought a more serene look to the intricate work of that collection. I mean, it was Japan inspired anyways and why not use all asian models? It makes it more special. To some that may seem gimmicky but if a gimmick is meant to uplift a collection, why not?

    Regarding the retail driven comment previously all I can say’s all commerce in the end. A fashion show is a promotional tool, a means to and end. So you’re right, but all seasonal shows are the same. It is to drive interest and thus sells items from the house.

  5. That reminds me of the Walter Van Beirendonck show – some saw the casting as a gimmick. But, as a black man, I was dancing a gig at the sight of seeing him referencing pickaninnies and him ACTUALLY casting Black men.

  6. Ok confession:
    I bought 4 Givenchy bags within the past two seasons, 3 dresses and 3 pairs of shoes.

    This supports my theory that the presentation of a brand or company has a direct influence on consumer psychology.

    I always thought of myself as a Miu Miu/Marni girl but Givenchy is a brand that speaks to me and my generation.

    The fact that Riccardo chooses more diverse casting than any other designer out there right now in addition to his amazing, luxurious, beautiful, unique and exclusive pieces makes him SO cool–and that’s important to young-ish consumers (20s, 30s and cool hip 40+ perhaps?)

    I love the fact that he supports Asian, Black, Queer, you name it models and just another plus that makes me feel better about spending 2K+ on the brand more than other brands.

    And about the idea this collection’s casting as a “gimmick”: I think every designer tries something to stand out from the other designers. But in this instance, the collection is inspired by the East so it is only appropriate to help convey this theme with a full cast of Asian models. It’s not a trick and it’s not deceiving anyone. Every single model in this collection is well established and has been racking up their showlist–it’s not surprising that they’re all in the show together.

    Oh yeah, and I happen to be Asian and I am one of the many Asian consumers of luxury goods…

  7. Not on the guest list – agree! very gimmicky indeed!!!
    styleplusplus – you’re the one who’s too pure and simple minded.
    macaroon – don’t you think it’s good to educate the chinese consumer about diversity as well? since a lot of them are already racist against dark skinned ppl. it’s about diversity to all races, not just Asian or any other coloured. (ps. i’m coloured and i’m pround of all coloured ppl)

    as a person working in the business side of luxuryindustry, this is too obvious! G just happens to focusing on chinese market at the moment, so commerical motive is really obvious in here. same as vuitton, Fendi and Chanel, but at least Lagerfeld was honest about it.

    however, nothing against it, just a bit ‘trying too hard’. diversity is about diversity, not about Asians one season to show some ‘caring’ and at the same time to help their brand building in china, then back to all white….

    well, am still a G fan, but honestly not sure about those Vikin hats, what’s that all about? dresses are beautiful though. and nice to see an Asian model with some boobs – she should be hired for VS!!!

  8. WOW.
    I need to read more about this collection but from just seeing that…I APPROVE! I’m also Asian (Chinese to be exact) so I’m super excited. πŸ™‚

  9. Riccardo is the LAST designer who would use race as a gimmick. His casting has been diverse from the start, and it’s only gotten better.

    Gimmicky is DSquared2, using all black male models for one hip hop inspired show and then none thereafter.

  10. well… i agree to some that as fashion industry in China is growing rapidly, many designers are looking forward to cast more Asian models… but we can’t really deny that past few years, before China and other Asian countries were growing, Asian models were somewhat discriminated tacitly.. i mean they were not easily shown at campaigns, editorials and shows… anyways, im so glad to see more Asian girls coming out!!!

  11. While I do believe that most designers are using Asian models for more sales, I don’t think Riccardo is doing that. I am so glad to see Hye Park!! One of my favorite models!!

  12. Well, i wouldn’t say he’s gimmicky, using black, asians, transsexuals and albino’s. But I think the reason why these are all asian models is because the collection was asian inspired, not because he wants to show he’s doing diversity (mainly because he has already proven himself). Although Liu, Sun, Ming and Ai walk regularly for him, great to see them :D.

  13. I have nothing against Riccardo, I mean, if I got the money I’ll get a rotweiller coat NOW, and I do think that he takes seriously the diversity theme but there those brands are headed by businessman because at the end of the day what matters to them it’s make money so if they could have something to sell more they will do it, I don’t think is Riccardo’s case I mean labels like Chanel, I don’t if you guys realize that spring/summer 2010 Chanel ha only one asian model (Liu Wen) las year haute couture had 4 or 5 asian models and they got a collection inspired in Shanghai, isn’t weird??
    What I demand is honest diversity and not take advantage of these amazing girls in order to sell more. Isn’t to much to ask??
    And of course the girls look amazing, I love Ming Xi she is such a sweetheart!! and I love to see Du Juan again and I almost cry when Daul Kim died, she looked amazing as a blond.
    @too_gimmicky the hats doesn’t seem viking they look really samurai, but samurai-chic

  14. And by the way Jed Root’s new model agency is amazing, the boys and the girl are amazing I want them to see in photos.
    And again I don’t have nothing against Ricardo he is amazing I wish he could have his own line besides Givenchy, and I do think that he truly believes in divesity in models, I mean, I am a latin person (I’m chilean) and I love to see models like Antonella Graef, Naomi Preizler, Dafne Cejas, Daiane Conterato, Joan Smalls, Marcelle Bittar, Lais Ribeiro or sapnish and american-latin models like Pablo Otero or Jonathan Marquez

  15. Danica Magpantay, 2011 Supermodel of the World is Gorgeous….. Givenchy should pick her as their muse.

    Her face is perfect!

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