Casting Coup

Ajak and Lais.

Givenchy has spoken yet again and the invigorating casting choices for Fall/Winter 2010 are just as incredibly inspirational as ever for modelwatchers out there. With all the recent talk of more diversity on the runway, to fully see a a show where people of color are included (and not just 1 or 2 looks) makes for a runway that is compelling and powerful and yet somehow so natural and seamless. Givenchy led the week with 17 of their 49 looks on some of the most beautiful faces of color, past and present. The dramatic palette of red, black and white looked stunning on Chanel Iman, Joan Smalls, Rose Cordero, Lakshmi Menon, Liu Wen, Lyndsey Scott and Shu Pei. New faces Ajak, Jiang Xiao Yi, Lais Ribeiro, Ming Xi and Sosheeba Griffiths shined as well as current campaign face Eduardo Calero and Givenchy favorites Paolo Roldan and Jonathan Marquez. The surprise choices for the collection? Top Japanese model of the early 00’s (and newly platinum) Ai Tominaga and 90’s star Ling Tan.

Ming Xi and Paolo Rolden.

Ling and Ai.

(All images from, for full collection and to see the other faces named, go to’s gallery for Givenchy)

  1. First, when I just saw the collection i didn’t know what to think, but later it made perfect sense. Riccardo Tisci is genius and his shows are always a perfect cast and perfect clothes. Love it love it love it. By the way Julija Steponaviciute looks so hot with bleached brows, she should keep them.

  2. yeah we get it…. Ricardo likes ethnicity. old news

    Can we focus on how amazing it is that, Glamazon supers are back on the runways? Adriana lima for Louis vuitton???

  3. how can sosheeba be a “new face” if she has been working for about 3 years now?

    she’s a beautiful girl but the makeup didn’t flatter her imo. same goes for dafne cejas.


  5. Great Cast that made difference than other shows. Good to see Malaysian-Chinese Ling still look great.

  6. That’s a bit of a dumb comment adam.

    Givenchy is absolutely riveting at the moment. So much drama and sex appeal it hurts.

  7. race should be an afterthought, and it is w givenchy. it’s only worth noting because most designers are completely out of touch… great to see ling and ai still rocking it. bravi.

  8. Wow that was so exciting to see Ai Tominaga and Ling Tan again!

    PS: i love Joan Smalls and Ming Xi

  9. Bravo Givenchy! Keep going…change perceptions…hopefully translating into ad campaigns for these girls…

  10. I really don’t know how Janelle could let some of these comments go through, she censors everything and these are some the most offensive comments I have read on the net in a long time and I am not that sensitive of a person. I understand that racism still exists and free speech is important but do we have to be inundated with such despicable comments by Larsz and Adam. Considering the way most comments are moderated on this site, should they be deemed offensive to models, I assume they found these comments to be acceptable.

  11. Janelle is not the only moderator of the comments, James. We do not censor “everything” but we do want people to know that there is a reality and there are people that feel the way that those 2 do. Do I agree with them? Not at all. Why do we put it up? So that people can see ignorant people still exist and that racism is a struggle every single day for people of color.

    Our biggest beef is when people attack individual models, “so and so is disgustingly ugly”.. that is awful and we won’t tolerate it. When Larsz says “I would rather see white and popular models” it just makes me laugh and shake my head that such ignorance is still out there.

    Betty (a person of color)

  12. Thanks Betty! I was waiting for a post on Givenchy’s AMAZING casting this season. So many beautiful faces of color!

  13. betty – as a person of asian descent (like me) how do you feel about no asian models at vuitton or marc jacobs this season? does michelle lee cast them?

  14. speaking of malu ribeiro – she looks exactly like one of the givenchy pr (carla who is german/thai)

  15. Glunge,
    Well, I worked for a casting director in the 90’s for a bit as well as being an agent and I have to tell you it is not an easy job, as glamorous as it may seem. Michelle Lee, who does cast for both MJ and LV, has an incredible eye and wields an enormous amount of power and is able to present new faces but at the end of the day, it is up to the designer and his/her “vision” and the stylist who decide what girls get chosen. Look at Michelle’s work for Benetton. Always incredible new faces of color. That’s their thing, that’s been their thing for the past 3 decades. Marc by Marc show on the other hand (also cast by Michelle) as opposed to big Marc show is a lot more “inclusive”. Always lots of great new faces of color, and this season a great black kid named Brian Hatcher in his ad. That’s my litmus test.. if you can put a person of color in your ad, that’s a huge plus for me. You are spending millions of dollars for the shoot and on advertising and it makes me, well “happy” when you use a person of color bec it does speak to me and I do notice it and it makes me want to spend my money on your brand..


  16. betty – i remember you from your company/michael flutie days. i agree with everything you said and i admire what michelle lee does in general. (and there were a bunch of asian models in marc by marc.) i was just annoyed that with so much talk of diversity on the runway (race, shape and age) and seeing some evidence of progress there were no asian models at marc jacobs or vuitton – both of which had enormous casts since everyone had one look each. even if for the sake of numbers couldn’t those teams find room for at least one model to fit that look? marc jacobs was about a relaxed/nonchalant cool girl and vuitton was about a classic womanly beauty – we know there are asian models in the current market who fit both looks. it almost seems intentional in both shows to exclude them. and no i don’t want to point fingers at michelle lee but rather the whole teams at both shows since it’s a group decision. but given that she is asian and has always pushed for diverse casting i would have thought she might be extra sensitive to that. thanks for listening.

  17. response to gise’s comment above: “race should be an afterthought…” – i agree with you. but it never is for a person of color (i’m not sure how you classify yourself so please don’t take this personally.) as a person of color in the western world one is constantly reminded of race and how one does/doesn’t fit in whether by your own or other’s standards.

  18. to glunge – “marc jacobs was about a relaxed/nonchalant cool girl and vuitton was about a classic womanly beauty – we know there are asian models in the current market who fit both looks.” – like who??? if you’re Asian i think you should see all the top asian models on the market right now all fit in one category – weried and unglamours. and they’re super skinny, that’s just not right for the vitton show this time. other than include an asian model on those shows just out of culture or race issue, i’d rather they don’t! or if they really want to, go east and pick one who might not be famous in the international secene but curvy and glamours. i’m of asian decent too by the way, and i’m sick of seeing the same type of slanted eyed waif looking asian models. there’re lots of gorgeous looking models in asia but they don’t get picked for international runway, i don’t get it?!

  19. to givenchy nightingale – i haven’t seen every asian model in person so i can only name a few. given that casting directors have an amazing network they definitely are sent images of lots of “hidden” models out there.

    for marc jacobs (relaxed/nochalant and cool) i think liu wen is perfect. she is exactly that description in person. also, i had heard that they did casting with real people in nyc – just go to parsons and FIT and you see so many beautiful students to cast from. nyc casting agents also have lots of nyc-based asian girls in their street-casting books.

    for vuitton i said classic and womanly even though they did use some models who were quite young – but they chose to present them in a womanly way. the first asian model that comes to mind who fits the womanly look is navia nguyen. i know she’s not currently modelling but she is acting in LA. and since they brought back some girls she would have fit in nicely.

    i can think of more but i need to get back to work!

  20. Hi Glunge and Givenchy_nightingale,
    Glunge: I’m at a disadvantage since you know who my history.. and I don’t know yours? You can email me at if you don’t want to say here in the comments:)
    By the way, then you’ll know that I represented Navia and while she is damn gorgeous.. she’s short.. and really never became a star in the sense that Laetitia Casta and Elle McPherson are supermodels. Someone I think is very feminine of face is Du Juan, I think she would have fit on LV’s runway.

    Giv_Night: Curvy and glamorous Asian women are just not part of the fashion lexicon right now. Given all the stereotypes about Asian women and sexuality, I don’t mind it all that it’s about a strong Asian look, not focused on “curves”. BTW I always thought Audrey Kwok was amazing.. There are some stereotypically “sexy” Asian females right now.. Jessica Gomes is in Sports Illustrated. But I’ve been up close to Jessica Gomes and her chest is HUGE, way bigger than Lara Stone and anyone else on that LV runway.. She also never had that editorial track at all unlike the other girls who still consistently do fashion editorials.


  21. Thanks Betty for the response, I understand your perspective and appreciate the underlying message. But to me its like this is 2010 , our president is Black , the supreme court justice is Hispanic, there are numerous national Asian reporters, everyone race, sex, age and what have you is being represented in some form or fashion. So while, it necessary that people understand that racism and racists still exists even in such diverse times , I don’t know if this was the appropriate way to demonstrate that.

    Also Audrey Quock brings back memories she definitely had a sexy womanly body, she was the first asian girl i had a crush on, then came Lucy Liu ,Junko (dance-hall queen) and Chiaki Kuriyama. They should bring back more of the supermodels of all ages, colours, sizes, etc. be more inclusive of the world, thats how you get more people spending

  22. I was saying the same thing here with my friends… asian women r just not part of the fashion lexicon now, and here in Brazil at fashion weeks we just have the brazilian model Juliana Imai, who I like so much… but we need more asian fresh faces.

  23. It was a jaw dropping cast.. with Ling and Ai in this show. Ricardo sees more than just this diversity. If someone could interview him for his casting choices? Love seeing Laetitia and Kristen McNenamy again, these ARE models, with a specific look, stand out look. Not another face like plain white paper, or dull, big boobed characterless model.

  24. since Liu Wen closed the show, I hope it equals campaign. And I love Ai’s new hair, very edgy.

  25. Ranked as the world’s number one international model management firm, IMG Models is positioned at the forefront of model management and talent discovery.

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