Rise of the Asian Male Supermodel

Posted by models.com | July 1st, 2014


The rise of Asian supermodels ranks among the most important things to happen within the modeling industry’s past decade. The girls may get the bulk of the attention, but the elite group of Asian male models is every bit as exciting. Boys like Sung Jin Park, Phillip Huang, JaeYoo and Daisuke Ueda are dynamic in campaigns and editorials alike – bringing elegance to every shot all while breaking boundaries. Photography duo Idris & Tony capture these superstars in an exclusive portfolio for Models.com. Check out our interview with Idris & Tony here!

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65 Comments to “Rise of the Asian Male Supermodel”

  1. Alexandra says:

    Asian guys are absolutely gorgeous nowadays.

  2. Bertrand says:

    Philip, Jae, Daniel, Hao Yun and Scott. They represent well Asia and their own countries and they do have strong yet classic looks for the Fashion industry.

  3. Khoi says:

    No Zhao Lei? 🙁

  4. Kelly says:

    This is a great article. The modeling industry still has a long way to go in terms of diversity, but it’s great to see change! As great as it is, I think it needs to be opened up to people who aren’t East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese). There are plenty of gorgeous women and men from South and Southeast Asia as well!

  5. Maria says:

    Zhao Lei? Li Zhen?

  6. weedo says:

    Sang Woo Kim?

  7. Michael C. says:

    A small technicality but there are mixed race models on this list, which makes them only part Asian. Should they belong on this list?

  8. Sam says:

    no zhao lei???? the current top asian male model???? what the fuck is this bullshit list????

  9. Nope says:

    Ahhh Where are the rest of Asia? Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines…. Not one dark skin brother in here… Paolo Roldan

  10. Silver says:

    Very western stereotypical ensemble of what hot Asian guys should look like. I am not sure if these men will be top male models in Asian countries. I guess incremental steps.

  11. Eunice says:

    I would definitely recommend Sang Woo Kim as well; the only reason I can understand why he isn’t on this list is because he just recently really started gaining traction and would still be considered a relative rookie to the industry.

  12. Paul says:

    Gorgeous guys!

  13. Renee says:

    Dae Na all the way! ;D

  14. Wowzers says:

    That was an insult Alexandra, Asian men HAVE ALWAYS been gorgeous…you just only noticed. Michael C., Yes. They’re as much Asian even if mixed. In conclusion…Wowzers!

  15. Paolo Roldan should be on the list as well.

  16. FABIO says:

    SUPER BEAUTY 🙂 xxx

  17. Kelly choi says:

    What about kim won joong?

  18. studiohq says:

    All racial and ethnic identities are socially constructed Micheal, your talking about racial and ethnic identification. I can only go by how these young men identify themselves. Where they come from with pretty much tell you how they will see themselves. Most Americans, unless they are Asian (for the most part) identify Asians simply as Asians. Not Japanese, or Korean or Chinese. Those are countries people are from, not an ethnic group in which they belong. The ethnic group is Asian. period. So even if your biracial, your still seen as Asian. It’s a quirk we have here. Probably because we are such a large country it’s like someone from California saying that they are a different race then someone from New York. Not happening. Even native Americans are considered one large racial group with different territorial names. Many of them consider themselves different races but nope they are seen as being one race. Mixed or not. It’s a matter of perception not biology. So are they Asian, eh… who cares?! Are they SEXY AS H*LL?!?! Oh yea Michael, most def….

  19. cin says:

    I don’t find any of these men on here good looking except mebbe for Krit McClean. Beauty is subjective and these models do not appeal to my asian sense.

  20. cin says:

    Who is beautiful? Daniel Henney. I die.

  21. genetic-freak says:

    I’m really surprised Sang Woo Kim isn’t on this list!

  22. PC says:

    @ Genetic Freak: Seems Woo Kim is too Asian for this list… seems.

    Is it my idea, or does Scott Neslage look a whole lot like Joseph Gordon- Levitt?! Is it?

  23. Daniel says:

    Where is David Chiang and Zhao Lei??? most of those guys on the list i dont even seem them in the magazines or in ads!

  24. Love all of them but where is Sang Woo Kim?? He is fierce. Can’t wait to see more of him as he rises to the top!

  25. David says:

    While it is great to see industry diversity, these models follow the same pattern as the black female models do with the Euro-centric noses and narrow features. Same is true for the female models from the continent of Asia. True continental Asian diversity in the modeling industry will be when they are allowed to be more ethnic looking than the shape of their eyes.

  26. Naomi says:

    Among those boys i only knew Sung jin park and Jaeyoo but there is definitely a hot bunch of asian models :). I especially like Ryohei Yamada, Noma Han and Hao yun xiang hère<3<3

  27. ChrisPierre says:

    studio hq. Just to be technical Asian is not an ethnicity its a race and or continental regionality. Ethnicity tends to be a smaller more culturally exclusive identity. Such as ethnic Germans ethnic Japanese etc.

    Example- An ethnic German in Russia . Ethnicity: German. nationality: Russian. Race:White Continental Regionality: European/Eurasian/Eastern European Linguistic Sphere: Germanic/Slavic etc

    A Japanese person in Brazil. Ethnicity:Japanese Nationality:Brazilian Race:Asian Continental Regionality: A Latin American/South American
    Linguistic Sphere: Latino/Lusophone etc

  28. ChrisPierre says:

    Its exciting to see diversity in the fashion industry, none the less it is interesting to note how many mixed race models account for Asian and black models. Its like getting diversity but sort of watering it down enough to be familiar or white enough to not really cause a stir. Its like How the fashion industry has plenty of Latin American models but most tend to be of European decent when the majority of Latin America is of mixed race.

  29. haroldgerm says:

    denitely paolo roldan of the philippines should have been in this list…having been the male muse of givenchy for quite sometime should have placed paolo in this great recognition…

  30. Anthony says:

    Just wondering if any of you that have been asking “where is Sang Woo Kim, Zhao Li, Paolo Roldan,…?” have taken the time to read the interview with the photographers? (http://models.com/oftheminute/?p=66420) The interview provides alot of insight to this beautiful series of portraits of Asian male models. This is not a ranking like the “Top 50” saying one is better than the other nor is it a complete list of the Asian male models currently on the scene. It goes much deeper than that. I think that if everyone viewing this portfolio takes the time to read the Q&A you will have a better understanding of the intent of the project, and many of the questions/concerns mentioned above will be addressed for you. I applaud photographers, Idris and Tony, for standing up against the status quo!

  31. Cm702 says:

    What about Chris Matsumoto? Now there is some hot half Asian ass right there

  32. Herculano says:

    Thank you Anthony. Was wondering when people would realize that they haven’t actually gotten to photograph/meet all the models they’d like to shoot yet. It’s an ongoing series.

  33. Edge says:

    Agree with Michael, there is something to be said when the most palatable asian males (in terms of western perceptions) are one’s that are half-asian and half-caucasian. I know everyone want to think we are all one big happy family but asians that have caucasian features are generally considered more attractive then full asians and that is still an issue if we’re talking about perceptions of multi-racial beauty. and cin is an idiot.

  34. Marcus says:

    Great! No Spencer Lee though?

  35. Z says:

    No Kim Won-joong tho?

  36. jhay says:

    I like how the article shows Asian men are on the spotlight for the fashion industry. We need to see more Asian descent faces in the magazines, runways and ads. They have a unique beauty that should be shown more.

  37. WC says:

    as a handsome asian man myself, id have to say ive seen way better looking asian men on streets of japan or taiwan (but thats my own opinion being really use to my own lol), tall dark and handsome with chiseled cheek bones, that create far greater allure and intrigue. think of a dark brad kroenig long hair day stare, yes u can find asian men with those features. but of course i dont want to take away or spoil anything from whats been already accomplished and i have to say keep it up, id like to see more, not only that but asian male models need to be consistently on covers as mentioned lready like other men, they can’t just be on here and there, once in a blue moon, its got to be consistent for it to be more popular and use to, and big. less generic looking ones would help, as an asian guy myself, most of these look plain to me, there are asian men who are gorgeous in japan/china/korea/taiwan. theres a huge market for asian men, and asian community we are some of the biggest buyers, markets. im 27, asian american, and..ive been waiting my whole life just to see this asian men in our american magazines, and its really about time..never understood why it took so long. lol

  38. WC says:

    actually let me take that back, these guys look great!!! amazing, great features. more please.

  39. lanvinray says:

    I talked to Paolo about this, he was supposed to be on the shoot but he was unavailable due to another work. I guess everyone can calm down now? 🙂

    Jae Yoo & Daisuke are also my favorites 😉

  40. Yuna says:

    @WC: I’ve been in Taiwan, Korea and Japan and what you said is definitely true. There’s lots of gorgeous, handsome men in those countries and also very stylish.
    These guys here are truly attractive.

  41. Funny Girl says:

    Ummmmm, but a lot of these guys look a little too western for me. I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for this, but when I think of hot Asian guys, I think of guys who have strong Asian features. These guys are hot, but some of them look too European (Caucasian). I was expecting guys who look like Kim Woo Bin.

  42. AF says:

    Asian male models which suits the white clients fancy. And just an FYI models.com , asia also have India ( massive population) Pakistan and Iran. Yes its not middle east, its asia. Many absolutely gorgeous models from there. Maybe you guys should start noticing them. Men over there spends millions on luxury and high street so I would recommend ignorant designers and casting agents to start including those nationalities as well. I hope TOM FORD or JEAN PAUL GAULTIER can introduce and open that market for male models. I on the other hand is working on it.

  43. AF says:

    I miss the likes of MOOSE ALI KHAN and CAMERON ALBORZIAN.

  44. cubic912 says:

    I’m an AA woman who absolutely LOVES and ADORES Asian men. We need to see more of these amazing men in mainstream media.

  45. Jack Spratt says:

    Many, many gorgeous Asian men, but many don’t photograph as well as they look in person. Asian models with caucasian or latino blood mixed in photograph well, in my opinion. Not in every case, but generally it seems so. Regardless of how much new money Asians have, there will be do “Asian dominance” in the modeling industry any time soon.

  46. Lia Meier says:

    Why is TONY THORNBURG not on this list..?!?

  47. ZOE says:

    Why no JOhn Lyn?

  48. Jay Martínez says:

    I find it odd that Sang Woo Kim isn’t on here? Especially seeing that he has modeled for Burberry and exclusively for Kenzo.

  49. Lisa says:

    Wow, ALL so beautilful but Andrew doesnt look Asian at all…

  50. Lisa says:

    Where is Kim Wonjung??