Chinese models begin to dominate nation's catwalks

By Zhou Wenting | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-22 08:09

Chinese models begin to dominate nation's catwalks

Models wait outside their agency ahead of a selection meeting for an ad campaign. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]


When she started modeling in Shanghai four years ago, Wang Mengjia, from Henan province, was often selected for shoots, only to be told later that the client had changed their mind and would use a foreign model. Now, the situation has been reversed.

For many years, Chinese brands believed that they would only be regarded as stylish if they used foreigners in their promotions, but now the number of models from overseas is falling across all campaigns, from commercials for high-end local brands to shows for online stores on Taobao, one of China's most popular retail websites, she said.

According to Zheng, from Esee Model Management in Shanghai, the change is the result of cultural differences. "Some online stores want potential customers to know that their clothes are suitable for everybody, so they choose Chinese models, who are generally sweet, gentle and petite. Female models from overseas are at least 175 cm tall, which can make Chinese customers feel divorced from the product," he said.

Wang said the rising competitiveness of Chinese models can be partly attributed to the fact that they are usually better trained than their foreign counterparts.

"Most Chinese models graduate from modeling schools or join the industry after winning a beauty contest. However, most foreign models enter the profession after being spotted by talent scouts in the street," said the 23-year-old, who came second in the 2015 Miss Universal China contest.


Opportunities may be dwindling for foreign models, but most agree that China offers more chances to work than any other Asian country.

Frenchman Adrien Jacques, who has modeled in a number of European and Asian cities in the past five years, has spent much of the past two years in Shanghai.

"I take more than 10 jobs every three months, and I participate in as many castings as possible every day to win more opportunities," the 22-year-old Parisian said. Last month, he worked on a shoot for a well-known brand of Japanese pomade in Shanghai, a job that offered him more than just money.

"Big brands have outstanding teams of makeup artists, stylists and photographers. I can learn a lot from them during the shooting process. Moreover, working for big brands is a good advertisement for me and will help me win better opportunities in the future," he said, adding that he has urged many of his peers in Paris to work in China.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349