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Fashion

The Top Asian Models Now Aren't Your Usual "Oriental Beauties"

Let's talk about Asian persuasion.

The Asian supers who broke onto the scene a decade or so ago could be said to embody the traditional notions of “oriental beauty” – take Liu Wen for example: the first Chinese model ever to be signed by beauty giant Estee Lauder in 2010. In recent years however, the most in-demand models are the ones who don’t quite fit the textbook definition of Asian beauty – more left-of-field, be it through their short ‘dos, skin colour (as much as that shouldn’t be the case anymore) or unusual features. And that’s perfectly okay.

Here are a round-up of the top Asian model personalities to know now.

Sohyun Jung
Despite her signature short crop, Korean stunner Jung debuted as an Alexander Wang exclusive during the F/W’17 show and little more than a year later, she’s on Models.com’s Hot List (which tracks the most promising up-and-comers) and fronting blue chip campaigns such as the one for Marc Jacobs Beauty last season. Randhika Nair
Nair made global news when she became the first Indian model to walk a Balenciaga show during the S/S’17 season (she was an exclusive for the brand) and she’s no one-hit-wonder either: Nair and her covetable curls fronted the British Vogue May 2018 issue as part of the vanguard of new models “changing the frontier of fashion”. EZ
Another Alexander Wang exclusive, the androgynous EZ (real name Lee Ji Hye)’s peroxide pixie turned heads when she closed the show. She might just be this generation’s answer to the chameleonic supermodel Linda Evangelista: this season she strutted the Alexander Wang shows with a fiery red buzz-cut. Dipti Sharma
After her break-out season as an exclusive at Balenciaga S/S’18, this season saw Indian native and Marc Jacobs Beauty face Sharma walking for the label again, as well as Alexander Wang, Burberry, Dries Van Noten and Gareth Pugh – landing her a spot on Vogue’s round-up of the top models of F/W’18. Chu Wong
Prada is arguably the most influential runway/campaign a new model can land and Chinese native Chu Wong scored that last year, fronting the F/W’17 ad campaign. This year sees the gamine beauty as one of the faces of the newly launched Dior Backstage cosmetics line. Add to that a China Vogue cover with Bella Hadid last September and an exhaustive list of shows this season (Loewe, Hermes, Givenchy, among others) and you’ve got a juggernaut in the making. Yoon Young Bae
Add a Prada ad campaign (F/W’16), various top covers (Harper’s Bazaar Korea March’18, British Vogue May’18), doll-esque features and you get one of South Korea’s biggest modelling star of the moment. That her looks are frequently compared to legendary Chinese warrior Mulan’s can’t hurt – and gave inspiration to her Instagram account, aptly titled @mulan_bae, where she has more than 72K followers.   Hee Jung Park
Being a favourite of Nicolas Ghesquiere can do wonders for a model’s career – Park (and her pout) got her start on the international circuit as an exclusive at Louis Vuitton F/W’17 and this season sees her at her busiest, appearing in more than 30 shows. Songhwa Oh
The newest model to hit the scene, this F/W’18 was Oh’s debut season, appearing in Alexander Wang, Dries Van Noten, as well as securing the closing slot at Marc Jacobs. Not too shabby for a newcomer, who’s also a hit off the runway with the street style photographers for her asymmetric bowl-cut and androgynous dressing.   Xie Chaoyu
Having debuted just last season (where she made Models.com’s list of top newcomers), the elfin Xie is a firm Prada favourite, fronting the brand’s ad campaign last season. Even the way she hit the modelling circuit speaks to her Gen Z roots – a model booker discovered her via WeChat. Images: Showbit