Asian Models Page 1
Vogue Italia has something of a spotty history when it comes to dealing with race in its pages. For their January issue, however, the glossy has tapped Chinese model Fei Fei Sun, and after leafing through our mental archive of Vogue covers and consulting the trusty Google machine, we’re pretty darn sure this is the first time an Asian model has ever fronted the magazine all by her lonesome. And the resulting images? Flawless.
Tao Okamoto might just be our favorite among the crop of new Asian models currently dominating the industry, but let’s be clear — she didn’t really slave her way up through the ranks like some models have to. Okamoto’s face (and now iconic bowlcut) were a hit as soon as she landed Stateside.
The trend (because it is a trend, unfortunately) of putting Asian models in your advertising and your couture shows and your magazine spreads is a welcome change from the whitewashed fashion photography and casting of yesteryear. But is it enough simply to evoke whatever feeling you think the East evokes in order to claim diversity? Apparently it is. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott created this spread for Interview Magazine called China Girls. And there’s only one Chinese girl in it.
It’s been a really good few days for Asian fashion models. First Louis Vuitton cast Taiwanese-Canadian actor Godfrey Gao for its spring campaign, then a gorgeous young Filipina named Danica Magpantay won the Ford Supermodel of the Year competition. And earlier today, Riccardo Tisci showed his couture collection for Givenchy with a group comprised of entirely Asian models.
Sadly, this doesn’t say that the tide of change is washing over the all-white landscape of the modeling industry. It says that modeling, like fashion, is powerfully susceptible to a good trend.