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China's new superpower - a supermodel

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 - 01:55

Nov. 22 - Chinese supermodel becomes fashion industry's new go-to girl. Cindy Martin reports.

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You may not know her name but you've probably seen her face. Just open up any fashion magazine, watch any catwalk show or cosmetics tv advert. Supermodel Liu Wen is considered China's new superpower, at least that is, in the fashion world. The 23-year-old entered a modelling contest in 2006 in order to win a computer to help her with her school work. She says back then fashion wasn't on the radar at all. SOUNDBITE: Liu Wen, Model, saying (English): "Because I grew up in a small town and the town name is Yongzhou and it's a very, very small town, no fashion, no any acting." Her mother thought the competition would give her daughter confidence. It did and Liu ended up winning. Now, five years on and the five-foot-ten-inch beauty can be seen nearly everywhere. She was the first East Asian model to walk in a Victoria's Secret fashion show and is still a regular on the lingerie label's catwalk. She has also become the first Asian spokesmodel for cosmetic company Estee Lauder. SOUNDBITE: Liu Wen, Model, saying (Mandarin): "My parents didn't really understand my job before, but now they are proud of me." Liu's soar to success goes hand in hand with her country's rapid increase in demand for luxury goods. Analysts say China's consumption of luxury items is forecast to grow 18 percent annually, and reach 27.5 billion (US) dollars by 2015. The supermodel hopes her success will bring about more visibility for Asians in the fashion industry. SOUNDBITE: Liu Wen, Model, saying (Mandarin): "I can bring Eastern beauty to the world and hope more and more Chinese models can be on the global stage to showcase different kinds of Eastern beauties." After her modelling career, Liu says fashion will always be a part of her DNA and wouldn't rule out being a stylist or designer. Cindy Martin Reuters

China's new superpower - a supermodel

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 - 01:55

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