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Asian models invade New York Fashion Week

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 02:35

Feb. 15 - Casting directors and designers are fighting over Asian models at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, with about 40 women now in the mix - up from just a handful in 2008. Elly Park reports.

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Models in line for a fashion show casting call - among them more Asian faces than ever before. It's a growing trend according to casting director Andrew Weir. SOUNDBITE: Andrew Weir, Casting Director Of ACW Worldwide, saying: "Five seasons ago, you would be hard pressed to find one show or one season, one complete season in New York, that used even one Asian girl. And now you just wouldn't have a show without one. And we're actually, you know, fighting over them." Pioneering this trend is Chinese super model Liu Wen who made world headlines as the first Asian face of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder. The 24-year-old is so busy with work that she hasn't been home for her biggest holiday in four years. SOUNDBITE: Liu Wen, Chinese model, saying (English) "Every year, Chinese new year, ( I am) in New York with New York Fashion Week. But this year there was a change because this year it was in January so in (Paris) couture. I mean.. it's a busy job." Busy indeed Wen has walked 20 shows last season in New York. Korean model Kang So Young also arrived in time for New York Fashion Week. She left her native Korea in 2010 to launch her international career on the catwalk of Chanel couture. Kang says that her life as a model is demanding, but fun. SOUNDBITE: Kang So Young, Korean model, saying (Korean) "It's true that I am very tired. But once I am on the runway there is this... sense of ecstasy, and I can't stop doing it." Mark Badgley, one half of the design team at Badgley Mischka who designed this gown says there is a reason why American designers chose to work with Asian models. SOUNDBITE: Mark Badgley, fashion designer, saying (English) "Beautiful on the runway, beautiful walkers, beautiful body types. It's a dream to see them in our clothes." According to online magazine jezebel.com around 7 percent of the models on the New York catwalks are of Asian descent. But with luxury goods demand soaring in Asia, the fashion industry might be just following the money. Elly Park, Reuters, New York.

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Asian models invade New York Fashion Week

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 02:35