They are all beautiful and highly recognisable and women all over Asia envy them for what they do. They are supermodels! The glamour, money and the luxury of haute couture is a big attraction for many models. But the hectic schedules and frequent travels do take its toll. Competition is often intense. However, the knowledge and experience gained lead them to take on bigger challenges and into related businesses and to prove that beauty and brains do exist. In this issue, Top 10 of Asia takes a look at its list of Asia’s top female supermodels (presented in random order) who have made themselves household names in their countries.
Curvy bomb shell Gaile Lai has strikingly luscious lips that will bowl you over. She was born in Macau but studied in the US where she started modelling from the age of 14 in California and later moved back to Hong Kong. She has been on the cover for fashion magazines like Elle and Marie Claire and held commercial endorsements. She is well remembered for the 2012 Folli Follie advertisement campaign in Hong Kong where she stares sexily into the camera from a bath wearing nothing but luxury accessories. She has acted in the movies, “I Do” and “My Sweetie”.
Tall and slim, Janel has perfect proportions for modelling. Born in Taichung, Taiwan, she has a diverse career. After years of modelling, she went into movie acting and TV drama series as well as hosting TV series and brand endorsements. She is widely associated with the endorsement of the Wacoal Q Up bra. In movies and TV dramas, she has been equally succcessful as she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award in the 46th Golden Bell Awards in 2011 for her role in the TV drama, The Fierce Wife. She starred in the lead role in TV drama series, “In Between” a year later.
Originally from Nanjing and already a popular model in China, Lynn moved her base to Hong Kong in 2006. By this time, she had already been recognised as one of top 10 models in China. By 2009, she was reportedly the 4th highest paid model in China. In 2008 she entered the world of movies and is most famous as the wife in the award winning film, Ip Man alongside Donnie Yen. Many of her fans adore her simplicity and down-to-earth attitude.
This Shanghainese beauty with her sultry looks and her beguiling smile began modelling in 1994. She has done extensive print and TV advertisements and catwalk shows locally in Hong Kong and international locations. In 2012, she also started co-hosting a food travel show as she is known to be keen on trying out various culinary styles. Her talent extends to writing where she authored 2 books – My Dream Wedding and My Style Guide: Kathy Chow’s Journey Of Taipei which have sold very well and have made her very happy. She recently married Julien Lepeu, a Frenchman who is a jeweller.
A Classic Chinese beauty from Hebei, she was scouted as a teenager and represented China in the Elite Models Competition in 2008. Her work has taken her to catwalks in New York, London and Paris for designers such as Hermes, Miu Miu and Celine. In 2011, she was chosen as the face of Calvin Klein One fragrance. Two years later, she laid the trail for other Asian models by being the first to grace a cover of Italian Vogue. Homes in New York and Shanghai are where she bases herself in between international shoots.
Sung Hee Kim
A newcomer to the modelling scene, she was spotted while shopping in Seoul. After working some years in Seoul, she moved to New York. Apart from being tall and slim, her background as a trained ballerina adds precision and agility to her work. Her winning features of almond eyes, puckered mouth set in a heart shaped face have already ensured editorials in international Vogue issues in China, Japan and American Glamour magazine. She has recently been selected by Prada fashion house for its Spring/Summer 2013 campaign which bodes well for the further success of this committed model.
Born in Taipei, Bianca is a mesmerizing beauty. She is most well-known for her lingerie modelling but has since turned into a successful actress. Her doeful, innocent eyes and face have earned her the nickname of “angel’s face”. Her long, leggy legs are perfect for showing off lingerie. In 2005 she broadened her career and started acting in TV series. In her spare time at home, she enjoys reading, cooking or watching movies. In 2010, she was a nominee for Best Leading Actress for her role in Bling Days at the 45th Golden Bell awards.
Hers is the face that many Malaysians recognise immediately. Amber Chia rose to fame and put Malaysia’s name on the modelling map when she won the Guess Timeless Beauty Contest in 2004. She has worked locally and internationally on runways, photo shoots for renowned international brands such as Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Cartier. In 2009, she secured the licence for the Ford Models Supermodel of the World contest. She transformed that into model search and the grand finale was broadcasted live on TV. Her crowning glory so far has been to launch her own academy which focuses on makeup, modelling and photography.
She hails from Kanagawa, Japan and has been modelling since the tender age of 15. Her chiselled cheekbones and gorgeous hair helped to make her one of the earliest Asian models to debut in Europe. In 2001, she won the 45th Model Of The Year Award from Fashion Editors Club of Japan. In 2004 she appeared in the Pirelli Calendar. In 2013, her career has evolved further as she tackles acting roles in several movies, TV dramas and hosts her own TV programmes. The socially responsible Ai also works as an official supporter for The United Nations World Food Programme.
Zhang Xu Chao
Chinese model Xu Chao’s unique look is her passport to the world of haute couture. Her fierce glare coupled with her beautiful porcelain skin and sensuous lips distances her from other models. She was discovered in Beijing and has been in editorials and advertisements for international designers such as Versace and Chanel. She bases herself in Beijing. One of her favourite projects was being involved in the Spring/Summer 2011 fashion week in New York and Paris. We will definitely see more of this supermodel who simply loves the work and is enjoying the people and places that she travels to.