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Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 4:34:00 PM
Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 4:49:25 PM
Liu Wen is the first Asian model to make it to Forbes’ highest earners’ ranking. – Reuters
Liu Wen's ranking among the world's highest-paid is a nod to the spending power of East Asia.
A NEW name, Liu Wen, stands out in the annual ranking of highest-earning models by Forbes.com, highlighting how much the fashion industry is responding to the spending power of China's luxury consumers.
The 25-year-old Chinese supermodel is No.5 on the list with earnings of US$4.3mil (RM13mil), thanks to deals with brands such as Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, says The Telegraph.
It is the first time an Asian model has appeared in the Forbes ranking, which typically features the likes of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Australian lingerie model Miranda Kerr, adds the British daily.
Bundchen (US$42mil/RM126mil) holds top spot in the list published last week, followed by Kerr (US$7.2mil/RM21.6mil), Brazilian lingerie model Adriana Lima (US$6mil/RM18mil) and British supermodel Kate Moss (US$5.7mil/RM17.1mil).
Another notable new name in the ranking is Joan Smalls, a Puerto Rican model at No.8 with US$3.5mil (RM10.5mil). She is the first Latina ambassador for skincare brand Estee Lauder.
Likewise, Liu was the first Chinese model to strut in a Victoria's Secret lingerie show in 2009 and the first Asian model to front an Estee Lauder global campaign in 2010.
Born in Yongzhou in Hunan province, the daughter of a construction worker was an unknown five years ago. She moved to Beijing in 2006 after she won a modelling contest.
She was discovered at a fitting in 2007 by a Marie Claire International creative director. She made her first major catwalk appearance in 2008 for luxury brand Burberry at Milan Fashion Week.
In 2009, she moved to New York, where she quickly rose to become a supermodel, along with the emergence of China as the biggest growth market for luxury products.
The country's fashion industry is expected to triple in size to US$200bil (RM600bil) by 2020. Currently half of all global luxury purchases are made by shoppers from China, Japan, South Korea and South-East Asia, says The Telegraph.
Fashion houses are staging extravaganzas in China, with Louis Vuitton shipping an entire train from Paris to Shanghai to recreate its autumn-winter 2012 show, adds the report.
Department stores such as Harrods have installed UnionPay terminals – for China's only bank card organisation – in their shops.
The Chinese visitor to Britain spends an average of £1,700 (RM8,500), three times more than the typical visitor.
Bicester Village, the designer outlet centre, is the most visited tourist attraction for Chinese visitors outside London.
At Elle, the British fashion monthly which has published a shopping guide in Chinese, bookings editor Rosie Bendandi has closely followed the rise of the Chinese supermodel.
"In the past, you would have been hard-pressed to find just one show using a Chinese girl but this season, 18 Oriental girls walked in Milan and over 30 in Paris," she tells The Telegraph.
The purchasing power of East Asia is responsible for the growth, she adds.
The Telegraph says the Estee Lauder contracts with Liu – and Smalls – are crucial to the brand, estimated to sell £192mil (RM960mil) worth of face creams and cosmetics each year. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
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