5 Asian male models dominating the runways at fashion week
David Gandy, Lucky Blue Smith and Jordan Barrett are names you're familiar with. But could you name any Asian male model on your radar? The Asian invasion of international runways has largely been led by Liu Wen, Shu Pei, Tao Okamoto and Ming Xi. The boys deserve some of the credit as well.
The faces to look out for are a heady mix from China, Korea and Japan, most of whom have appeared on the catwalks of Dries Van Noten, Kenzo and Prada. Follow them on Instagram to see the exotic locations their jobs take them, their everyday routine performed with (who else) other divine models by their side and a behind-the-scenes look at their gigs. There's more to them than a pretty face.
1. SANG WOO KIM
Born in Seoul but brought up in London, Kim began modelling just to help his friends. "At the time when I was studying at Central Saint Martins doing favours for my friends, not really having a clue why me, but if it was going to help them for their projects or portfolios I was more than willing to help, also to get a free coffee or lunch here and there. With a lot of encouragement from my friends, I finally pushed myself to walk into an agency," he told i-D. Sang signed with Select in 2014 and now with The Lions, the 24-year-old Fine Arts student has walked the runways at Burberry, Kenzo, Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten and DKNY. Not bad for a kid who stumbled into the job.
2. HAO YUN XIANG
At 188cm with his square jaw and abs of steel, Hao Yun Xiang made his modelling debut in Dior Homme's fall/winter 2012 campaign. The 27-year-old was a professional athlete before he steered towards a career in fashion, which to date has included walks for Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and Hermès, and starring in campaigns for Massimo Dutti, Tommy Hilfiger and most recently, China's version of Zara, Me & City, alongside Liu Wen and Shu Pei. The Beijing native is major foodie and currently lives in New York. "I am a big fan of all the diferent types of cuisine in Koreatown in Midtown, Chinatown in Lower Manhattan, and Little Tokyo in the East Village."
3. SUP PARK
With YG KPlus as his mother agency, you know Hyeong Seop Park (better known as Sup) is one of the cooler kids. He initially dreamt of following his hairstylist cousins' footsteps, but he found success instantly at Seoul Fashion Week during the fall/winter 2011 season when decided to try to be a model. Despite (or thanks to?) his distinctive ears, the 27 year-old has since found his way to becoming a regular at major European runways and starred in campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Neil Barrett and Gap. You might just spot him skateboarding down the streets of New York City where he's based now.
4. KEISUKE ASANO
From Sapporo, Japan, 183cm tall Asano was a photo editor before he switched gears. With his dreamy eyes and boy-next-door ease it's no surprise the model has starred in mainstream campaigns for Uniqlo, Levi's and Adidas. Now based in New York City, he continues to pursue his passion in photography while keeping his day job. Proving his varied interests, he's said the three people he would love to meet most in the world are Jay-Z, Sen no Rikyū, a 16th century tea master and French footballer Thierry Henry.
5. WANG CHENMING
Expect to see Wang Chenming's face around town and in magazines in his latest Bally fall/winter 2018 campaign with Edie Parker. Signed with a dozen modelling agencies, this 22-year-old made his international debut at Raf Simons's fall/winter 2015 show upon winning a competition in China. He even opened for Maison Margiela in his very first season. "My favorite modelling job is going to Europe for fashion week," he said to Models.com. "I want to do a thousand shows!"