Introducing Ming Xi, One of China’s Hottest Top Models Right Now

 

You may already be familiar with Chinese models Liu Wen and Fei Fei Sun, but be sure to add the Shanghainese-born model, Ming Xi (birth name Xi Mengyao), to your list of models to watch. Not only was she named one of the top 50 supermodels of the world at the age of 24, she is also currently one of fashion’s busiest and most in-demand models.

With her unique features (those eyes!) and willowy limbs, her success came pretty naturally. Two years after graduating with a degree in fashion design at Donghua University, Ming Xi entered the International Elite Model Look competition in 2009 and came in third place. In January the next year, Givenchy’s creative director Richard Tisci personally requested her to walk in the line’s haute couture runway show. The year after, she appeared in Givenchy’s campaigns.

 

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Givenchy fell in love with her, and just like that, so did the rest of the world. The high-profile model has walked for Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga, just to name a few. Most notably, she also walked with some fierce attitude in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as one of only four Asian models in the entire show.

 

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Clearly, the girl knows how to work the crowd.

Her success pretty much sky rocketed from there. Michael Kors loves her so much that he sent her to the Met Gala in 2014, where she turned heads in an elegant black and green ball gown. She then flew to China where she walked alongside top American fashion models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr in Michael Kor’s Shanghai Extravaganza. She also attended his jet-set party for his new flagship store in Shanghai.

 

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Ming Xi, on the right, with Michael Kors and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

 

Despite her success and fame, Ming Xi remains a down-to-earth girl. She told CNN in an interview, “Goals are nice, but with this profession, there is so much that is out of your hands,” she says. “In my opinion, happiness is the most important thing in my life.”

 

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Korean Golfer Ignores Suggestion to Get Plastic Surgery, Wins 16 Golf Tournaments Instead

We’ve all heard stories of models and actresses who have to deal with the sometimes unattainable expectation to be beautiful all the time, but now it appears that this expectation of beauty is expanding to the sports world. Apparently, even some athletes are now facing the pressure to be beautiful. At least that’s what it seems to be in the case of 26-year-old Korean golfer, Ahn Sun-ju.

After winning 16 tournaments and accruing nearly $5 million in prize money since 2010, Ahn has climbed her way upward and has become the top female golfer in Japan. Clearly, this is an extraordinary achievement, but it left sports columnist Lee Young-mi with questions. Namely, why was she not striving to be the best golfer in Korea?

Unfortunately, her responses to his interview questions were disheartening to say the least. Simply put, her physical appearance held her back.

“Some (potential Korean) sponsors even demanded I get plastic surgery,” she said in the article. “Companies did not consider me as a golf athlete, only that I was a woman. It mattered most to them was whether my appearance was marketable [sic]. I was deeply hurt by that.”

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The Korea Times points out that she won six tournaments in Korea, but still struggled to find a corporate sponsor. Is it really because she wasn’t pretty enough? She thinks so. During the interview, Ahn acknowledged that she doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of “sexy” (why does that even matter?) but would not let that hinder her from playing golf. Instead, she turned to Japan.

“Japanese companies, on the other hand, focused on my ability as a golfer,” Ahn explained. “They are more concerned about my performance and how I treat my fans. I am being sponsored by six Japanese companies, including a clothing brand.”

Can we say for certain that Ahn’s decision to move to JLPGA was due to Korea’s inability to accept her physical appearance? Absolutely not. She may have just dealt with a sour company’s opinion and we certainly shouldn’t assume that the KLPGA puts those expectations on their players.

What we do know is that Ahn endured a horrible experience of someone telling her she wasn’t pretty enough. What’s even worse is the realization that we, too — sometimes not even aware of it — are told the same thing.

Many of us, especially women, are pressured on a daily basis as hundreds of advertisements tell us there’s room for improvement. That of course confirms the message we’ve grown up with our entire lives: we’re never enough and our imperfections need to be fixed. The pressure to be beautiful certainly occurs worldwide, but some countries, such as Korea, have begun to build a reputation for beauty, a reputation maybe they feel they must keep. Many people have now correlated Korea’s high beauty standards to their equally high plastic surgery rates. After all, how else is one supposed to keep up with such extreme pressure and expectations?

We may never know the details behind Ahn Sun-ju’s unfortunate experience. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that we admire her. She quickly understood that her worth was measured in her talent, not in her external beauty. Besides, last we checked, beauty never won golf tournaments. Good for you, girl.

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(Source)

Fei Fei Sun, First Asian Model to Grace The Cover of “Vogue Italia”

 

Last year, we couldn’t be prouder when we saw high fashion Chinese model Fei Fei Sun’s face on the cover of Vogue Italia, and it came as no surprise. Fei Fei is currently regarded as the model with the most impressive resumé. She has not only walked for every major fashion designer in the industry, but she has also managed to be on the covers of Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Vogue.

 

 

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When Fei Fei was only 10 years old, her mother became concerned when her daughter shot up to 5-feet-5-inches, something that is quite unusual for a Chinese girl at that age, to say the least. Like many tall girls with gangly figures, Fei Fei experienced issues with her posture and had trouble standing up straight. Determined to fix it, Fei Fei decided that modeling was the way to go.

 

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Fei Fei, with Elite Model contestants

 

In 2008, at the age of 19, Fei Fei entered the Elite Model Look contest and — surprise, surprise — went home as its champion. With her old world looks, it wasn’t long before designers took notice of the now 5-foot-10.5-inch beauty. In fact, the next year, iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld himself handpicked Fei Fei to be in Chanel’s pre-fall 2010 Paris-Shanghai fashion show. Thus, her professional modeling career began.

 

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Fei Fei Sun at Chanel’s pre-fall 2010 Paris-Shanghai show.

Though she may look intimidating in her cover shoots and on the runway, fans gravitate towards this Chinese beauty, and it’s hard not to. She’s actually adorable.

 

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These days, while off-duty, the 25-year-old model resides in her apartment in Shanghai with her photographer boyfriend Liang Zi, and as you can see, they’re even more adorable.

 

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Heartwarming Story of the Day: This is What True Friendship Looks Like

 

You may be wondering why the girl in the green shirt appears to be glaring at the camera. Perhaps you may be thinking she is merely annoyed at the other girl strapped around her neck. Without having read the story behind this picture, I would have thought so as well.

But that expression on 13-year-old He Qin-Jiao’s face isn’t a result of some sort of sister feud — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The look is of determination to carry her polio-crippled classmate, He Ying-Hui, to school everyday — for three years.

According to the Mayo Clinic, polio (short for poliomyelitis) is a contagious, viral disease that is transmitted orally. Its symptoms can include anything as minor as a sore throat or back pain, or as severe as paralysis. In this case, He Ying-Hui’s polio was in fact paralytic, to the point where she could not walk due to muscle weakness.

 

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In the fall of last year, Ying-Hui was finally granted a wheelchair from the local government, but her friendship with Qin-Jiao didn’t end there. In fact, Qin-Jiao woke up every single day at 6 am so that she could rush to Ying-Hui’s house to push her in her wheelchair, all the way to school. Once they reached school, Qin-Jiao would then carry Ying-Hui on her back to the second floor, where the girls’ classroom is located.

Of her friend’s unwavering dedication, Ying-Hui wrote in her exercise writing book, “He Qin-jiao uses her little young shoulders to prop up my sky.”

 

 

Sailor Moon Is Back With Anime Series Reboot “Sailor Moon Crystal”

 

If you’re a Millennial and female, there’s a good chance that you grew up watching the Japanese anime Sailor Moon. At one point or another, you may have even dressed up as your favorite Sailor Moon character, either by yourself or with a group of your closest girlfriends. Well, after 17 years of waiting, our childhood anime is back!

The new reboot of the Japanese anime Sailor Moon, called Sailor Moon Crystal, premiered on July 5 on Japanese streaming sites as well as on Hulu. Fans all over the world hailed the return of our superwoman team, the storyline of which will reportedly follow the manga series.

Thinking about reliving your childhood and dressing up like Sailor Moon again, just for old time’s sake? Check out Style2Bones blogger Dominique Nghiem’s updated version of Sailor Moon-inspired looks. Maybe some early Halloween planning?

 

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4 Ways The Korean “Ajumma” Is Becoming The New Style Influencer

 

Ajumma: noun, \’a joom ma\ A middle-aged Korean woman, typically identifiable by a mop of tightly curled short hair; loose, mismatched clothing; and a no-nonsense, out-of-my-way attitude.

 

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Cartoon by Emiko Sawanobori.

 

For some time now, the stereotypical Korean ajumma has long been thought of as the antithesis of style — something, as a young Korean woman, you never wanted to become. In Korea, you see them hawking their wares from food carts or squatting on the side of the road, picking weeds. In Los Angeles, I’m being jostled left and right by all manner of ajumma in the produce section of the Korean market. Travel almost anywhere in the world and you’re likely to see a whole swarm of ajumma, dolled up in brightly colored North Face windbreakers and talking super loud over one another. It’s a cringe-worthy sight.

And yet, I’ve been noticing that ajumma style is slowly seeping out into the real world, the non-ajumma world of the rest of us. It’s something Valerie Luu and Andria Lo noticed about San Francisco’s Chinatown senior citizens. Whether intentional or not, it just goes to show — those ajummas might actually know a thing or two. Here, four ways the ajumma is the new style influencer.

 

1. Mismatched prints

Print clashing has been a thing on fashion runways for several years now. But when restaurateur Roy Choi took the mismatching prints ajummas are famous for wearing and turned it into the wait staff uniform for his new Korean restaurant Pot at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles, I knew the ajumma had reached icon status.

 

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Mismatched prints from the fall/winter 2014 runways of, from left, Acne, Duro Olowu and Viktor & Rolf.

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The mismatched prints worn by the hostess at Pot, left, and the wait staff, right, are styled after a typical ajumma, says restaurateur Roy Choi.

 

2. Sun Umbrellas 

 

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Sun umbrellas among the young are already a thing in China.

 

According to the Korean newspaper Joongang Daily, small sun umbrellas, or yangsan, have officially become a must-have among the younger set. In Korea, portable parasol sales jumped by 35 percent compared to last year, with almost half the purchasers in their 20s and 30s. It’s really no surprise, given the obsession with skincare in the country. It’s only a matter of time before this trend spreads to the States. After all, the ajumma has mostly bypassed the sun umbrella these days in favor of the …

 

3. Oversized Visor

 

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I’ll admit — this one threw me for a loop. Sure, visors came down Marni’s spring 2014 runway, but they were so hyper-embellished and sleek, they were actually cute. Sure, golf superstar Michelle Wie wears amply sized visors on the green, but come on, she’s an athlete. Yeah, OK, so Donald Sterling ex V. Stiviano piqued curiosity about the welding mask-like visor that ajummas have worn for years. But I realized visors might actually become a thing when, on a business trip to Korea with other magazine editors, a prominent beauty editor of an American fashion magazine (she’s white) fell in love with the giant visor worn by some ajummas gardening on the side of the road. Oblivious to the so-not-chic connotations, she promptly declared it genius and went out and bought one to wear herself. It truly opened my eyes to the possibilities.

 

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Visor chic at Marni’s spring 2014 show.

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Oversized visors are already catching on in Asia.

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V. Stiviano and the infamous visor.

 

4. Arm sleeves

 

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This ajumma trend has been going on in Asia for some time, and not just among the ajummas. Young women in Asia now regularly wear arm sleeves to protect their skin while driving. But when I saw my Chinese Honduran sister-in-law casually put on fingerless gloves one morning before starting the car, I knew the trend had officially crossed over. Needless to say, I promptly dug out my fingerless gloves, circa 2004, and now keep them in the car. Just in case.

 

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So, is the short, tight perm (or pamma in Korean) next? (It does look like an Asian ‘fro, after all.) I say, when it comes to the Korean ajumma, don’t count anything out.


Take a Closer Look At Liu Wen, Fifth Highest Paid Model in The World

 

If you’ve been following fashion, you probably already know that Liu Wen (nicknamed 小蚊子, or “little mosquito”) is kind of a big deal in the fashion world. The 26-year-old Elite model is currently making $4.3 million a year and is expected to create an even bigger name for herself in the next few years. In addition to being ranked as one of the online men’s magazine Askmen’s hottest women of 2012 (22 hottest out of 100), she’s also the first Asian model to ever walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

 

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What you probably didn’t know was that, unlike most models, Liu Wen didn’t start out her career in hopes of becoming the giant star that she is now. In fact, in the summer of 2005, Liu Wen entered the Elite Model Look contest with the goal of winning a computer, of all things — not with the burning desire to grace the cover of Marie Claire magazine like the other contestants. As the daughter of a lowly construction worker, Liu Wen never dreamed of walking on runways; she always thought she wanted to be a tour guide.

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As it turns out, introducing famous landmarks to tourists is not what the gods had in store for Liu Wen. Much to her surprise, she ended up winning the Elite Model Look contest, and during one of the fittings for the Marie Claire shoot, creative director Joseph Carle was immediately captivated by her look. At the age of 18, she followed Carle to Europe, and her life was changed forever. She has walked for every major fashion designer, including Dior, Gucci, Prada, Celine and YSL, has appeared in fashion magazines around the world, is featured in ad campaigns from Tiffany’s to H&M, La Perla to Coach, and is the first Asian spokesmodel for mega cosmetics brand Estée Lauder.

 

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But the Yong-Zhou native doesn’t just sit around waiting for her next runway walk or photo shoot; in her spare time, Liu Wen enjoys writing in her blog and fooling around with photography and making videos.

Unlike some celebrities who feel pressured when their pictures are constantly being taken on the streets, Liu Wen has said in an interview that she embraces it, and we can definitely see why. While we love seeing her glammed up in high-end ad campaigns and editorials, we love even more her great sense of street style and adorably warm smile (those dimples!).

 

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Odd Asian Trend: Brides Dolled Up For Their Big Day … Graduation

A few months ago, we got to see what happens when Japanese schools have no dress code for graduation. The regal ceremony turns into an epic show of cosplay with Domo, Princess Peach and even PowerRangers ready to accept their diploma.

This may be strange for those of us who picture graduation as a time for shiny black gowns and square-shaped caps. However, in Japan, they believe that a special day should be treated as such. Plus, this gives them another opportunity to show off some creativity and flare.

As it turns out, students in China also perceive graduation in this light. Instead of cosplaying as their favorite anime character for graduation, however, Chinese students have a different sort of outfit in mind: wedding dresses.

We kid you not. The most recent trend among Chinese college graduates are Western-style wedding gowns. White, laced and beaded, these Western-style wedding gowns are not at all new to China. In fact, many Chinese women have chosen a white wedding dress over the traditional red dress, but that hasn’t caused too many heads to turn seeing as the wedding dress is still actually being used for, oh, you know, a wedding.

When asked why they want to wear these typical wedding dresses for their graduation photos, one graduate said, “The wedding dress makes things feel more meaningful.” But isn’t a graduation meaningful enough without all the confusion of other celebrations thrown in? Apparently, not the way we imagine it.

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“Graduation ceremonies [in China] are not fun,” says Forbes writer Zheyan Ni. “Parents don’t typically attend and professors don’t hug. Speakers are usually party bureaucrats and officials affiliated with the school, delivering platitudinous and dry elocutions. In fact the only place for graduates to creatively express themselves is the formal photo shoot.”

Some have pointed out the symbolic meaning behind leaving one chapter of your life and “getting married” to another. Others have said this is their last chance to be creative and crazy without consequence. And some have simply said the gowns make everyone look pretty and that’s what you want for an important day. Whatever the reason may be, students across China are renting white gowns and bouquets of flowers for their very special day … well, their other very special day.

Tell us what you think — is this new Asian trend cute or too odd for your liking? Watch the video below.

(Source)

Breaking The Asian Myth: Why Asians CAN Wear Yellow

We’re no stranger to Asian myths — they’ve been thrown at us our entire lives. They’re ridiculous over-generalizations about Asians that assume we’re all exactly alike. Some Asian myths are dangerous, like the idea that Asians don’t get fat or don’t get breast cancer — both of these hinder our community from taking necessary health precautions. Other Asian myths are much less harmful (unless you count the dangers of all the eye-rolling it causes us), like the belief that all Asians have the same kind of hair.

Well, we’re here to add another eye-roll myth to the list: Asians shouldn’t wear yellow.

I was shocked to discover just how many Asian women were told that they shouldn’t wear yellow because it clashes with Asian skin. I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror, I certainly don’t think my skin shows signs of jaundice. It may have a yellow undertone, but all sorts of ethnicities have yellow undertones, so why are we forbidden from wearing yellow?

As it turns out, there’s no valid reason for the myth at all. One-time fashion dictators simply thought it made us look sallow and was not flattering on our skin tone. (It’s the same thinking behind why redheads should not wear red or pink.)

Yes, now is the time to sigh. But who can blame these color-blind fashionistas of the past. After all, this video from the ’80s highlights just how early we’re taught that Asian=Yellow.

The reality? No, Asians are not literally yellow. We simply have to blame a German professor from the 19th century who came up with the five color typology for humans that categorized Asians under the term “yellow.”

Luckily for us, this means that we can wear yellow without disappearing into our clothes. And as it turns out, we do a damn good job of it, too. Don’t believe me? Check out the following Asian celebs rocking yellow outfits. You’ll be sure to include this color in your wardrobe after you get a load of them.

Chinese actress Li Bingbing at the Shanghai International Film Festival

Chinese actress Li Bingbing at the Shanghai International Film Festival

Olivia Munn at this year's Met Gala

Olivia Munn at this year’s Met Gala

 

Actress Jamie Chung

Actress Jamie Chung

 

Actress Mindy Kaling

Actress Mindy Kaling

Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

 

Brenda Song at Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards 2009

Brenda Song at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards 2009

Sandra Oh on the cover of Audrey Magazine Summer 2014

Sandra Oh on the cover of Audrey Magazine Summer 2014

Incorporate This Asian Skincare Must-Have Into Your Regimen: Skin Lotion

 

The international hit K-drama My Love From the Stars launched a number of trends and worldwide obsessions, from actress Jun Ji-hyun’s lipstick (the mere rumor that her coral-pink color came from YSL caused a worldwide shortage of the shade) to anything from Korean brand Iope, which was prominently displayed in the star’s boudoir on the show. Apparently, you can’t find Iope’s top seller, Bio Essence, in duty free stores at Korean airports because of all the Chinese tourists who are buying the hydrating liquid by the boxful. (And at $60 a pop, it ain’t cheap.)

Iope Bio Essence is a part of that step in any respectable Asian skincare regimen that includes what is called “lotion,” “skin lotion” or, to some old-school Koreans, simply “skin” — a water-like solution for the face used after cleansing.

It’s different from the toner that we here in the States may have grown up with — that harsh, alcohol-based liquid we swept over skin with a cotton ball to wipe off any residual makeup that our cleanser may have missed. (In Asia, a double cleansing method — makeup remover and then cleanser — does away with the need for a post-rinse “toner.”) Rather, “lotion” is a post-cleansing hydrator, usually applied by sprinkling into hands and pressing the palms over the face to ensure proper penetration. It’s a step that “provides hydration to the skin that might be stripped during the cleansing process,” says Diane Nakauchi, skincare expert and CEO of Japanese skincare brand Koh Gen Do. Like a vitamin drink, skin lotion usually has “humectant properties to help hold in moisture,” she adds, imparting a translucency to skin.

Today, Asian skincare companies are bringing these post-cleansing hydrators — whether called “lotion,” “water” or even “toner” — to American consumers, and American skincare companies are quickly jumping on board. And these newest iterations of lotions go beyond just hydrating — some balance skin’s pH levels; others refine and exfoliate. But perhaps the best reason to add lotions to your skincare regimen is what they all do: prep skin so that subsequent treatments can more effectively penetrate skin’s top layer. The result? All those expensive serums and creams work more effectively with less.

If you’re located near Los Angeles, there are plenty of Korean beauty boutiques in Koreatown that have Iope Bio Essence in stock. But you don’t have to fly to Korea or Los Angeles to get a hydrating lotion onto your bathroom shelf. Asian skincare companies available in the States already have a hydrating lotion in their line, and recognizing the brilliance of Asian skincare products, a number of non-Asian companies are coming out with their own versions. With a broad price range, these lotions are something everyone can get on board with. Check out some of our favorites:

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Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Lotion II: A botanical-based gel-liquid with time-release moisturizing agents from the skincare line used on major Hollywood sets from Dallas Buyers Club and American Hustle to Glee.

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Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion: The line’s first “watery lotion” — inspired by its Asian consumers — hydrates with its breakthrough NMF Complex to increase the production of the essential building blocks of skin’s natural moisturizing factors.

 

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SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: The prestige Japanese line’s cult favorite product contains more than 90 percent Pitera, their signature skin refining ingredient that boosts the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process. 

 

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Laneige Power Essential Skin Toner: The popular Korean brand, known for its scientifically engineered Optimal Mineral Water in their skin refining toner, as well as the rest of their Water Bank line, is finally available to the American masses at mega retailer Target. 

 

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Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Balancing Water: A gel-like water with white ginseng and mulberry root extract to brighten, exfoliate and balance skin’s pH levels.