FASHION, MODELS TALK

MING XI

Ming Xi Illustration
Model: Ming Xi
Agencies: The Society (NY) / Elite (London, Paris & Milan)
Photographer: Daniel Jackson for Vogue China-August 2011
Illustration by: Ben L.Ferrer

In an industry where a stereo-typical look is mostly observed, a Chinese beauty was able to make a stand and attracted the western fashion capitals. Ming Xi (Xi MengYao) who is from Shanghai, China represented her country in the Elite Model Look 2009 competition and reached the 3rd place. She signed with Elite Paris with her model name as Barbie Xi. Her agency then dropped the commercial name and played with her birth name instead and changed it to Ming Xi, which sounds very marketable for an Asian model. By far, her look is more of a stand out from the traditional Chinese model face. She was picked by Riccardo Ticsi to be an exclusive for Givenchy Couture S/S 2010 in Paris Fashion Week and eventually making her appearance at New York fashion week in 2011. With an impressive debut on the runway, she also bags campaigns for Givenchy, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lane Crawford, Barneys, Michael Kors, Nordstrom, River Island, Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply Collaboration with AVICII and Hogan. Her high cheekbones and elf-like ears received much praise which has paved way for editorial and magazine covers for international glossies.

With all the flare and hype for Ming Xi and other Asian models, diverse opinions and criticisms still persist. Most people are still adjusting to see small eyes and ethnic features on media which is oppose to the round bug-eyes and lighter hair that is considered the norm of beauty for common individuals. On the other hand, “…what makes beauty interesting is when it’s debatable” as Tyra Banks would say. Before, there were very few Asian models that would make names in fashion. They were blend into the runway line up of Caucasian girls to give the collection some sort of diversity. Until 2009 to the present, the rage of Asian names came into picture in high fashion editorials, runways, beauty ads and even Victoria’s Secret. Designers and photographers are now showing huge enthusiasm for their natural poise, elegance and sharp cheekbones that a new Asian face is being introduced every season from various top agencies.

Fashion is an evolving world where everyone is looking for something new. The exposure and demand for Asian models has slowly encouraged appreciation and acceptance to an undiscovered side of beauty. As for Ming Xi, her success started when she embraced her orient looks and took part of redefining the standard of beauty. She and fellow Asian models showed the globe that this kind of beauty is truly world class and the word to describe this as underrated is a thing of the past.

Bless the models!!!

Ben.

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