Fashion Industry Profile: Chapter 4. The Movement of Fashion

The Fashion Leaders in China

A fashion leader is not the creator of the fashion. A fashion leader is a person constantly seeking distinction and therefore likely to launch a succession of fashions. A person eager for the new is merely an innovator; to be a leader, one must be influential.[1]

In the Western world, Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, and Victoria Beckham, these three are of different fashion styles, but all can be regarded as the fashion leaders.




Then how about in China and Japan? If the definition of fashion leader are applied in those two countries, who would be the best candidates? Below are my personal opinions.

NO.1 Liu Wen (刘雯)

Liu Wen, a lady of many firsts–China’s first supermodel, the first model of East Asian descent to strut her stuff on the Victoria’s Secret Catwalk and the first Asian face of Estée Lauder.[2] She also became the first Asian model to be ranked on Forbes’ list of highest-paid models in 2013. She raked in $4.3 million in 2013 and $7 million in 2014. She has done a number of campaigns for brands such as Massimo Dutti, H&M and MO & Co.[3] She became the first Chinese model to ever appear on the front cover of American Vogue in 2017. [4]

「vogue march 2017 cover」の画像検索結果

Yes, this single-eyelid Beijing girl is a legend. She may not be a traditional Chinese beauty in many people’s eyes, but she is very brave, confident, cute, and not afraid to show her natural face. She is the brightest fashion star in China and a fashion icon for many Chinese girls.LiuWen.png

NO.2 Zhang Zilin (张梓琳)

Zhang Zilin is a Chinese actress, singer, fashion model and beauty queen who won Miss China World in 2007 and later was crowned as Miss World 2007.[5]

「zhangzilin miss world」の画像検索結果

Her beautiful, confident and fashionable appearance has gained her many female fans in China. Her street looks are frequently covered by China’s fashion media.


NO.3 Gao Yuanyuan (高圆圆)

Gao yuanyuan is a Chinese actress who entered the entertainment industry in 1996. She started acting in a television commercial for Meadow Gold ice-cream after being spotted on the street at Beijing’s Wangfujing shopping district.[6] Her young and pure image was extremely popular in 2000.

Since then, she has transformed from a younger sister to a mature woman. She appeared in Alex Wang, Vesace, Alexander McQueen and Michael Kors as a red carpet star.


Her street looks are also widely liked and followed by Chinese girls.


What do you think of the above three? Do you have other thoughts on China’s fashion leaders? Let me know 🙂

[1]  Elaine Stone, The Dynamics of Fashion, (New York: Fairchild Books, 2013) , 80.

[2] “Supermodel Liu Wen wants you to understand that not all Asian people look the same,” Cosmopolitan, March 3, 2016,

[3] “Why China’s First Supermodel Doesn’t Think She’s Beautiful,” Nextshark, March 5, 2016,

[4] “Liu Wen,” Wikipedia,

[5] “Zhang Zilin,” Wikipedia,

[6] “Gao Yuanyuan,” Wikipedia,


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