Asians in Commerical Advertising

    Asian models have been showing up fairly often on the runway and high end fashion for years (yah!). Unfortunately, it's also quite well known than runway models (generally) need only be 5'7+, thin, and capable of walking the walk - the face is inconsequential since there's makeup and runway models are essentially, I quote, "human coat hangers."

    To do commercial work, models need to have more "mass appeal" and be "mainstream pretty" - the "face" is definitely not inconsequential.  That said, it's nothing new to say that there's always been a distinct dearth of Asians in commercial modeling in the US; obviously this is due to (somewhat) equal parts Asians being a minority (thus not worth targeting) and a shortage of Asians that "fit" the look American brands were looking for.

    I'm not particularly interested in writing a long-winded essay about the stereotypes of Asians in American society, I just wanted to write this post to say I've been seeing a sudden leap in the number of Asian models in commercial work for some quite well known brands :D!  To see Asians modeling for brands that are targeted towards mainstream American teens/early 20s (not niche markets or high fashion) shows how (forgive my idealism) truly diverse - or rather accepting - America has become.  Maybe 'accepting' is too optimistic a word, but at the very least there is now a need for marketers to to target the Asian demographic and embrace the fact that there are many definitions of beauty.

    American Eagle Outfitters - heyyy an Asian chick, on the homepage no less :D  I thought that was pretty cool.  And a guy too!  The fact that an Asian guy is modeling for "rugged" style brand in a manly-man way speaks volumes for how far Asian guys have come breaking free of the old stereotypical nerdy/waif-ish/unstylish geek.  He's pretty hot ...too bad he's younger than me (21 :( ).  Oh man, these scamps get younger every year *sigh*
    Jarah Mariano (IMG) - She's a reasonably popular commercial model already I think.  Her name has been floating around ever since her stint with Victoria's Secret.  She's pretty smoking hot and done a lot of commercial work with Abercrombie & Fitch, MAC, Armani Exchange, Sephora, Roxy Quiksilver, Redken, H&M, Avon, Old Navy, Dereon, Levi's, Pac Sun and Rock and Republic.... so I'm not surprised she's modeling for AE now.  She looks commercial.  She reminds me of a younger Hyori, with her...bust....tanned, sun-kissed skin tone, and the ability to balance cute with sexy very well so it's no surprise she's picked up quite a following in Korea too - though I bet the fact she's Hawaiian/Korean helps.

    Jae Yoo (Major) - WHY HELLO.  6'2, ripped abs, SEXY LIPS - where have you been all my life?  He seems to be really new on the scene but he's already modeled on the runway and done print work for Calvin Klein and Vogue.  This dude has it going for him and I feel like we'll definitely be seeing more of him in the future (YESSS).
    Also Hyoni Kang (one of my favorite models, her dimple is so cute) modeled for AE in the Spring/Summer 2010 AND Fall 2008/Winter 2009 campaigns - dost I see a trend?!

    Ann Taylor Loft - I don't know the name of the model but her pic shows up a lot on the LOFT site.  She has that mature, professional look Ann Taylor seems to yeah :) I love Ann Taylor and browse there often and it's nice to see her pic pop up.

    Banana Republic - HYONI KANG (Ford) I adore this chick, she has such a cute face.  She catapulted to fame after placing first in the 2008 Ford Super Models of the World competition and has been working busily since.   I honestly think she's one of the first Asian models to regularly do commercial work in America (forgive me if I'm wrong, I say that as a very casual observer of the modeling world).  She has great range in my eyes, she goes from couture to commercial so well ^_^  She's modeled for VS Pink, Lacoste, DKNY, AE, and Tommy Hilfiger.  And Target, you can't get more mainstream than that ahaha.  I've actually seen her campaign in-stores too so she's not being used for just print work in Asia, which is cool to know :)

    EDIT --> Estee Lauder - Speak of the devil, I just coasted into the Estee Lauder site to look at some makeup for my mom and Liu Wen (Marilyn) is staring right at me :D!  I dug around a bit and this is for EL's S/S 2011 collection :)  I consider her more of an upper-end commercial model rather than...I dunno "mainstream" than the ones above (if that makes any sense at all).  But I couldn't resist mentioning her because she is so successful.  I distinctly recall the first time I noticed her - she was the first (East) Asian to runway model for Victoria's Secret!  Apparently she is the first Asian to be a face for EL too :}

    Anyway, that's all.  Kind of a random post ^_^ Btw a great blog to track Asian models is....Asian Models :)  It's a fun site to browse, so check it out~

    Have a good weekend everyone!

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