Liu Wen is the first model of East Asian descent to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the first spokesmodel of East Asian descent for Estée Lauder and the first Asian model to ever make Forbes magazine’s annual highest-paid models list.
In 2016, she made $7 million, and that’s not even including her Chinese endorsements.
Height: 5 ft 10½ or 179 cm
Eye color: Brown
Hair Color Black
Measurements: 33-24-35 in or 83.82-60.96-88.9 cm
Age: 30 years and 7 months
Sun Sign Aquarius
Agency: The Society Management (New York), Elite Model Management (Paris, Milan, Barcelona), Storm Model Management (London).
Liu has said in the press many times that she has never had a boyfriend and remains without one.
She has walked the ramp and advertised for designers such as Alexander Wang, Barney’s New York, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein ‘cK One’ fragrance, cK Calvin Klein, Converse by John Varvatos, Diesel, DKNY, DKNY Jeans, Dolce & Gabbana, Estee Lauder, Evian, Gap, Lane Crawford, Ne Tiger, Oscar de la Renta, Shanghai Tang, Tosca Blu, United Colors of Benetton, Vivienne Tam.
In 2012, The New York Times named her “China’s first bona fide supermodel”.
In 2017, she became the first Chinese model to ever appear on the front cover of American Vogue.
She is currently represented by The Society Management and is based in New York City.
In an April 2014 article about social media’s rise in the fashion industry, American Vogue remarked that she had “by far, the biggest social-media audience of any model”.
Models.com dubbed her as the first ever Asian “New Supermodel” in July 2014.
And in October of the same year, Liu became the first person in the world to showcase an Apple Watch on a magazine cover when she appeared on Vogue China’s November 2014 issue.
In an interview given to W magazine, she revealed that she had studied tourism in school and were having plans to become a tour guide. But, luckily, she didn’t go for one. Her first real job was as a model only.
She was raised an only child.
Siblings – None
Wen can be contacted through these modeling agencies –
Marilyn Agency – Paris
Select Model Management
Marilyn Agency – New York
Catwalk – Shanghai
An only child, Liu was born into a working-class family on January 27, 1988, in Yongzhou, Hunan.
In her teens, her mother encouraged her to be professional, eat well, and enter a modeling contest, which led to Liu’s discovery.
Liu originally planned to work as a tour guide.
Early career and success
Liu started her modeling career in 2005 when she entered the New Silk Road World Model Contest, a contest previously won by international covergirl Du Juan.
Although she did not win the competition, Liu soon began working full-time as a model, eventually becoming a national success story after working with fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar that are popular in China.
In September 2007, Liu caught the attention of the international fashion industry when she shot an editorial in clothes designed by Karl Lagerfeld and Viktor and Rolf and would later walk for both of those brands. She was invited to Paris in 2008 to sign with an agency and participate in Paris Fashion Week.
In February 2008 she appeared in four fashion-related articles for Chinese Vogue.
She debuted on international runways in the same month, walking for Burberry and closing the fall Trussardi show in Milan. The week after, she walked for Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Hermès in Paris.
A year later in February and March 2009, Liu Wen appeared in 74 shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris for the Fall 2009 ready-to-wear season — this was the highest number shows for a model in that season.
It also remains the record for the most shows ever walked by a model of Asian descent in a single season. She followed that up with the Spring 2010 ready-to-wear season, walking 70 shows in the same four cities. This statistic made her the second most booked model for the season following French model Constance Jablonski.
Liu has appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta, Hugo Boss, Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, H&M, Marni, Lane Crawford, Bergdorf Goodman, Diesel, Gap, and Vivienne Tam. Her record for a single season is seven including DKNY Jeans, The GAP, Barneys New York, Benetton, Alexander Wang, Converse, and cKone in Spring 2009. She has been featured as the only female in major Vogue editorials for Vogue Germany, Vogue Espana, Vogue China, Vogue Italia, British Vogue and American Vogue. She has also been featured in editorials for Numéro as well as a cover, GQ, V magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Pop Magazine, Allure, i-D (as well as a cover), Interview, and W.
In 2009, Liu became the first woman of Chinese descent to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Liu also participated in the 2010-2012 shows.
She returned to the Victoria’s Secret runway again in 2016.
In April 2010, it was announced that Liu along with Constance Jablonski and Joan Smalls would help to represent the cosmetics company Estée Lauder.
In March 2012, The New York Times featured Liu Wen on the cover and in the main feature for their Style “T” Magazine’s Travel Issue, and she was dubbed “China’s first bona fide supermodel”.
In the same year, she attended the Cannes Film Festival for the first time.
In Spring 2013, Liu Wen was dubbed one of “The New Icons” by H&M for her widely admired street-style.
In 2013 she also became the first Asian to be in the top 5 on Forbes’s list of the world’s highest-paid models, as number 5.
She repeated the feat in 2014, with her salary rising from $4.3 million the previous year to $7 million.
Also in 2013, Liu gained a rank of #3 on the Top 50 Models Women List by Models.com.
She is the highest-ranked model of Asian descent in history.
In July 2014, Models.com elevated her to the status of “New Supermodel”, the first Asian model to ever receive that honor.
She remains on that list as of February 2015.
Liu Wen has garnered a heavy social media following on platforms such as Instagram and Weibo. The immensity of her audience led American Vogue to dub her as a leader in the digital movement, saying in their April 2014 issue that “Liu also has, by far, the biggest social-media audience of any model”.
For Vogue China’s November 2014 issue, Liu became the first person to ever to wear an Apple Watch on the cover of a magazine.
For the feat, she received vast recognition for being an ambassador in the era of fashion’s crossover with technology.
In April 2015, she and South Korean singer Choi Siwon participated in a Chinese spin-off of the South Korean variety show We Got Married.
In 2017, Liu Wen became the first Chinese model to appear on the front cover of American Vogue for its 125th Anniversary March 2017 issue, photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin alongside Adwoa Aboah, Ashley Graham, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Kendall Jenner, and Vittoria Ceretti.
In the past, Liu has said that after modeling she might enjoy working as a stylist or, were the opportunity to arise, as an actress—she feels that modeling and acting have much in common, but for now she enjoys modeling and working in the fashion industry. She has stated that she knows that, as a career choice, working as a fashion designer or stylist would be “very hard work”, but she is now more seriously considering becoming a stylist because she would like “to share her fashion style—tomboyish, vintage, and comfortable—with the world”.
She is friends with fellow models Joan Smalls, Constance Jablonski and Lindsey Wixson and fellow Chinese models Shu Pei, Du Juan, Fei Fei Sun, Sui He, Xiao Wen Ju, and Ming Xi.
Best Known For
Modeling work and becoming the first Chinese model to walk in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
First TV Show / Fashion Show
Liu walked in the Ready to Wear – Spring / Summer 2006 fashion show for United Bamboo.
She does regular exercises, even on her day off. Of course, diet is equally important.
Liu Wen Favorite Things
Food – Chinese cuisine, French fries, ice cream
Liu Wen Facts
She was born to a working class family.
She is the only child.
Her mother always encouraged her to eat well, be professional and enter into modeling world. This is the reason of her discovery.
Her modeling career was started in 2005.
She has made the record as she is the first one of Chinese descent to walk into the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
She is spokesmodel for Estee Lauder along with Constance Jablonski and Joan Smalls. Again, in 2010, she became the first model of Asian descent to do so.
Emma Pei, Hye Park, Charlotte Hoyer, Shu Pei, Karolin Wolter, Xiaoyi Dai, Mo Wandan, Laura Blokhina, Diana Farkhullina, Daul Kim, Eniko Mihalik, Du Juan, Arlenis Sosa, Yulia Leontieva, Lindsey Scott, Fei Fei Sun, Ping Hue, Bonnie Chen, Sui He are her friends.
She started her career at the age of 18, when she entered The New Silk Road World model contest.
No one in her family works in the fashion industry.
Modeling does not last for life time. After a certain time, she will have to quit her work as a model. But, Wen says that she wants to continue her work in the fashion industry.
She surfs the internet, cooks delicious Chinese food, and does exercise in her free time, when she off to work.
Even if she eats a lot of ice-cream, she won’t gain weight. Rather, it makes her little hyper. This is what she told to W Magazine.
She is called as the “World’s Most Famous Chinese Model.”
Follow her on Twitter and catch the updates on Facebook.
Liu Wen hails from Beijing, China, and is one of China’s brightest fashion stars. First establishing her career with the Chinese editions of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, she broke onto the international stage in Paris on the Spring 2008 runways of Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier. Since then, Liu Wen has become a fixture on the runways of New York, Milan and Paris, walking a total of 49 shows for the Autumn/Winter 2010 season including Rodarte, Derek Lam, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Balenciaga and shooting editorials with the world’s top fashion photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Sorrenti, Terry Richardson and Dan Jackson.
Liu Wen recently appeared on the cover of Chinese Vogue and in editorials for W as well as the French, Japanese and Chinese editions of Vogue. Constance joins Estee Lauder’s roster of beauties with the campaign debuting 2010.
The signing of Liu marks the first time Estée Lauder has signed a Chinese model.
In the WD interview, she said
WWD: Can you tell us about yourself? Where are you from and what was your upbringing like?
Estelle Chen: I was born in China but I grew up in France. My dad was born and raised in Paris, even though he comes from a fully Chinese background so he taught me more of the French culture, and my mom taught me more of the Chinese culture because she was born in China and came to France when she was 22. I feel like I grew up with both cultures a lot because I still went to China every year. I would spend one to two months every year in China.
WWD: How many languages do you speak?
E.C.: French, English, [Mandarin] Chinese, and some Wenzhou dialect. I used to learn German at school but it’s not fluent.
WWD: How much do you spend time in China? Do you feel like you fit in there?
E.C.: I’m still living in Paris, but I go to New York a lot. Some people say no, she’s not really Chinese, she’s French. I don’t really know what to say as I feel close to China. My mom raised me the same way she would have raised me in China. My mom really taught me to stay close to my family. I feel really Chinese and French at the same time.