Liu Wen

Chinese supermodel Liu Wen on why we shouldn’t be afraid to experiment a little and why every good photographer needs to be a great dj.
October 2, 2015

Liu Wen’s smile comes easily, and is instantly infectious. But as she shows in Honer Akrawi’s compelling portrait above, it’s Liu Wen’s versatility that has made her a supermodel. Because yes, with millions of social media followers, global beauty contracts and prestigious campaigns under her belt, the prefix ‘super’ is well deserved. 

Liu Wen grew up in Chinese city of Yongzhou. It was her mother who encouraged her tall daughter to enter a modelling competition back in 2005. Liu said yes, but only because she needed the first prize badly: a laptop. Of course she won it. Liu Wen moved to Beijing, and the rest is model history. 

Or should we say history, period. As the first Asian model to make the Forbes annual top-earning models list and the first East Asian model to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway, Liu Wen not only has one of the most successful modelling careers – she has also challenged the narrow Western ideals of beauty. 

In this week’s Top Model Secrets, we asked Liu Wen about everything from Instagram to her future styling plans. 

MY FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHER IS…
”It's impossible to pick a favourite, but Steven Meisel's style is always timeless to me!”

IN MY CAREER, I AM MOST PROUD OVER…
”Probably walking 70+ shows in a single runway season and becoming the first Asian global spokesmodel for Estee Lauder. However, rather than proud I'm more thankful than anything else. I have so much gratitude for all the people who have worked hard for me and with me throughout the years – I've grown so much because of all of them!”

THE SONG OR ARTIST WHO ALWAYS GETS ME GOING AT A SHOOT IS…
”It depends on the type of shoot! Different music suits the different moods that the shoot might require. A good photographer also needs to be a good DJ, haha.”

MY CREATIVE OUTLET IS…
”Instagram! Each little square represents a small piece of my story, a glimpse into my memories.”

MY MODEL ICON IS…
”Carmen Dell'Orefice. I hope I'm still pursuing all my dreams no matter what age!”

MY BEAUTY SECRET IS…
”A healthy diet, sensible workout routines, and staying consistent with beauty routines. The most important, however, is to always keep a positive attitude.”

I KEEP IN SHAPE BY…
”Spinning and brisk walking!”

FOR A QUICK HAIR FIX, I…
”Wear a hat, ha!”

MY DE-STRESS TRICK IS…
”Going to the gym or giving myself a sweet treat, like a delicious piece of cake or some ice cream!”

MY SECRET TALENT IS…
”Persistence.”

I SMELL LIKE…
”You might have to tell me this one, haha.”

MY FAVOURITE OFF-DUTY LOOK IS…
”Pyjamas!”

RIGHT NOW, I AM OBSESSED WITH…
”Interior design.”

THE BEST BEAUTY TIP I'VE EVER RECEIVED IS…
”Don't be afraid to experiment. Our faces are canvases and our fingers can be paintbrushes. We can have fun with any colour in the universe, just like how we can easily change if an outfit doesn't work. If you don't try because of fear alone, you'll never feel inspired.”

MY FAVOURITE HOTEL IS…
”This job allows me to travel to so many different hotels all over the world, so I don't have a single favourite! But all in all, a hotel bed can definitely feel more comfortable than my mattress at home!”

MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS…
”Again, too many to name! Haha. I'm such a foodie these days, and New York has endless restaurants. My favourite Chinese one at the moment is Great Sichuan at 363 3rd Avenue here in Manhattan.”

FOR BREAKFAST, I ALWAYS HAVE…
”Something I make myself – a glass of honey lemon water, yogurt with oatmeal, and some fruit salad.”

FOR A LONG FLIGHT, I ALWAYS PACK…
”A book I enjoy, some simple skincare products, some snacks, and an eye mask.”

WHEN I HAVE SOME FREE TIME, I…
”Enjoy cleaning my apartment, cooking, or writing calligraphy. Sometimes I'll go out to have afternoon tea with friends, go watch a movie…etc. But usually I'm too busy to have any free time!”

THE BEST ADVICE I'VE EVER RECEIVED IS…
”Be myself, no matter what.”

MY FAVOURITE THING TO SHOP WHEN I AM AWAY IS…
”Jewellery that has unique character.”

BEING A MODEL, I'VE LEARNT…
”To be independent and mentally strong.”

POST-MODELLING, I WOULD LIKE TO…
”There are a lot of open opportunities, but I would love to explore something like styling or related work. I'm working on some personal projects right now that will help me both showcase and hone those skills!”

MY FAVOURITE TV SHOW IS…
"America's Got Talent. The contestants on there all have such inspiring stories!"

RIGHT NOW, I AM READING…
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.”

MY GOAL IN LIFE IS…
To be happy, free, and healthy!

Liu Wen at the H&M Studio Collection A/W 2015 show in Paris, Getty Images.

Liu Wen at the H&M Studio Collection A/W 2015 show in Paris, Getty Images.

LIU WEN

AGE: 26

AGENCY: The Society Management NYC, Storm London, Elite Milan & Paris

DISCOVERED: Via a modelling contest in her home province of Hunan, China

CITY: Beijing and NYC

INSTAGRAM: @LiuWenLW

TWITTER: @LiuWenLW 

FACEBOOK: /ModelLiuWen 

WEIBO: /ModelLiuWen

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