If you’re ever looking for some fashion inspiration, we present to you the female Asian fashion icons you need to know…
1. Fan Bing Bing
Listed as the highest-paid celebrity in Forbes China Celebrity 100 for four years in a row, Fan Bing Bing has been active within the entertainment industry since 1996. She is better known to Western audiences for her roles in Iron Man and X-Men series. Fan was previously appointed as a celebrity ambassador for Moët & Chandon and Chopard and has garnered heavy media attention for her red carpet looks.
2. Song Hye-Kyo
The Hallyu wave brought forth numerous Korean singers, actresses and entertainers, including South Korean actress Song Hye-Kyo. Song achieved Asia-wide success with lead roles in multiple Korean television dramas including Full House (2000) and Descendants of the Sun (2016). Song is currently the brand ambassador for renowned Parisian jewellery Maison Chaumet and Korean beauty brand Sulwhasoo.
3. Liu Wen
As the first Chinese model to make the Forbes list for highest-paid supermodels and the first East Asian model to walk for Victoria’s Secret fashion show, Liu Wen has paved the way for many aspiring models of Asian heritage. On top of her impressive resume of firsts, she has walked and appeared in campaigns for renowned fashion and beauty brands including Burberry, Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang, Estée Lauder and Chanel.
4. Crystal Mu
The 38-year-old Taiwanese beauty moved to Vancouver, Canada, in her early twenties to study English at the University of British Columbia and had to get used to sub-zero temperatures. In 1999, Crystal won the Miss Chinese Vancouver Pageant. She has hosted TV shows and modelled, become a regular fixture on Taipei’s social scene, and is one of Taiwan’s most admired public figures for her fashion savvy. Crystal has reinvented herself as an author, publishing two best-selling books. Crystal is also an active champion of animal rights.
5. Shu Qi
Active since 1996, Taiwanese-Hong Kong actress and model Shu Qi has repeatedly been placed among Forbes China Celebrity 100 list since 2013. Shu has received numerous accolades from multiple film institutions for her acting roles in Asia including the Hong Kong Film Awards, Golden Bauhinia Awards, Asian Film Awards and Golden Horse Awards. Shu has also been the spokesperson and brand ambassador for multiple renowned fashion brands including Emporio Armani, Kenzo, Shiatzy Chen and Bulgari.
6. Faye Wong
Considered one of the pioneers in Chinese music including both Cantonese-pop and Mandarin-pop, Faye Wong was recognised in 2000 by the Guinness World Records as the best-selling female Cantonese-pop singer. Her alternative fashion and style at her many music concerts was widely admired and popular in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan. In 2019, she was named the official international brand ambassador for luxury beauty brand Helena Rubinstein.
7. Zhang Ziyi
Chinese actress and model, Zhang Ziyi gained international recognition and success through her lead roles in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) and House of Flying Daggers (2004). As one of China’s most acclaimed actresses, she is a regular at the Cannes International Film Festival red carpet sporting dazzling gowns from Givenchy Haute Couture, to Dior and Armani. In 2019 Zhang was also named the global ambassador of Chopard.
8. Tao Okamoto
Japanese model and actress Tao Okamoto began her career at age 14, modelling for big brand names such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. She has since turned to acting in Hollywood films such as The Wolverine (2013), Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and has most recently starred in HBO’s hit show Westworld. As one of Japan’s leading models, she has helped paved the way for more Japanese faces on the catwalk and for global fashion campaigns.
9. Adrienne Hui
Adrienne Hui is delightfully direct and straightforward when discussing matters of style. Cool without trying is, after all, the secret recipe for real panache. Spot her at any of the many events she attends—the former private banker and mother of two, who’s married to businessman Justin Hui, is a regular on Hong Kong’s social scene—and chances are she’ll be sporting laid-back-but-so-on-point outfits that exude body confidence and a killer fashion sense.
10. Wendy Yu
To Wendy Yu, style is about individuality. At 27, the daughter of Mengtian Group founder Jingyuan Yu developed a penchant for couture while attending boarding school in the UK, and later honed it by studying fashion management at the London College of Fashion and interning at Vogue China. Her acquaintance with the sector’s upper echelons both as a student and young professional spurred her to launch in 2015 her own endeavour, venture capital company Yu Capital, to support high-potential, high-growth fashion, lifestyle and technology enterprises. Over the past two years, the company has invested in the likes of fashion brand Mary Katrantzou and Tujia, the Chinese equivalent of Airbnb, and granted Wendy plenty of visibility in the industry.