NEW YORK — Never mind shifting deck furniture on the turbulent diplomatic seas, we are living in the Chinese Century. The geopolitical dominance of the People’s Republic is a foregone conclusion so look busy and act like you when it all comes to pass. Closer to home there are shifts already taking place in fashion, not least of which are evidenced in the rise of Asian models in general and Chinese in particular. Enter Shujing Zhou, 22-year-old model from Lanzhou, China, who made her big splash walking for Balenciaga by Demna Gvasalia. Shujing claimed a runway berth in the show and later turned out for the corresponding advertising campaign by Harley Weir. If in the past modeling opportunities for Chinese and Asian models have been few and far between, Shujing is doing all she can to make the most of her chances and initial signs are encouraging.
The day of Shujing’s interview she showed up wearing a black silk dress by Chinese label Evening, which she paired with heels by Dior worn with socks(!). She turned heads as she always does when she visits the agency, no one after all dresses like the impeccable Shujing. A student of fashion first and foremost, Shujing draws inspiration from a variety of sources including art galleries and museums to fashion magazines to her own work with stylists such as Katie Grand and Karl Templer. She pays attention to details, which manifest in the extraordinary looks for everyday. For Shujing, she keeps it simple, opting for an elegant cut dress, which she embellishes with jewelry such as a single pendant earring. This is enough, she contends, for every day, what she does on the page is an entirely other matter.
All told, Shujing is happy to be part of a new generation of Chinese models making a name for themselves. Learn English, she advises, but if the century plays out according to the geopolitical script already set, it could well be the opposite with everyone learning Chinese.
Credits include: Title, “Next Questions — Shujing Zhou”; Interview and video, Damien Neva at Next Management.