If you’ve ever seen America’s Next Top Model, you undoubtedly know how hard it is to smize effectively. You also know that runway walks do not always come naturally, and some bitches be crazy when it comes to cutting their hair. The life of a model is not always an easy one, but for the ones who succeed, there’s big bucks to be had.
You may also know that there’s not a whole lot of diversity in the fashion industry. After a recent piece in the Times (“Fashion’s Blind Spot“) reignited criticisms of white-dominated runways, Refinery29 reported that in February 2012,
“black models accounted for a staggeringly low six percent of looks shown — 82.7 percent were shown on white models. And, even worse, several shows in Europe featured no black models at all (Céline and Dior included). Some of the most influential black models on the scene today report that they struggle more for roles than their white counterparts, being turned down for reasons like ‘We already have our black girl.’”
What’s even more interesting here is that there’s no statistical representation of Asian models at all — which is all the more reason to celebrate the multi-million dollar success of Liu Wen, 25, who just became the first ever Asian model to make Forbes‘ annual list of the world’s highest paid models. WERK.
Coming in hot at number five, Wen, who has impressive contracts with Estée Lauder (and was the beauty brand’s global spokesperson in 2010), H&M, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, brought home $4.3 million last year — only trailing major model mainstays like Gisele, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and Kate Moss.
In fashion, you’re either in, or you’re out (at least that’s what Heidi Klum says). And with Forbes calling Wen the “one to watch,” I don’t think diversity will be going out of style anytime soon.
Featured image via Shutterstock