Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why is there a shortage of globally known japanese models?

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This is a question i have been thinking about alot recently. There is no doubting that there are alot of beautiful Japanese women. Tsubasa springs to mind but who except the Japanese and those of us into Japanese fashion/beauty know who she is. Even Vogue Japan uses mostly western models. In the last issu i read i don't think i saw evenone asian looking model. And why do Japanese designers like issey miyaki and comme de garcons only use western modls. Is it the height issue? There is no denying there aren't many Japanese women over 5ft10. But what about magazine editorials? advertising? There are many areas within fashion and beauty that doesn't require statuesque proportions or amazon like figures.

[caption id="attachment_558" align="aligncenter" width="315" caption="Tsubasa"][/caption]

Even gal focused brands like Gilfy use western models predominantly in their advertising of collections. Japanese women are naturally thin with good hair and skin so surely they would be perfect for the model world? This issue perplexes me. Everyone talks about the lack of black or mixed race models in the fashion world. But nobody seems to mention the lack of asian women in modelling. They are known as one of the prettiest races in the world but are strangely absent from the modelling world.

[caption id="attachment_559" align="aligncenter" width="357" caption="Gilfy Model"][/caption]

Even in Japan there is an abundance of westeners modelling for Japanese brands. Victoria Beckham has her own betselling cosmetics line over there. I think its about time more Japanese women were used in western advertising campaigns.
What's your opinion on the matter? Do you agree or disagree? Can you think of even one world known Japanese model?

edit: there is one - tominaga ai. i had never heard of her but thanks to mirikut ( for letting me know about her (you should check her out she blogs about living in japan).


  1. I hadn't thought about this issue till now, but you're right.
    I think there should be more asian models, they're really pretty! Sometimes they're prettier than western models.

  2. exactly! i wish there were more :)

  3. Actually, I think it could be a bias most of us in Asia have against our own. Case in point: Philippine clothing brand Kamiseta started out with the Cojuangco sisters (they're nieces of our country's president) but only really took off after they got Alicia Silverstone and Natalie Portman to model for them. I wish I didn't lose/throw out the magazines with the Kamiseta spreads, but let me see what I can possibly dig up from both my house and the internet.

  4. I see your point, but I can't believe you forgot Tominaga Ai!

  5. i didnt even know about her until you mentioned her. i did research before writing this and never once came across her name surprisingly. but one model is still a miniscule amount. i was just surprised that japanese vogue uses mostly western models. but yay finally a japanese model that i'll be able to profile on here.

  6. i think it's mainly because of the height.
    they want models who can pose for ads and at the same time can walk the runway with other "tall" models-_-

  7. It's weird! I rmb having this discussion with my japanese friends and their response was that Japanese people are just obsessed with Western people's features and their culture.. (hence the common blonde hairstyle). I guess they think using Western models will make their products seem more high fashion/imported.... or sth -_-"

    Japanese models are certainly underrated in the global scene. which sucks :( lena fujiiiiiiiii!!!


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