Like any great city, Shanghai attracts some of the country’s most beautiful women, with dreams of making it big. With its growing fashion design industry and title as China’s most fashionable city — that is if you ignore these guys — Shanghai is the place to be for girls who dream of walking the catwalk and hobnobbing with the beautiful people. The fashion industry is growing at such a rate in China that there is a shortage of models.
Kerry Shen is doing her part to fill that modeling void. A 21 year old model, she attended Shanghai Yishu Daxue, or Shanghai Arts College, near Xujiahui. Kerry majored in Fuzhuang Sheji Biaoyan, which translates into Fashion Design and Performance. She is native of Shanghai, born and raised.
Modeling seems like fun. How did you get started in it? My mom encouraged me to study fashion modeling when I was younger, so that was my major in college. I like it, but I want to run a hotel someday when I am older because I think I can be a great business woman and people like to talk with me.
What kind of modeling work do you typically do? What are some recent jobs you have done? Now I usually do runway, some product launches and car shows. I did an underwear show for the famous Chinese brand Three Guns and recently did a watch product launch where I just had to stand around for two hours with a watch on my wrist.
So can models in Shanghai make big money? Yes, if they become famous. Some models make over 10,000 RMB for one day’s work. But I am not famous yet, so maybe the most I can make in one day is 1,200 RMB, if I am lucky.
How do you become a famous model in Shanghai? I am not sure, maybe you need to do some famous shows like Armani or Gucci in Paris or New York, but most famous Chinese models are because they marry some famous celebrity or have rich or famous boyfriends.
Are you saying you have to good connections to become famous? Yes, maybe that would help.
Maybe that is why Shanghaiist never became famous, we have bad guanxi. We did some commercial work but it was really boring and the director seemed to hate us. So what do you think of foreigners who do modeling in Shanghai? I think they are so lucky, they make much more money then Chinese models, and also they are preferred for many jobs. Actually, I think it is unfair. Aren’t I as pretty as a foreign model?
Definitely. So what makes you a good model? I am tall, but many models now are over 1.8 meters tall. I am only 1.76 meters tall. I have professional training as a model and lots of experience with car shows, runway, lingerie, everything. I also have thin figure, and my chest is very big compared to most girls.
Um, right. OK, so if Shanghaiist wanted to meet some models, what advice would you give us? Just be friendly and nice. I have many friends who are models, too. If you want me to help introduce your friends to them, I can do that. Many models want to practice English with a foreigner but don’t have much of a chance. My friends often go to Park 97, Babyface or KTV.
What are your plans for the future? I hope to make more money for my modeling and maybe have a chance to go model overseas. I want to finish a website with pictures of my work to promote my career and maybe have a family someday, which is every girl’s dream.
For more photos of Kerry, go here.
Interview is a regular feature on Shanghaiist. Know someone in Shanghai you think would make for a good interview? Email tips(@)shanghaiist.com.