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Chinese model Sun Yichao

Photographer: How Hwee Young

 

One of China's most promising up and coming fashion model, 23-year-old Sun Yichao is a striking figure on the runway. At 1.79 metres tall, the svelte model with attractive chiseled features is high in demand domestically and abroad, having walked the catwalks of Paris, Milan and New York's fashion weeks for major brands like Christian Dior and Chanel. She was also one of the recipients of the 'China Top Ten Professional Fashion Model Award' in 2016.

Life as a famous fashion model is not all glamorous and exciting though and involves a lot of hard work and sometimes even long periods of boredom, as Sun will attest. The Mercedes Benz China Fashion Week running from 24 March to 01 April 2017 was a busy period for her as she juggled between auditions, clothes fittings, rehearsals and shows during the week. Days could start as early as 6am to prepare for a morning show and end at 2am for a clothes fitting. However, in between make-up, hair styling, rehearsals and the show itself, there were long periods of just waiting backstage with nothing to do but read or listen to music on her mobile phone.

Sun says she was discovered by a modelling agency when she was 19 years old and since then has graced the runways of over 400 shows, rising to the top of the 500 plus models under contract at the agency in only three years. However, she has other ambitions for herself besides becoming a successful model. A graduate of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Sun aspires to become a fashion designer herself with her own fashion brand and spends her down time taking English lessons, studying and learning from her designer friends.

"A model's professional life is very short and the outer beauty that most models present is superficial and will not stand the test of time," says Sun when asked about how she feels about being a model. "Knowledge and deep inner strength is real beauty."