Vogue Thailand has on the cover of its May edition Luping Wang, the latest in an increasingly hot line of fashion models from China.
She’s seen posing with sexy Sukollawat “Weir” Kanarot on his beloved Triumph T120.
Wang was the only Asian model on the runway in Rome for Valentino’s big autumn couture show recently. Hailing from rural Guangzhou, the 178cm-tall model debuted only last year, showing the Burberry Prorsum spring-summer collection.
And between Prorsum and Valentino there were Just Cavalli, Ports 1961, Marni, Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Dior, Viktor and Rolf, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Hermes and Chanel.
So Vogue Thailand was perhaps lucky to get Wang aboard a motorcycle with Weir, who incidentally becomes the first male on the cover in its three-year history.
Wang has done Vogue China before – last November when it showcased all the Chinese models burning up catwalks at the moment, the others being Dylan Xue, Gia Tang, Xiao Wen Ju and Yuan Bo Chao.
“That cover had the entire new generation of Chinese models and I was surprised to be part of it,” Wang told Weir while preparing for the Bangkok shoot. Handling the Vogue China cover assignment in New York was leading British photographer Elaine Constantina. Wang said it was one of her proudest moments.
“It has to be one of the peaks of the profession for any young model to be recognised at the international level – I’ve walked very far and very high in this career,” she said. “So I’m always happy to work with the professional teams at Vogue.”
Weir asked her just how difficult it is for Asian models to gain global recognition.
“The world of fashion is still dominated by white-skinned models,” Wang pointed out. “But in the past there were only one or two models from Asia in the big shows, and now they all have at least five.
“There are more Chinese models now because Chinese business is really booming. Chinese are the big spenders in luxury fashion, so a lot of the international brands want Chinese models on the runways. It’s been quite a success.”
The Bangkok shoot was in the capable hands of the country’s hottest fashion photographer, Tada Varich. He’s got Wang and Weir looking very cool on the classic bike. It’s no surprise seeing Weir in the saddle because he rides professionally and also owns the official distributorship for Triumph here.
Wang straddles the fuel tank, facing Weir. And unlike Weir, she’s never been on a big bike before. “Being a model is like being a silent actress,” she told Weir. “When you wear clothes and makeup in different looks, it’s like I need the actress spirit to portray all the varied roles.”
So what’s so alluring about motorcycles, she asked him.
“Unlike acting, riding gives me new experiences every time, especially when I’m riding in other countries. You learn about different cultures and have to adjust to them. And biking over long distances is a good way to calm the mind. I get a lot of fresh ideas along the way, so it’s a way of recharging my energy.”