Liu Wen is a woman of many firsts. She’s the first East Asian model to work for Victoria’s Secret, first Chinese woman to grace American Vogue’s cover, and first Asian to ever make Forbes’ list of highest-paid supermodels
While Liu success can be attributed to the fashion industry’s growing focus on Chinese consumers, she also works insanely hard for it.
The model, now based between New York and Beijing, told Business Insider how she did it. Scroll on to learn more.
Meet Liu Wen: The first East Asian model to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway, first Chinese model to grace American Vogue’s cover, and first Asian model to ever make Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid models.
She was born in Yongzhou, a city in southern China. At 5-foot-10, she towered over her classmates while growing up. “I developed a habit of bending down when speaking to others, as if my back was permanently hunched,” she said in 2014.
She never planned on being a model — her first foray into the industry was when she won a modelling contest in 2008, aged around 17, to win a new computer. “I didn’t have a clear goal [at the time] — I just wanted something that would allow me to travel around the world,” she told Business Insider.