#Fashion

Wanted : foreign models in Shanghai!

Last modified: February 9, 2021
foreign model Shanghai

China is known for praising the Caucasian model, which is very visible in its media. Chinese fashion agencies are full of foreign models offers. From advertising spots and branding in shopping malls to fashion shows, the event market is large for foreigners who know how to take the advantage of it. If you want to become a model in China, we encourage you to read this post before sending your portfolio over to Chinese models Agencies (and maybe consider hiring a personal branding agency to get the best contracts)

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Caucasian models are highly coveted by Chinese medias

Mobike ad French model

Clémence is delighted: this 22-year-old French student was chosen among the extras of a commercial spot for Mobike. Her assignment: riding a bicycle in the streets of Shanghai and enthusiastically facing the camera to explain how rental bicycles have revolutionized her daily journey in the city.


« They were looking for a French girl from Paris, moreover with blond hair to represent Europe ». Her daily performance brought her ¥ 500, « It’s not much but it helps when you’re a student. I did it for the experience, I found it funny to be in an ad. I had not been told it would be for Mobike, I only knew it involved a bike! ».

caucasian model China

Could this omnipresence of Caucasian models in Chinese media be insane in the way Chinese will look at their own beauty? Not for Clémence, who thought already about that question:

« Chinese will compare themselves to the Caucasian model, they may try to get closer to it but they don’t think they are less attractive physically than Europeans. Many also find the Chinese model very good. The Caucasian model is a vision conveyed by media hype! Because of them, it’s become so important. What is true is that it is well seen to have blond hair in China. And the skin color remains important, I admit that there were only European extras and white Asians in the video ».

China’s world of fashion is getting more diverse

fashion diversity

Natalie is 23, she has just been recruited in an agency that works mainly with foreign models. Though she never participated in a professional shoot before, her Caucasian appearance played in her favour. Blond hair with blue eyes, a criteria for success in Shanghai? She would not swear it :

« I find instead that the world of fashion begins to diversify in China. Obviously, for cosmetics advertisements, they will always prefer to have models with very white skin, but I often see special offers for mixed & African models. On the catwalk Africans often have the advantage of the size. ».

And yes, size count in China :

« The size criteria have rapidly increased in China, they want slender models, that’s what makes people dream. Even for photoshoot women are expected to measure 1.72m, I will say that the highest minimum to have a chance is 1.67m. Men must necessarily measure more than 1.80m, unlike what is commonly believed, there are many very tall Chinese boys ».

Uniqueness, an asset of foreign models

China model singularity

For Natalie, the strength of a foreign model is above all its singularity:

« What fascinates the Chinese are the difference. They do not have, for example, freckles all over their faces like redheads, minnow eyes, or pointy noses. Clothing ads in China regularly highlight Caucasian models with physical peculiarities. It catches the eye of Chinese customers, it’s sells well. They love the physical traits that make them stand out from the crowd ».

Chinese fashion sphere becomes very demanding

Even if her agency recruits all profile types ranging from average citizens for commercials to gazelle legs’ parades, the selection criteria offer serious ruthless :

« There is indeed a demand for Caucasian models, but now if you want to be a model in Shanghai you must speak English fluently, better being a native speaker. For commercials or public presentations, they will require models with American or Australian accents and acting experience. Meeting the physical requirements will not be enough just because we are foreigners ».

No doubt that we are gradually moving towards the obligation for foreign models to speak Chinese. Chinese models learn more and more to speak English, being an English speaker becomes a standard and no more an added value.

Become a foreign model in China: beware of scams!

China model scam

Modeling in China seems to be a great opportunity to make easy money for many foreigners. The reality can be much crueler, as Roy demonstrates it, is working in that field for several years.
Sino-American model, Roy – under his model nickname – is what the Chinese call a ‘Xiang jiao ren’, a ‘banana-man’, yellow on the outside but white on the inside, to describe these Chinese born in the USA. Revolted against the agency’s dirty business, Roy chose to continue his activity freelance.
He denounces a system where fake fashion agencies are not lacking and exploit very young Slav models:

« There are many young Polish, Ukrainian or Russian attracted here in China, some of which are not even 18. Very few can speak English or Chinese. Agencies hold back their salary while they are there and give them only ¥ 300 pocket money per month, do you realize, ¥ 300 to cover your living cost in Shanghai? It’s nothing at all! Many start to work at nightclubs to afford it. They go home with their pockets empty ».

Scams that mainly affect women, talking back to the controversy surrounding the death of the 14-year-old Russian model in 2017, who died from exhaustion after having exceeded her contract’s legal working hours.

Costa Rican bodybuilder, Caesar has nothing to complain about. His schedule is full: he poses for the Calvin Klein brand, participates in catwalks and many events when he is not training at the gym. He is as well a party promoter in one of Shanghai’s trendiest nightclubs.

Which model should I choose for my advertising in China?

market ad China models

You want to reach the Chinese public through your advertising.

It is excluded to use only foreign models, you will not speak to the imagination of your audience which certainly internationalizes, but develops at the same time a strong national identity.

The best combination of the moment is to include Chinese models with metropolitan style and foreign models with less classic physical features: freckles, afro hairstyle, very large eyes …
Chinese like long faces and thin noses about Caucasian models, they envy the fold of eyelids that do not have slanted eyes, also light-colored eyes. They are particularly curious about curly or frizzy hair. This is their definition of exoticism.

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53 thoughts on “Wanted : foreign models in Shanghai!”

  1. SUNIL RAJ SAXENA

    Dear Sir,

    I am visiting china during 16th Sept to 28th Sept 2018 and I am interested in modelling for various Chinese brands. I have a good physic and I want to offer my services for the modelling of Chinese product.
    Please let me know if I am going to be useful for you.
    Regards,
    S.R.Saxena
    Hyderabad ( INDIA )
    mOB: 9392485355

  2. My name is Vion Wallace I live in Shenzhan China I am from the USA. Would like very much to work with you. I can attach some of my information so that you may get to know me better if you email me.

  3. Hi, my name is nadine, i am 15 years old and i would love to model. I am 169 tall and weight 65kg. i live in shanghai, minhang

  4. Hi there! My name is Jorrit. I am a 23 year guy from the Netherlands, studying in Shanghai until february 2019. I am 1.92 tall, no experience in modeling but I believe Chinese brands would be interested in my look. Feel free to contact me via email.

  5. Hello, My name is Ayla Jung. I am a German girl, turning 14 soon. I am 165cm tall. I live in shanghai, pudong new area. I am very interested in modeling for you. If I am any help to you, you can contact via email. Thanks.

  6. Muhammad Hamza Bashir

    I AM SO INTERESTED IN FASHION{LIKE MODELLING} PLEASE GIVE ME A CHANCE TO JOIN YOUR TEAM. PLEASE …

    kindly note that i belong to Pakistan…

  7. Nicole Cardwell Rowley

    My name is Nicole Cardwell Rowley. I am from America and I am 27 years old. I will be moving to China sometime at the end of January/beginning of February. I am 168 cm tall and 53 kg. I am interested in modeling in China.

    1. Hey, I am Sifundiso from South Africa age 12,, height 1,81 ,chest -96 ,black in complexion , studying University of kwazulu-natal ,and under Dashamodel agency wish to work in China as the male fit model

  8. Pingback: Best Travel Jobs: 107 Killer Ways to Make Money Traveling - Project Untethered

  9. Ioannis Manolakis

    Hi there,

    My name is Ioannis Manolakis, I’m 18years old, 185cm tall, 77kg Born and Raised in Greece, Speaking fluently Greek, German and English. I’ve no modeling backround but i always wanted to do it but never really decided to.
    Instagramm is : @giannis_manolakis , in case you want to see me prehand.

    I.Manolakis

  10. Dear Sir,

    I am visiting china from April 7th to 12th, 2019 and I am interested in modelling for various Chinese brands. I want to offer my services for the modelling of Chinese products. My height is 6.2 and weight is 95kg.
    Please let me know if I am going to be useful for you.Thanks in advance
    Regards,
    Darshan V Bangera
    Mumbai, India
    Mobile: +917738074740

  11. hello my name arslan i am form Pakistan I AM SO INTERESTED IN FASHION{LIKE MODELLING} PLEASE GIVE ME A CHANCE TO JOIN YOUR TEAM. PLEASE

  12. Hello. I am Jennifer, currently studying in Shanghai. I have done a few photo shootings before. I am interested in working in the modeling industry and would love to have a chance to work with your team.

  13. Hello there! My name is Michael 25 years old i’m from Belarus. I would like to join your crew as a model, or just find a well paid contract model-job in China. Have done significant work in my country within the industry. It happend that i got more actor expirience than fashion model.. But i willing to change it to opposite 🙂
    Was a part of project “school of your body” in Minsk, managed to win this in category “gain”. So. I have a great body and 1.9 m tall. Lot’s of skills, charisma’s, patience and desire
    Mail me please if you intrested in attracting me

  14. Youness daifi

    My name is youness I live in Huzhou China I am from the Morocco. Would like very much to work with you. I can attach some of my information so that you may get to know me better if you email me thanks In advance.

  15. Hello. I am a Australian male model. I would love to work with fashion professionals in your country. I would be great for gigs targeting mature age markets as I am 53. I have had experience on photoshoot and TVC shoots. Please feel free to view my portfolio on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rodpikemodel/

  16. Hello, my name is Alena, 23 years old. I recently moved to live in Shanghai from Russia, and very interested in working in the modeling industry. My height is 1.73 cm, weight 53 kg. I look forward to successful cooperation.

  17. Hafiz Sheikh Muhammad Ali

    Hi am from Pakistan and many years am strugle for make big model but here is no chance in my country so i hope in chine good agances give me chance
    Thank you

  18. Meseret Guesh Fisha

    My name is Meseret Guesh Fisha, I am 22 years old , I live in Guangzhou China I am from Ethiopian and i am very much happy to work with you as a modeling . and i can foreword all my information via email, to share my modeling pictures so and so, that it may help you , to know about me . thank you .

  19. Hello, my name is Tom Rensma, I’m Caucasian (185cm -70kg) from the Netherlands I’m currently based in China (close to Shanghai) and looking for some modeling job.
    Number/wechat:13757188248

  20. Hello, my name Tom Rensma, I’m Caucasian from the Netherlands (Im 185cm and 70kg) and currently based close to Shanghai.
    Pls contact me; 13757188248

  21. Hello sir i hope you are fine. I am student and i am studying in Weifang university of science in technology in Weifang city. I have experience of modeling and i do photo shoot randomly. i haven’t worked for any product and company but i am sure that if you’ll give me a chance so you’ll not regret. please inform me if i am useful for you.

    Awais Ahmad ( Mr Black )
    thanks

  22. Hello , My Name is Edmilson , im from Mozambique, im based in zhenjiang city , 1h away from shanghai , i’ve been modeling for about 2 years. im 189cm , 73 kg. my instagram is : @edypurp and feel free to contact me to see more of my work . im looking forward to work with your team.

  23. Hello , My name is Edmilson , I’m from Mozambique , im based in china -jinagsu-zhenjiang , 1 hour away from shanghai by G-train , im looking for modeling jobs,i’ve done some modeling jobs and acting jobs as well,im 189cm and 73KG . looking forward to work with your team . feel free to check my instagram for some of my work or request me to send more . IG: edypurp

  24. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this excellent website.
    I am searching for western KOL for our brand.

    I look forward to new updates
    wechat is the best

  25. My name is Mara Anna , im 1.72cm tall and 55 kg , im 22 yo , I live in Timisoara , Romania I am very interested in moddeling , my instagram is mara.xcvii , please contact me .

  26. Hello my name is Mara Anna , I live in Timisoara ,Romania , im 1.72 tall and 55kg , my instagram is mara.xcvii

  27. Hello. My name is Tanya. I’m arrived to Shanghai recently. I have model card and few foto. I worked as a model in Russia. I would like work with your team.

  28. Hello,
    We are MCN agency, and we are searching to recruit Foreigner for model and KOL. Most of our clients, are searching for foreigner model with lot of fans on weibo, INS, RED , douyin.
    Can be high paid 20-50k rmb per operation.

  29. Hello,
    We are a MCN Chinese agency, and we are searching foreign model to make them famous and become KOL.
    contact us

    1. Hello I am 30 years old male , my height is 180cm I can speak and read Chinese fluently , can I work with your company ?
      Will be waiting for your worthy reply . Thanks

  30. Hello, I am 36 years old. Male from Texas, 5’8″ 170 lbs. I have a strong Texan accent. Would you know of any voice jobs or modeling for my age? I do not mind getting in front of the camera. I have done over 400 videos, from Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

  31. hello i m tonny from Rwanda and i m interested to be be with in modeling i have had a group here in my country i was working in but i really want to work aboard new agency and it will be pleasure to work with you and if you can give chance to work with you

  32. Hello, my name Sam Clark, I’m Caucasian from the US (I’m 5’10 and 165 / Long Blonde Hair / Blue Eyes ) and I’m very interested in any modeling positions. Please email me and we can go from there.

  33. Ella-Mae Storm-Eckersley

    Hi my name is Ella-Mae and i am 16 years old turning 17 in March. I moved to Shanghai in September 2019 to study my A-levels prior to heading to Univeristy. I would love to try out modelling. I weigh 59kg and a height of 163cm. I would love to hear back from you.

  34. Ella-Mae Storm-Eckersley

    Hi my name is Ella-Mae and i am 16 years old turning 17 in March. I moved to Shanghai in September 2019 to study my A-levels prior to heading to Univeristy. I would love to try out modelling. I weigh 59kg and a height of 163cm. I would love to hear back from you. I lived in the North-West of England near the coast.

  35. Nice article. I wish to be a model too. And I lived in nyc a few years ago. I studied in Parsons the new school for design and major in strategic design and management. Send email to me if anyone of you want to see my look (facial lines or height etc)or you need an Asian model to advertise for a fashion brand. Thank you. Or you can go to xia-wu.format.com to see the pics. Love.

  36. I’m Stevie a female, we are an athletic brand, looking for a female model for shooting activewear in Ningbo city. If you are interested, please contact me. mobile: 13566622850; wechat: 13566622850; email: stevie_chencn@163.com

  37. Maral Ghazinuri

    Hello
    Im a 19 year-old girl and im Perisan. Im a tomboy so the style is obvious. I just wondered if China hires some persons with this style. Thank you.

  38. My name is Edgar and I am 18 years old. I was born in Armenia, lived and studied in Russia for about 10 years. at the moment I live in Moldova, I dream of doing modeling in China. My height is 182 cm, weight 69 kg, thin physic. I really hope for your cooperation.

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