Orange-County native, Christina Wen, joined us this week for our weekly feature editorial! As a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, her modeling career emerged through creative expression. And, since then, she has grown into her profession as a model and industry inspiration. Join me in welcoming Christina Wen as we uncover her insights into the LA fashion market and beyond!
TFH: It is such a delight to catch up again! Our fashion hubbers have seen your face across social media, and most recently our feature editorials on the fabulous Photographer Chris Ross Leong and Hair & Makeup Artist Amanda Robbins. So what have you been up to since then?
CW: I know, right?! Since our photo shoot together, The Fashion Hub has been such an amazing platform! Continuous mentions, opportunities and highlights from the fabulous team we had! Thanks so much!
What’s new? Well, next month I’ll be traveling to New York City! Bella Agency New York will be representing me during my stay, and I am very grateful and excited for this opportunity! Every city’s market is a little bit different, and it will be interesting to see the industry in New York!
TFH: Congratulations! It is always humbling to see how new markets open opportunities for you, especially with those that Bella Agency has presented for your career. Tell us a little more about your experience with them, and have you worked with other agencies throughout your career?
CW: Eventually after graduating from Art Center, I signed my first agency Chic Models and began working at the professional level. My first big campaign was for Clairol Professional. I was featured in their swatch book, on flyers, promos, and their website.
Eventually as my experience grew, so did my portfolio and my know how in the industry. I signed my first exclusive contract in 2014 with Bella Agency, and continue to be represented by them exclusively across the board. With Bella, I’ve booked major brands such as Reebok, Yahoo, Bibigo, Smirnoff, ABC Family, Sleep Number, Princess Cruises, Living Spaces and Ray Ban.
TFH: That is quite an impressive portfolio and versatile selection of clientele. It couldn’t have been easy to brand yourself in such a competitive market. Knowing this, how have you evolved and come into your own?
CW: In a competitive industry, I continue to distinguish myself with my unique look and my versatility. Modeling is not just about posing, but also story telling. My ability to tell a story with my body language and expressions allows me to work in a wide variety of markets from commercial lifestyle to high fashion.
TFH: You are, and I definately saw this come through when we worked together. It was spectacular to see your modeling technique and skills transform through the most subtle movements in facial and body language. Commercially, you understood how to draw the focus to the product without losing sight of of your beauty, lighting and angles. Editorially, your body became the canvas to paint the story through fluid movement, extensions and curves. It was beautiful to watch you master your artistry and connect with the photographer on set.
CW: That’s very sweet, and beautifully said! It hasn’t always been glitz and glamour, but where challenges arise, I have learned that the key is self acceptance. The biggest challenge as a model is accepting who you are, and sometimes I catch myself wishing I had different features. Accepting who I am inspires me to work my assets, and create my craft around my strengths not my flaws.
TFH: That is so important though. Fashion is a highly critqued industry, and I believe every profession in this market is an art. And as artists, we are subject to various perspectives and criticisms. What we can’t lose in the process is ourselves. The moment we do, we lose direction and vision of our artistry and our competitive edge. And, to echo your emphasis on self acceptance, it is invaluable to accept who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and use them as your leverage to separate yourself. Use your unique features as your marketable assets.
CW: Completely agreed! Honest, but well said!
TFH: Thank you! Moving onto our next question… As an Orange County native and Los Angeles based model, how would you describe the fashion market out here?
CW: Los Angeles is continuously growing its presence in the fashion industry. Comparable to the fashion meccas of the world, however, it is still in it’s infancy. With Hollywood just down the street, Los Angeles is a hub for talented actors and high budget production companies. Because of this, it is a natural choice for clients that want to sell a lifestyle. Companies like Samsung, Google, Apple, HP, Intel, and Yahoo are known to cast and produce their campaigns right here in Los Angeles.
As a model in the LA Market, the ability to act is a must in order to stay competitive.
TFH: That is very true. To excel in the fashion market in Los Angeles is to master the ability to act – thanks for that tip! On that subject, what other advice do you have for emerging models?
CW: Never give up! Someone once told me that successful people have failed more times than most people have tried.
TFH: Awesome! I love that positive note! Thank you for taking the time to join us on The Fashion Hub, and I wish you all the best in your next adventure in New York City! Keep me posted, and until next time!