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The highs and lows of life as China’s top foreign model

[ 2009-11-10 11:27]     字号 [] [] []  
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No one wanted Anina Trepte to come to China. The agents and designers she was working for in Paris told her it would ruin her career. There was no fashion here, no modeling industry, no chance for her to rise to the top or make any money, they said.

She came anyway.

“I always have just done whatever I wanted to do at any cost, at any price,” Trepte said.

“Life gives you signs, and if you know how to read those signs, you will end up at the right place at the right time.”

It was around 3 pm on Saturday, nearing the end of the annual China Fashion Week, and Trepte was sitting in the corner of a dressing room in the Grand Hyatt Beijing Preparing to walk in the show of Frankie Xie, the designer behind Jefen, the first Chinese brand to emerge onto the global haute couture stage.

“He is one of the most professional designers in China,” Trepte, who was wearing her signature red jacket over a pair of skinny black jeans, said. “He does fittings like they do in Paris.”

Why exactly Trepte decided to flee the runways of Paris for the catwalks of China is a question better answered by her appearance than with words.

The 20-something model’s blazing red hair, penetrating blue eyes and rose-colored skin are an anomaly in a fashion industry, that, while is gradually becoming more globalized, still has only a handful of models who are not Chinese.

“If you have a unique look, you can get chosen for a lot of things,” Trepte said. “I am the only red-haired model, at least in Beijing. If designers want that classic Raloh Lauren look, I get the job.”

Since Trepte landed in china two years ago, she has collaborated with a number of designers from the country’s top labels, including Jefen, White Collar and Occi Vivi, as well as leading photographers and fashion studios.

And in Beijing, she has become something of a celebrity, frequenting local radio and television programs, hosting high-profile events and attending the city’s most posh parties. CCTV recently awarded her with the title of China’s top foreign model.


1. Why is Trepte an anomaly in the fashion industry?

2. When did Trepte first move to Beijing?

3. What did CCTV recently award trepte?


1. Becaose of her red hair.

2. Two years ago.

3. China’s top foreign model.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

The highs and lows of life as China’s top foreign model

About the broadcaster:

The highs and lows of life as China’s top foreign model

Chantal Anderson is a multimedia journalist at the China Daily Web site. Originally from Seattle, Washington she has found her way around the world doing photo essays in Greece, Mexico and Thailand. She is currently completing a double degree in Journalism and International Studies from the University of Washington.