Supermodel Lu Yan, The Woolmark Company to Bring Australia's Merino Wool to China
China's very first supermodel Lu Yan has teamed up with Australia's iconic brand The Woolmark Company to create fashion out of merino wool.
Yan's model called the Comme Moi is the first Chinese brand to team up with The Woolmark Company to particularly produce wool-based derivatives, which are expected to be released later this year.
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The 35-year-old model said she wanted to use wool because it is not only warm and functional but also "it represents high quality."
Yan, who is now retired, has a well-known name in China and is respected by several fashion designers. She started her modelling carrier internationally at the age of 17.
But even before she came into the spotlight, the designer shared her rags-to-riches story.
"Two French agents came to Beijing and they met me in the lobby of one of the hotels and they tried to talk to me and say 'do you want to go to Paris to be a model?'" she said.
"But you know for me at that time I never even think of [being] famous or anything else, it was more to make money to survive," Yan added, recalling she even could not speak English and French when she traveled but said she was determined to succeed.
Her road to success did not came in easy as well, claiming she was even called "ugly duckling." However, she appeared and catwalked on several international runways for decades and became a role model for many young Chinese girls who wanted to give modelling a try.
After returning to China in 2010, she decided to create her own fashion label, despite meeting opposition from her family who preferred her to become an actress.
"For fashion, I can decide who I want to work with, I can decide the style I want, I can choose the photographer I want... I wanted to do it, so I did."
Her Comme Moi label now employs a staff of 30 people. She also said that since most Chinese consumers have no idea where wool comes from, the fiber is treated as a superior and represents luxury.