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Chinese models in spotlight

By Yao Jing  (China Daily)

08:21, December 17, 2012

Winners at the Elite Model Look 29th World Final Shanghai 2012. Chinese models are becoming increasingly popular at home and abroad. [Provided to China Daily]

It may be some time before the catwalks of Shanghai and Beijing reach the showy heights of Paris or Milan, but with the country's increasing commercial power and influence, China's fashion models are grabbing more of the international spotlight.

As international companies flock to China to sell their luxury products, and Chinese companies expand overseas to promote their brands, there is a growing demand for local models who can deliver an eye-catching presentation of goods, be they cars, cosmetics or clothes. Virtually any product can benefit from a model.

In the past two weeks, there has been an end-of-the-year extravaganza of events in China competing to meet that demand.

On Nov 30, the 20th New Silk Road Model Competition was held in tropical Sanya, Hainan province, by China's best-known model management agency New Silk Road, followed the day after by the 24th Miss Model of the World International Grand Final in Shenzhen, and the 29th Elite Model Look world finals in Shanghai.

Tellingly, although the Elite international model agency has been holding its audition finals in China since 2004, it only opened an office in Shanghai a year ago.

"It is our first parent company agency in Asia," said Stefania Valenti, CEO of Elite World, who was in Shanghai for the final.

"Elite is also the first international model management company to set up in Shanghai."

Out of 40 Elite agencies around the world, only seven are fully owned by the company.

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