Asian women are climbing the rank of the modeling world as names like Liu Wen, Tao Okamoto and Shu Pei win high-profile runway spots and ad campaigns.
Twenty-three year-old Wen, born in China's Hunan province, is the first of East Asian descent to walk a Victoria's Secret fashion show. Last year, she became the first Asian face of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder.
And, as ABC News reports, Wen was the most-booked model of color at this fall's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York.
Last December, Vogue featured Wen along with seven other Chinese, South Korean and Japanese models, in a fashion spread.
But as blogger Jen Weng of Disgrasian.com told ABC, "They said a new crop of Asian models from China, South Korea and Japan is redefining traditional concepts of beauty. That's a little bit like Vogue saying, 'It's 2011 and we finally think Asian women are beautiful.' "
Chinese model Pei has become a face of Maybelline. Japanese-born Okamoto has appeared in ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen and Kenneth Cole.
Some observers see the embrace of Asian models as a strategy toward tapping into the booming Chinese retail markets. According to ABC, the Asian cosmetics sector is poised to become the world's largest.