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Back in January Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy exclusively casted Asian models for his Spring 2011 couture presentation. Interest in the Asian market isn't new, but more recently companies like Ermenegildo Zegna, Diane von Furstenberg, and Prada are putting money where their mouth is. The designs from Zegna's Autumn/Winter 2011 collection were heavily inspired by Chinese landscapes and about half of the models on their runway in Milan were Asian. Prada even went so far as to recreate their entire Spring/Summer 2011 show in Beijing earlier this year.
Magazines are starting to follow suit by investing page counts and even entire issues employing models of color. American Vogue shot a two page spread on Asian models entitled Asia Major for their December issue. Vogue Italia's Black Allure fashion story from February garnered much attention. However, this month Vogue Italia features two entire fashion stories with black models. Our friends over at The Cut got a preview of V Magazine's Asian Issue, which highlights top Asian models like Liu Wen, Tao Okamoto, Shu Pei and Fei Fei Sun. The issue hits newsstands tomorrow. Are these gimmicks or a sign of the changing times? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. -Benjamin Liong Setiawan