Saturday, March 30, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Katerina Chang

Twenty-three year old Katerina Chang is stunning proof of the rapidly changing face of Australian beauty and culture. Hailing from Taiwan, Chang made the move to Sydney six years ago to pursue studies in marketing, winding up instead at Chadwick Models' offices where she has since emerged as one of the agency's most buzzed about newcomers. With exquisite almond shaped eyes, a petulant pout, and high angular cheek bones, Chang could easily make the average person feel a tad bit insecure were it not for the fact that she is so disarmingly down-to-earth and sweet natured. When IMA first met Chang at Chadwick's Sydney headquarters, her humility, openness, and impeccable manners made her beauty seem all but secondary. Which is a huge call given Chang's 177 cm runway perfect proportions, radiant smile, and spectacular dna. Chang's enthusiasm for the industry and her interest in fashion is matched by a modelling prowess which has been fine-tuned in editorials for Vogue China, Grazia, Karen, Kenton Magazine, and in a recent Fashion Gone Rogue exclusive feature. With Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week set to kick off on the 8th of April, industry pundits are hedging their bets on Chang to dominate local runways with her refined femininity and exotic beauty. Chang chatted candidly with Inoubliable Model Army in between castings about her love of Australian culture, fashion's current infatuation Asian beauty, and her key to charming casting directors and designers.

Katerina Chang
Image courtesy of Chadwick Models


Inoubliable Model Army: Hi Katerina, thank you for taking a moment to chat with Inoubliable Model Army. You have been on our radar since your Fashion Gone Rogue editorial exclusive shot last year by Mikael Wardana. Would you mind filling us in on your backstory?
KC: I'm 23 years old and have been based in Australia now for almost 6 years. I came to Sydney from Taiwan to study marketing and after I completed my degree, I decided to stay because I love the Aussie culture, lifestyle, and people.

Inoubliable Model Army: How long have you been modelling for, how were you discovered, and had you given modelling consideration prior to being signed by Chadwicks?
KC: I've been modelling for about five years. Modelling is something I had always wanted to do ever since I was young. I was approached to model in Taiwan when I was 17 but my parents were against the idea at the time, so I let it go. After moving to Australia, I walked into Chadwicks and had an interview with them. Luckily, I got signed on the spot and I feel that was the best decision I've made. I love all the bookers at Chadwicks! My parents are also now supportive of my modelling career after having seen examples of my work and realising that modelling is a real career.

Inoubliable Model Army: Australia is quite a change from Taiwan! Was it a culture shock adjusting to life in Sydney?
KC: In the beginning, it was a bit of a culture shock however it wasn't difficult for me to adapt to a new culture. I've always enjoyed learning and experiencing the new, besides I had been to other western countries before coming to Australia. I guess I already had a sense of the differences between western and Asian culture. What I appreciate most is the living environment and the Sydney lifestyle. It would be almost impossible to find another place to rival what Sydney has to offer because it is a combination of every beautiful thing like cultural diversity, amazing beaches and parks, and of course nice people as well.

Katerina Chang
Photographer - Mikael Wardhana
Source - fashiongonerogue.com

Australian Grazia - Unknown
Photographer - Georges Antoni
Source - chadwickmodels.com


Inoubliable Model Army: You have been steadily building up a strong portfolio of editorial work including shoots for Fashion Gone Rogue, Harper's Bazaar Singapore, Australian Grazia, Karen, and Vogue China. Do you enjoy the editorial component of modelling and is there a shoot that you are particularly proud of from and artistic point of view?
KC: I love doing editorial shoots and I enjoy working with other industry professionals. What I like about editorial work is that it always involves a creative element which I enjoy. It's great to be part of a collaborative effort where everyone is contributing different ideas and talent. I'm proud of every shoot I have done so far as every shoot has had a different story. If I had the chance I would love to do a shoot underwater, now that would be memorable.

Inoubliable Model Army: Australian Fashion Week is just around the corner. Will you be participating and are there any key designers that you would like to walk for? Do you have plans to take on the international show circuit in the near future?
KC: I did some shows last year and loved it. I will hopefully be taking part in Australian Fashion Week this year and would love to walk for Kirrily Johnston and Toni Maticevski. I would definitely love to work in different countries. My next plan is to to travel to China to do more editorials work and then to Europe and America in the longer term.

Inoubliable Model Army: Asian models are gaining incredible exposure at the moment with models like Liu Wen, Sui He, Ji Hye Park, Sung Hee Kim, and Xiao Wen Ju dominating the international runway circuit. What factors do you feel are influencing fashion's growing interest in Asian models?
KC: I am so happy that many designers are discovering and appreciating Asian beauty. I think that Asian models will continue to attract international interest because of the booming Chinese economy and increased buying power.

Johanna Johnson
Source - thefashionspot.com

Christopher Esber
Source - thefashionspot.com

Kirrily Johnston
Source - thefashionspot.com


Inoubliable Model Army: The modelling industry is inundated with so many beautiful girls, yet being a pretty face will only get you so far. What other factors do you feel are necessary components to achieving success and longevity as a model?
KC: Being professional is the most important factor. A good attitude and personality is also essential. Besides these attributes, I also have a small tip to trying to remember everyone's name. It is good to let people know how important they are to you and they are always surprised when you recall their name the next time you meet them.

Inoubliable Model Army: The true diversity of Asian culture is now being showcased by models from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. How do you feel about playing a role in promoting diversity in modelling and the social media?
KC: It is an honour to have the chance to show people the diversity of Asian beauty and culture. I appreciate that Asian culture has given me distinct characteristics. This role is also provides good intermediary links to people all around the world to fashion and information about Asia.

Inoubliable Model Army: Are there any misconceptions about models or the industry that you would like to set straight?
KC: People tend to think modelling is an easy job and that all models have to to is dress up nicely and look pretty in front of the camera. The truth is not so! Every job has challenging aspects. We have to exercise regularly, pretty much every day for me! We are careful with our food. Models also have to wear seasonal clothing on shoots so you might be wearing a bikini during winter or a heavy coat in Summer. I'm passionate about modelling which enables me to get past the pain barrier on challenging shoots.

Photographer - Mikael Wardhana
Source - fashiongonerogue.com

Photographer - Unknown
Image courtesy of Katerina Chang

Manifesto - Unknown
Photographer - Yu Ting
Image courtesy of Katerina Chang


Inoubliable Model Army: What are the greatest challenges that you face as a model and what has been the most valuable modelling advice you have received?
KC: When I first started modelling I placed high expectations on myself. If I didn't get a job, I would doubt my abilities and get upset easily. I have learnt with time to adjust my thinking more positively. My bookers at Chadwick have been so supportive, always letting me know that I am not alone and that they are there for me. I really appreciate that. Big hugs to them!

Inoubliable Model Army: How would you describe your personal street style, and which three designers are you currently obsessed about?
KC: I like timeless and elegant looks, something that can be worn for a long time and that never goes out of fashion. I have lots of black, brown and blue colours in my wardrobe. I don't really obsess about a particular designer but I do love Jason Wu, not only because he is a talented Taiwanese designer but also because his designs are elegant, simple, and feminine.

Inoubliable Model Army: In an industry where models are subjected to continual physical assessment, scrutiny and often times rejection, what are you coping mechanisms for dealing with this component of your profession?
KC: Having worked in the industry for 5 years, I don't expect every client to like my look and besides these factors are beyond my control. All I can do is think positively and have a good attitude.

Inoubliable Model Army: What do you hope to achieve in your modelling career and are there any plum assignments that you have on your bucket list?
KC: Travelling around the world is probably every model's dream. Other than that I would also like to take acting classes. I've done some commercials and loved it. Acting is more challenging to me and something that I would like to explore.

Inoubliable Model Army: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
KC: Hmm... what makes me unforgettable? That's a good question I haven't thought about before. I guess I'm easy going and have an oriental look that people would remember easily because I look like the Disney cartoon character Mu Lan ;-).

Karen Magazine - Unknown
Photographer - Unknown
Image courtesy of Katerina Chang

Photographer - Mikael Wardhana
Source - fashiongonerogue.com

Chinese Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Solo Li
Image courtesy of Katerina Chang

Harper's Bazaar Singapore - October 2011
Photographer - Georges Antoni
Source -forckwriter.com

Special thanks to Joseph Tenni at Chadwick Models. For more information on Chadwick Models Management, please log onto www.chadwickmodels.com

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