Estée Lauder sees the future of beauty in a face from the Far East.
Prada tapped Chinese filmmaker Yang Fudong for its spring 2010 men’s campaign. Dior recently shot an ad campaign in Shanghai. And Gucci has 35 boutiques and counting throughout the country. Now beauty companies are joining the action. “China is our fastest-growing market,” says Estée Lauder’s global brand president, Jane Hertzmark Hudis. “What better way to honor that than to hire a native of the country?” That would be Liu Wen, Estée Lauder’s new global spokesmodel. “We’re doing very well in Asia, and we’re No. 1 in China,” says Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director. “So Liu Wen sends the perfect message at the perfect time.” Lauder’s first Asian model grew up watching her mom dab on the brand’s skincare products. “It’s very dry in China, so she’s used the serum for a long time,” Liu says. “She can’t believe I have this job!” Liu divides her time between Beijing and New York, where she’s drawn to the Lower East Side. “It’s a very good place because, first, there are so many vintage stores, and I love vintage,” she enthuses. “And second, it’s close to Chinatown. Sometimes I really miss my mom’s cooking.” Her mother is the first person Liu lists as a role model, and although she admires Kate Moss’s style, her idol’s lifestyle is another matter. “All the models talk about boyfriends,” she says. “Even my mom asks me, ‘Where is your boyfriend?’ But I’m a little busy for that. Besides, in China girls marry at 24,” says the 22-year-old. “So I have two years.”