This Week's Model: Du Juan
Just because a girl has a beauty queen title doesn’t mean she has what it takes to be a supermodel. Willowy looker Du Juan (seen here backstage at Carolina Herrera), however, does. The former Miss China debuted at Chanel couture in 2006, and has become a veritable runway sensation, walking for Louis Vuitton and Anna Sui, among others. A classically trained ballerina, she’s also been featured in French Vogue, Allure and W editorials and Gap and David Yurman ad campaigns. With a perfect pout and can-do attitude, we can see why Du Juan is at the top of her game.
From left: Derek Lam spring 2010, Carolina Herrera spring 2010
How did you prepare for the spring collections?
I take my time packing. I normally take two large suitcases that I put everything in from clothes to beauty products to food. I’ve gotten quite good at it, but my first few seasons it took me at least two weeks just to pack!!! The most important thing is to get myself in a positive mood. The shows can get really tiring and quite lonely, so I need to prepare myself mentally.
What were your favorite shows?
I always look forward to Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui.
What’s the one item you carry throughout the collections?
My camera!!! I like to record what I see and experience during the shows. It’s such a great adventure. Everything is so new and exciting and I want to capture the memories.
From left: Jason Wu spring 2010, Backstge at Marc Jacobs spring 2010
What’s your all-time favorite show?
The very first show I did when I started modeling in the west was for Chanel couture in 2006, so it will always have a special place in my heart. The staging, atmosphere and clothes were so amazing. Just being there was surreal, exciting and nerve wracking.
You’ve been all over the world. What are your favorite cities?
My favorite city will always be Shanghai. I was born and raised there, so nothing is better than coming home. I do love New York, though. The energy, street, noise and people give you a buzz like no other city.
What’s the biggest perk of the job?
Who doesn’t like free clothes? I always love what I get from Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam and Alexander Wang. My favorite piece this season is a cropped winter jacket from Marc Jacobs.
From left: Target fall 2009 campaign, David Yurman fall 2009 campaign
Who’s your favorite designer?
Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz!! I love his clothes, but I love him even more.
Who are your model friends?
Emma Pei, Liu Wen, Ai Tominaga and I love Sasha [Pivovarova]. She’s been to China many times and we’ve become good friends.
Who is your model icon?
From left: Armani fall 2008 campaign, Gap fall 2009 campaign
You’re one of the few super-successful Asian models working today. How do you feel about that?
It makes me feel proud in a way, but I also feel the pressure to do well, work harder and to make sure I represent Chinese models well internationally. I love this job and I’ve broken many barriers in my short career, but I really don’t think that in the end, race is what’s most important. We all do the same job and same work, so being a good model is what counts.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chips! I know they’re not good for me, but I love them.
Photos: WWD Staff