Supermodels that walk major catwalks used to be identical: thin, tall and white. It was a status quo orchestrated by all the influential fashion houses, and as consumers, we never questioned it, because we too believed that those models reflected individuals we desired to be. That, however, is changing due to the democratisation of the fashion industry and the greater need for diversity in a globalised world. Now, fashion shows that only use white, young and extremely underweight models would be criticised for socially questionable motives that reinforce outdated stereotypes concerning race, gender and age. As a result, a new type of model has emerged onto the scene, the nodel – the awkward sounding buzzword meaning a non-model – who is taking the spotlight and disrupting preconceived notions of fashion and beauty.
Nodels reflect the zeitgeist of the current youth, who value attitude, style, edge, uniqueness and ideology over conventional, pretty faces and vapid personalities. This is why, for this year’s YDC fashion editorial photoshoot, agency models were replaced with 11 men and women – Anna, Bella, Bobby, CK, FOTANLAIKI, Jessica, KAWA, KJ, Renik, San & Yung-gor – who are current influencers shaking up Hong Kong’s youth culture scene. They represent a new era in fashion – a group of aware and ‘woke’ youth that question the status quo.
photographer: Ken Ngan photography assistant: Cliff Chik and Theodoric
styling: Perpetua Ip styling assistant: Jan Li
make-up: Monique, Shirley and Zico@NARS
hair: Jay Yeung and Sugar Lee hair assistant: Yau