Born in Yongzhou, China, Liu Wen first entered the world of professional modeling in 2005, when she entered the New Silk Road World Modeling Contest on a whim, and unexpectedly won the title of champion of Hunan region.
The contest, which boasts Du Juan as a previous winner, offered a laptop computer as one of the top prizes, and that was Wen’s primary motivation for sending her application.
After her participation in the contest, her interest in modeling grew, and she began working locally. Soon, she moved to Beijing to find more work in the growing Chinese fashion editorial market.
Her career really took off in spring of 2007, when she graced the cover of Chinese FHM in May, and in July she appeared in both Chinese Vogue and Chinese Harper’s Bazaar.
Her work rose up to the international stage when she shot an editorial in Chinese Cosmopolitan, styled by designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Viktor & Rolf. She continued to work in China, and grew to be a veritable success in her home country.
In early 2008, she signed with Marilyn Agency in Paris, and made her debut on the European fashion week circuit. Her star climbed rapidly after that, with design houses like Chanel, Hermes, Jean Paul Gautier, and Maison Martin Margiela booking her for the fall collections.
She continued to walk in the major shows throughout both the resort and couture seasons of 2008. During the Spring 2009 season, she made her New York debut, and was named one of Style.com’s Top 10 Newcomers of the Season, a list that is consistently a ‘who’s who’ of the hottest new models on the scene.
Following that honorable mention, Wen signed on as the face of Calvin Klein’s One fragrance, and starred in a campaign shot by supermodel-maker Steven Meisel.
She was also featured in a number of other influential ad campaigns, including DKNY, and her new celebrity led to international success with editorials in American, British and Chinese Vogue, Teen Vogue, British Harper’s Bazaar, and a place in the Vogue Paris calendar, shot by Terry Richardson.
Following her successful Spring 2010 season, where she walked 70 shows, and became the second most booked model of the season, Wen was confirmed to walk in the highly promoted and televised Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, making her the first Asian model ever cast in that coveted role.
She continued to break boundaries for Asian models when she was named the newest face of Estée Lauder in April of this year.
Fashion greats such as Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gautier have publicly gushed over her, declaring that she will be a great star.
It would appear that Wen’s stellar career is on a consistent climb, and she is on her way to being an international sensation.