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OCTOBER 23, 2000 VOL. 156 NO. 16

The Soul of a New Model
The spike-heeled energy of high fashion turns the life of one young Shanghai star into a whirlwind
Photographs for TIME by LAUREN GREENFIELD

Models are becoming China's new stars. Until the recent development of a domestic fashion industry—and a craving for Asian faces on catwalks abroad—few Chinese beauties could aspire to the billboard glamour of Claudia or Cindy. Now millions would love to be Lu Yi, a 20-year-old from Jiangsu province who says she loves China but sometimes finds its rough edges embarrassing. More at home in the company of Shanghai's English-speaking expats than with ordinary folks, scornful of knock-offs and hooked on expensive designer goods, she is proud to walk the runways for Gucci and Chanel. While training for a future career as a TV show host, she confesses that her real dream is to study in the U.S. To her young fans, though, she's already living the dream.

Write to TIME at mail@web.timeasia.com

the arts ALSO IN YOUNG CHINA: THE ARTS
Singing the Blues: Why Chinese rock doesn't rock

Looking Inward: Today's artists are beginning to explore individual rather than collective themes

Riot Grrrls: Mian Mian and Wei Hui face off

Literary Boom: Youth fiction is far more varied than the sex-and-drugs glam-lit that nabs headlines

What's Hot: The fads du jour among urban youth

Father and Son: Two generations of filmmakers reflect on their differences—which turn out to be less than they had feared

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