Modeling has become a flourishing industry in China since famous French fashion designer Pierre Cardin hosted the country's first fashion show in Beijing in 1979.
The number of Chinese models has surged from a mere 11 in 1980 to nearly six million at present. However, in this somewhat cruel industry which seems suitable only for the youthful, only a handful can stand out from the pack to become highly-recognized at home and abroad.
When the domestic fashion industry was still in its infancy, Peng Li, a Beijing native, became the first Chinese model to be crowned at an international contest in Italy in 1988, and Ye Jihong, a model popular in '89, quit the industry one year later after winning a modeling contest on the Chinese mainland.
China.org.cn has compiled a list of China's top ten models since fashion shows were introduced in 1979:
Yu Na 于娜
Yu Na [File Photo]
Born: Jun. 6, 1981
Yu Na was born in Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou Province, and is a famous model-turned actress who appeared in Chinese TV hit series "How to rescue you, My love", "One Meter Sunlight", "Come Home" and many others. Yu won many local modeling contests, and was crowned New Silk Road Model Look China in 2000, making her a house-hold name overnight. In that same year, Yu was awarded the Best Asian Image Award at the 7th World Supermodel Contest held in France. Yu is well-known for her sweet smile and girl-next-door style.