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BONNIE CHEN: the interview

Posted on: 2011/01/21



Ph: Patrick Demarchelier   for  Vogue USA
PR: Bonnie when did you signed with NEXT and how did you get scouted?

BONNIE CHEN: I signed with Next right before the New York Fashion Week in Feb. 2010.  Actually I didn't get scouted; I just went into all agencies' open day in NYC myself and NEXT picked me and sent me to castings right away.

PR: How do you manage to combine university with modeling?

BONNIE CHEN: I started modeling when I was 16 by wining the finalist spot of ELITE model look in Nice, France, but I only worked during holidays. After I graduated from high school in Nanjing, I decided to stop modeling in order to pursue a university degree in the US first, because for my family, education is always the most important thing. 
Erin Fetherston SS11 NY(fashionologie)

My life has changed after I entered college, I began to explore the international culture and understand fashion in a more intellectual level. I think my education has definitely helped me re-identify myself in the fashion industry and shape my career in a longer term.

PR: Are you coffee addicted like all students?
BONNIE CHEN: Oh, coffee, Mountain Dew and Red Bull always help me stay awake before exams and big project due dates. I go to Starbucks quite often, and also Jamba Juice to detoxify my body.

PR: Please tell us, why you dress up your dog, who is a sweetie by the way. What's his name?
BONNIE CHEN: I have two dogs, which are French poodles in red and gray. My mom is in clothing manufacturing and she is very much into fashion. She used to dress me like a doll when I was little, and now as I left home for college and jobs, she moved her interest to our puppies.
PR: Don't tell us that Harry passed away!?! So sorry to hear that…how long did you have him?
BONNIE CHEN: Harry is the gray dog, and he was my favorite one ever! He got ran over by a car. My parents didn't want to tell me first, but after I was told by a relative by accident, I stayed in my apartment in NYC crying for three days. He was the best dog ever! I have had him since 2004.
@ Louis Vuitton via

PR: Who is your inspiration when it comes to modeling and why?

BONNIE CHEN: Definitely Christy Turlington. I remember when I was young; I always searched her on  the magazine covers and appreciated her classic angel-like look. 

After she finished modeling, she went back to NYU and then became a very successful business woman for her yoga line. I love yoga and I admire people with intelligence and beauty combined. She is like a flawless angel to me. I also like her low-key attitude towards life.

PR: Models always carry big bags with them! Do you also carry it? 

BONNIE CHEN: I sometimes do carry big bags, but I also realize that's too much weight on one shoulder after a long day of walking. So most of the time I carry a very light canvas bag. There is a new trend promoting green shopping bags in China. I just transfer stuff between my personal bag and that bag. 

Ph: Daniel Jackson

Work essentials by Bonnie: 

  • Aldo or Steve Madden heels
  • Zico fresh coconut water
  • Carmex lip balm
  • Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses
  • iPod
  • Blackberry
  • ... and a Paperpack of whatever Sophie Kinsella just wrote.

I don't usually bring any make up to castings; in the US models wear NO MAKEUP for castings. 

BONNIE: My make up essentials are simple, such as:

blog.bonaelamour via TFS

  • Carmex lip balm
  • Bioderma cleansing water
  • MaxFactor foundation mousse
  • Estee Lauder concealer pen
  • Majolica Majorca Mascara
  • MAC eye shadow in tempting Maybelline mousse blush
  • Fusion lip gloss.

vanessa jackman via TFS
PR: Where do you shop for your clothes?
BONNIE CHEN: You can always find me at Topshop, Zara, and H and M, I also like Forever 21, because they are all young and following the latest trends. I loved Abercrombie and Fitch when I was a student. I recently fell in love with Madewell by J. Crew as well.

PR: What is your favorite pair of jeans?
BONNIE CHEN: In the last couple of months, I wore my H&M boyfriend jeans in washed light blue a lot. It is so comfortable.

PR: How do you take care of your hair?
BONNIE CHEN: I wash it every other day and everyday after work. My favorite brand is L’Oreal, and Pantene, and I think over washing is definitely better than under washing your hair:)

PR: Do you think that over washing can damage it?
BONNIE CHEN: I wash my hair every other day or every day if I am working. I think its better to over wash than to under wash your hair. You can always put on some serum if it gets too dry.
Josh Olins - Ph. for Benetton
PR: We want to know everything about maintaining your skin!
BONNIE CHEN: I get most of my skincare stuff in Asia, since the products may suit my skin type better. 

  • Shu Umemura mint spray
  • Bioderma cleasing water is a must
  • La Mer eye cream
  •  Embryolisse crème hydratante as my primer.

PR: Do you ever see a dermatologist or go for a beauty treatment?
BONNIE CHEN: I don't have a dermatologist, but the good makeup artists will always share the top secret beauty tips with you at work. I go to the BLISS SPA a couple times, but I also do facial masks myself.

PR: Share with us some beauty advice?
BONNIE CHEN: Lots of fruits, enough sleep and always in a good mood. Exercise helps detoxify your body too.
PR: How much does the food effect the skin?
BONNIE CHEN: A lot. I don't like the taste of spicy food, so I am lucky to have zero pimples!
Serge LeBlon - Ph. for Vogue China
PR: Bonnie, Sun Tzu or Wei Hui? 
BONNIE CHEN: Absolutely Sun Tzu. If you have read his book “The Art of War”, you would know how genius he is. He has seen through everything and is considered a legend in ancient Chinese history.

PR: What is next for you?
BONNIE CHEN: Focus on modeling and keep writing stuff during my spare time. I love writing. Also help my mom develop her personal label in fashion!

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