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China Fashion

© 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.

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