“Although Asian is one in all the most important ethnicities in the world, various images of Asian ladies are rarely protected in Western mainstream magazines,” writes Wei Liu in his editor’s letter for the newly released The Wow magazine. “Hollywood waited for 25 years to look another all-Asian solid inside the movie Crazy Rich Asians, so how lengthy have to we maintain ready to peer a mag for them? It’s about time, so right here we’re.”
Liu is exhausted after I meet him in a restaurant in London’s Victoria district. “I’m operating on the magazine all by myself at the moment,” says the 31-yr-old latest graduate of the London College of Fashion (LCF). “I had one classmate who helped with contacts before. However, she went back to China.”
Liu’s publication becomes born out of his final venture at university. It debuted this month on the cabinets of WHSmith, Selfridges and various independent newsagents across the UK, with global shipping to be had too. The plan is for it to be a twice-every year book.
Despite being self-funded, The Wow does now not look like a magazine performed at the cheap. Inside the first trouble, there may be an interview with British-Chinese actor Jing Lusi (Crazy Rich Asians, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man), a photograph shoot with Instagram version Lovisa Lager, and private essays exploring exclusive aspects of the race.
While beginning a print mag in these days’ media climate isn’t any smooth project, Liu became surprised at how many Asian and Eurasian actors, photographers, and fashions were eager to assist. Perhaps it’s a sign of how few possibilities they get in Western media, he displays.
Born in a small city in China’s Hunan province, Liu became inquisitive about fashion magazines while he became 18. He was reading Korean literature in South Korea and didn’t have many friends, so he watched quite a few America’s Next Top Model and Ugly Betty. “I turned into inquisitive about those photos they created,” he says.
Liu returned to China after five years in South Korea to look at a diploma in mass communication, questioning that could assist him in getting a task in style.
“Then Weibo came out, and I started out posting images of Chinese models operating distant places,” he explains. “Because I was given into Weibo quite early I started out getting many fans, including fashions and editors.”
He fingers me his cellphone to reveal me his Weibo account. It takes me a second to sign up that the 1,388,644 figure I’m looking at is his follower depend.F
For a while, Liu rode the wave of his social media reputation. Through his Weibo contacts, he began contributing to the Chinese variations of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Throughout all this, his dream changed into to take a look at LCF.
“After years of running in China, I subsequently had sufficient savings to [attend LCF]. I came here at aged 29. My pals, my circle of relatives – they weren’t so supportive,” he says.
His most important changed into fashion journalism. “To be honest, I turned into definitely upset inside the first 12 months,” he says. But he turned into stimulated by a guest lecture from Penny Martin, the editor-in-leader of The Gentlewoman. He did some research and discovered an opening in the market for a mag aimed at Asian girls. “There are so many magazines. However, no magazine exists for the Asian network.”
Asked why he’s no longer launching a guys’ mag, his pragmatic solution is that “the marketplace is ruled by girls’ magazines, and you will get a huge target market.” He does wish to do guys unique even though if the whole lot goes nicely.
He admits that he’s going to need a few lady to assist in destiny. “As a man, there are a few topics that I won’t be capable of one hundred in line with cent relate to, so I truly desire for the second one trouble, or the destiny, I can get a lady to create the magazine together.”