A perfect chiseled features, wide, upturned Asian eyes, and full lips for which he is renowned for, the description “tall, dark, and handsome” fittingly captures the man in a cliché, but in more ways is this story all about going against the cliché. In an industry where being an Asian model seems equivalent to being the tall, otherworldly Asian woman, 28-year-old Chinese-American Philip Huang is trying to rewrite the equation by being a powerful Asian male model presence in the fashion world.
With career highlights that include walking for Valentino, Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, John Galiano, Emporio Armani, Etro, Versace, Philip Lim, Nautica, Lacoste, Louise Vuitton and more, advertisement campaigns that include Macy’s, Barney’s, Bloomingdale catalogs and the Gap, Huang started modeling partly on a mission to diversify the industry, and partly out of sheer survival. Born in Manhattan and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Huang attended Drexel University in Philadelphia where he first got started in modeling for extra cash. Modeling was a part-time job option that provided a more innovative source of income than the standard broke college student waiter or busboy. Huang went to an open casting for Model Search, and event held in Washington DC, with more curiosity than any firm ambition. After the success of the casting, Huang began commuting from Philadelphia to New York for various castings, building up a resume that helped him launch into a career. He gave himself one year in the modeling world. Now he is jetting between New York and Italy dressed by the best in the world.
In numerous visits to Europe, Huang notes the differences in culture. Whereas European fashion boasts a strong men’s fashion scene with different working methods, the New York fashion world is more focused on women’s fashion, with speed and efficiency at its top game.
Having signed on with Public Image Worldwide modeling agency as one of its top models in April 2007, Huang has been modeling full time fore more than five years with abundant experience under his belt. Rather than fading in the crowd, however, Huang emphases his challenge in the business, which goes back to what he saw was missing in the advertising industry from the beginning when he started modeling. From day one, he felt that the missing Asian male model face was what was missing from the industry, and that face was what he could fulfill. From then on, he chugged on until he succeeded.
In addition to the world of modeling, Huang is involved with the real estate business, which he has been building up on for the past two years. He is also looking into acting, with a few scripts on the table that have stirred him creatively. Like any success story, Huang cites his determination, tenacity, and belief in himself as key through the hard times and road to today.