We were extremely lucky this week to have interviewed Edison Fan, a professional model and social media superstar whose Instagram alone boasts 220k followers. A native Chinese who moved to New Zealand when he was 15, Edison has now returned to his roots and found sweet success in his modelling career, appearing on many magazine spreads as well as playing judge on China’s Next Top Model. He’s truly come full circle – Edison first got into modelling after being inspired by the America’s Next Top Model series.
In this exclusive interview, we asked Edison some questions about his personal style, his fitness secrets, and tips on social media success.
HIS STYLE DIARY: ‘Excuse me, are you a model?’ More seriously: how did you get to where you are today?
EDISON: I was born in China, then moved to New Zealand when I was 15. I studied ballet and painting when I was 7 for five years – it was sort of how I fell in love with all kinds of art. I remember starting with sketches of dresses I designed myself since I was 12. However, my traditional Chinese parents, both doctors, discouraged my artistic potential. I studied Civil Engineering in university, and worked in that field for many years after I graduated.
When I was still in university, I saw an episode of America’s Next Top Model when I was drinking with some friends at a bar one night. I found the show very exciting and inspiring. After getting addicted to the show, I decided to get myself signed to a local modeling agency. After a few closed doors, I was signed and my part-time modeling career started.
Soon the age of social media arrived. Apps like Instagram soon became my favorite playground, where I can express my point of view of beauty, where I can experiment with my creativity. And the followers just started to come.
HSD: What is your personal style?
E: If you open my closet, you will see lots of black, white, and grey. And a few items with color. I think that’s because I’m lazy. I like to have lots of items that I can mix and match, throw on, and get out of the door.
Look-wise, I like keep it chic, classy, and comfortable – the three Cs, I call it. I don’t want to look over the top, like I’m screaming about fashion. I like to look effortless, but still have people would take a second look and think: “Hmmmm, I like what he is wearing”.
But I am also open to experiment with new looks. I make myself try different patterns and colours. It doesn’t always work, but it is fun.
HSD: Do you have a style icon?
E: I follow many accounts on Instagram from which I get inspiration. I don’t have a particular style icon, but I am constantly watching and learning.
HSD: Do clothes make the man, or does the man make the clothes? Why?
E: I think the man definitely makes the clothes. Sure, when you try on a different new look, it can give you confidence or even a different persona. But you still have to be the one to make it work, you still have to be the one to pull that persona off.
HSD: In your opinion, what makes a men sexy?
E: He’s got to be confident, clever, and caring. Another three Cs! 😉
HSD: What are some of the fashion brands that you love?
E: Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Gucci.
HSD: If there was a fire and you can only save only ONE item in your wardrobe, what would it be? Why?
E: [guffaws] Nothing a few good bucks can’t fix! :p
HSD: You’re really fit! What’s your fitness regime like?
E: When I tell people this, they don’t believe me. I go to gym about 2-3 times when I’m not busy, and when I am busy, sometimes, I don’t workout at all for 10 days. When I go to gym, I do weights only. I get my cardio done by playing tennis.
HSD: Would you rather have a great body or have an awesome wardrobe? Tell us why.
E: You can get both if you work hard for it. If I have to have one, I rather have a great body. When you have a good body and some smarts, an awesome wardrobe will follow. 😉
HSD: What’s your grooming regimen?
E: I like to keep it simple. If you complicate things and use all sorts of chemicals, it will not only stress your skin out, it will cost you more money! [laughs] The key is to always keep your skin as hydrated as possible!
HSD: Which part of your body (or face) are you the most proud of? And which one do you hate most, if any?
E: I don’t have a part of my body or face that I am most proud of. I think all my features are pretty average. I’m just lucky that when you put them all together, I don’t look too bad. I don’t like my hands, because I have a bad habit of biting my nails.
HSD: I see that you have traveled to many places. Do you have a favourite city, and why?
E: I think so far I love NYC the most. Every corner looks different, and there is always something exciting going on somewhere.
HSD: Can you share a style tip?
E: Always take a look in the mirror before you head out, and try to find if there is one item you can take off. Less is more.
HSD: You have a lot of followers on Instagram! What’s your Instagram success tip?
E: Never stop with your creativity. Always try to post something different from the past.
You can follow Edison Fan on Instagram here.