A 20-year-old woman with pastel pink hair is causing a commotion in the fashion industry as an exclusively-booked model for Louis Vuitton. Chinese-Australian model Fernanda Ly has been featured in numerous editions of Vogue as well as indie fashion publications such as i-D, Dazed, Love and Self-Service.
Aside from being on the pages of the American, British, Italian, Japanese and Australian Vogue, Ly has also worked for one of the biggest designer labels in the world. She told CNN Style:
“I guess you could say I’m the Louis Vuitton girl right now. The last collection was sort of inspired by me, which sounds weird!”
The highly sought model was booked exclusively by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiére for the last two seasons. He has kept her from other designers and made her the cover girl for his Autumn-Winter 2016 and Spring-Summer 2016 shows and campaigns.
The last collection’s futuristic style with bright pink accents seem to have been indeed inspired by Ly. The Sydney native has publicly expressed her love for manga, arcade games and Japanese culture before. She has even worn a pink leather jacket and Sailor Moon tiara in her past ads. Ly explained her collaboration with Louis Vuitton to CNN:
“Nicolas was really interested anyway in Japanese culture and architecture, and I think it shows in the structure of the clothes and the material he uses. It’s a happy coincidence.”
Ly was an architecture major at Sydney’s University of Technology back when she was a student in Australia. In September of 2014 she took a leave of absence to focus on her modeling career. She cites architecture among the interests she shares with Louis Vuitton’s creative director. She told CNN about her schooling:
“The bachelor’s that I’m doing is in interior architecture, but it also has to do with exteriors, spacial design and landscape design. I’m interested in how people interact with a space, the idea of architecture as social commentary, and how the total effect can change when you alter one concept.”
“And out of all of the artistic sort of studies, it’s the most acceptable by my parents.”
She plans to go back to complete her studies in the future, but she is exploring art in another realm at the present. Her career in fashion has taken her on an incredible journey. She added:
“Every creative art is about the same thing, which is the person that uses the product that you make. So in that way, clothing and fashion, buildings and architecture, they come hand in hand.”
Ly recalled that the Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the buildings that first inspired her to pursue a study in architecture. She continued:
“When I was in Paris for my first Louis Vuitton show last March, the moment I got free time, I rushed off to Notre Dame and just stared at it for an hour or two.”
Ly is a big fan of Gothic grandeur and Japanese minimalism. Among her role models are Pritzker Prize-winner Tadao Ando, a renowned contemporary Japanese architect. Ly explained:
“Tadao Ando is my favourite architect. I love his use of juxtaposing concepts and materials. He uses my favourite materials — concrete, glass, and light — in a way that completely defies convention. He takes the heaviness of concrete and makes it light and elegant, rather than bulky.”