Taiwan will for the first time hold a regional qualifier for the International Super Model Contest, which is now in its 9th edition. Models can sign up to show a panel of expert judges that they truly have what it takes to strut fashion runways and pose in photo shoots. Winning the contest can present aspiring supermodels with huge opportunities in fashion in Taiwan and overseas. Registration closes July 15. Formosa News reporter Stephany Yang takes us in for a sneak peek of the glam and glitz in store.

Russian supermodel?Alina Khafiiatullova?struts down the runway wearing a gown by French designer Vanida Dang. The dress emphasizes social action. Also showcased at the show are designs by French fashionista Karl Lagerfeld. This was the media preview of the 2021 International Super Model Contest.

Stephane Peden
French chamber of commerce in Taiwan
Today, we will showcase two designers that are very involved in social action. One of them is helping young people in a suburb in France to access employment. The other one is using ocean debris to design and create the clothes. We can help them as well to introduce them people in France, and see how they can cooperate and bridge their ideas between France and Taiwan.

Alina Khafiiatullova
I think this dress is very unique. There is a very long skirt at the back, which looks very special. I feel very comfortable and very beautiful.

The International Super Model Contest is in its 9th edition this year. Competitions have been held every year in different countries including Canada, the U.S., Japan, China, Italy and Thailand. This year, Taiwan will hold a regional contest of its own for the first time. The competition is open for online registration from April 8 till July 15. For the regional round, contestants will participate in a series of shoots around Taiwan. The champion of the Taiwan regional will get the opportunity to get signed by an international agency and participate in fashion week shows. They''ll also have the opportunity to serve as a spokesperson for international brands in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Only the top finalists will be eligible to advance to the Asian leg of the contest.

Shahad Huang
Contest executive chair
We are very happy that Taiwan can host one of the 27 regional contests for the 9th International Supermodel Contest. In previous editions, Taiwanese contestants have had to buy their own tickets to participate in overseas regionals. Amid the pandemic, we are excited to see our contestants’ great performance. We have models of various nationalities participating. It’s an educational experience that can also provide contestants with an international experience. To further international exchanges, we''ve also invited the French Chamber of Commerce as well as French and Taiwanese designers.

The competition isn’t just open to models. Designers can also take part by providing their designs to showcase on the runway. Taiwan''s sustainable fashion designer Owen Chen, who has previously designed for Lady Gaga, created a dress inspired by ocean conservation.

Owen Chen
Sustainable fashion designer
My “Ocean” series uses discarded but usable materials to breathe new life into them.

Sabrina Lin
Taipei City councilor
On the fourth floor of Yongle Market, there are many Taiwanese designer brands. These brands don’t just feature Taiwanese characteristics. There are some designers like Owen Chen who integrate a lot of environmentally friendly elements. There is a pier in Dadaocheng. I hope that when you visit the area and do some tourism there, you can take your rubbish away with you. Let’s not let our oceans get polluted.

Taiwanese fashion designers Wu Liang-i?and Lee Chih-hsiang designed dresses that were inspired by two folk deities: Matzu and the Golden Mother of the Jade Pond.

Wu Liang-i
My garments use a lot of craftsmanship, using the techniques of temple tile art. It features a lot of twisting and winding. With the pandemic and the recent tragedies, I hope the gods bless Taiwan.

Lee Chih-siang
The headpieces I made use high-quality Taiwanese lace. The fabric of the lace is quite soft, so I used a lot of techniques to make it harder. Each headpiece took three months to make.

The winners of the first round of the regional contest will be announced on July 30. Then an intermediary contest will be held on August 10, with training running from Aug. 15 till Aug. 31. The final contest ceremony for Taiwan will be held in September.?