A Hot Minute With: Jade Hsu & Ella Wong in New York

New York

— October 3, 2023 —

Seasons come and go, and trends pass, but one thing remains true: our steadfast devotion to cramming in a shoot with Antipodean talent whenever the opportunity arises.

This time, we're circling back to say hi to two charming people, Kiwi angel Ella Wong and Aussie treasure Jade Hsu. Currently based in New York, we took advantage of a quiet moment before NYFW kicked off to invite them to Williamsburg to don a cute outfit and strike a few poses.

Then we sat down to get all the details about what they've been up to since we last had the good fortune to be in their presence. Not only did they share some spot-on tips for anyone thinking of making the move to New York, they've got ideas for books to read, places to shop and thoughts on how to combat homesickness abroad. <3

Hi Ella! It’s been a while; so special to catch up again! You were one of the earliest CPC Girls we featured on the site back when we launched in 2017 - we had so much fun running around Chinatown in Sydney with you. What’s been happening in your world since then?
So, I stuck around in Sydney for another year and then moved to LA. That lasted four months, and then I ended up back in New York- during COVID, I was lucky enough to escape back to New Zealand, where I stayed for 2.5 years and moved back to NYC in 2022.

You also talked about the importance of family in your life and your upbringing in New Zealand. How have those connections helped in your adult life and in the past few years?
I really appreciated the time spent at home as I had been constantly travelling and never got to spend more than a month with my family. It definitely brought me back to my roots and reminded me how much I appreciate my family. The most challenging part of living in New York is being on the opposite side of the world from them.

Can you tell us about life in New York? How has the city changed since you first moved over?
I first moved over in 2012 when I was 16- New York has changed a lot as have I, but it still has the energy and the fast pace, which I love, but it’s definitely not for everyone. 
I love how everything is so close, and there is always something to do. This can be overwhelming at times, so for me, it helps getting out of the city every few months, away from the chaos and fast-paced lifestyle.

Many Kiwi and Aussie expats have been making the move over (or are thinking about it). Do you have any tips for them?
My advice for people looking to make the move is to visit for at least a week to see if it is for you. I also think it’s important to bear in mind that some places while they are great for a  holiday, living and working there is completely different.

What books are you reading at the moment?
The 7husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Normal People, Sally Rooney.

Best song you’ve heard recently?
'As bad as you are' by my friend Alicia Davis.

Best TV series?

Best podcast ep?
Raising the Curve-RTC70 with Sarah Lindsey❤️

Best TikTok/reel?




We were so lucky to work with you for one of your earliest shoots back in Sydney — on a sunny afternoon at Beare Park — what’s been happening in your world since then?
I remember that day! It was one of the first shoots I’d ever done, and I was nervous because I had no idea what to do in front of the camera. So much has happened since then, yet it feels like just yesterday that I started modelling. I’m very lucky to have been able to travel around the world and walk for some of my dream brands. It’s been a roller coaster of a journey, but I’m very grateful for where it has taken me. 

When did you move to New York, and how are you finding it?
End of August! It’s been a whirlwind, but I’m loving it here. 

When we first met, you mentioned your aspirations to get into design or illustration. Given your modelling career has really taken off, are you still finding time to draw and do other creative pursuits?
I ended up studying fashion design for two years and took a break to focus on modelling. I recently picked up knitting as a hobby, so that’s my current obsession. 

Where would you take someone visiting New York for the first time? Chinatown.

Favourite places to shop in New York? Beacons Closet, Procell, Tokio7, Big Ash, Harley’s, and Cafe forgot.

Best place to unwind? The spa! I love a spa day; it fixes (almost) every problem.

Best place to read a book/mag… The drama bookshop. 

Spend an arvo walking in/around… Central Park. 

Best cheap feed… Kings dumplings. 

Have an afternoon drink at… The Chai Spot. 

Cutest date spot… Tomi jazz bar.

You can’t leave New York without… Trying a NY bagel.

What do you miss most about Sydney? The people mostly, but also the beach and weather. 

What is the best strategy for combating homesickness? Explore the city and plan out activities for each day. Journaling helps me a lot.

What are you most looking forward to for next year? 
I’m excited to see how my life will change in a year’s time and what new experiences I’ll uncover. I also love to see people I know grow and evolve over time. 


Photos: Steph Geddes      Fashion: Natalie Cantell      Feature: Chloe Hill


Ella is represented by Unique & Elite
Jade is Represented by Priscillas & Elite


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