Li Qian (or Qian Li in English) is as ambitious as they come. She’s currently studying engineering management in China, and recently dropped by Australia to further pursue her modelling career, signing on with IMG. Big news. HUGE!
Aside from her 10/10 good looks, the smart-as-a-whip angel’s trip to Sydney, and towards her goals, can be attributed to hard work and perseverance, especially in the face of obstacles (more on that below). It also doesn’t hurt that she knows how to work an angle, as evidenced by that time we dressed her up in a Molly Goddard checked dress and cowboy boots, which incidentally happens to be the greatest outfit for a) exploring a new city, and b) going on a picnic in.
But hey, you don’t have to take our word for it! You can see for yourself in the gallery above, before you get to know her better, either in English or in Chinese, below.
What is your name?
In Chinese, my name is Li Qian. In English, it’s Qian Li. But, I always get called Kwen Li. I love this country, I love “Qian”, but people always call me “Kwen”!
What's your star sign?
I’m a Virgo. Virgo’s characteristics are mainly that they’re hygienic and strict with themselves. Virgo’s feel very sad when they don’t do things well, and want to do the best and be the best they can be. Sometimes Virgos feel uncomfortable, and are a little OCD, and sometimes they feel sad when they can’t do things. But this star sign has positives, which is that they progress and move forward. I think that is pretty cool.
Where are you from?
Can you tell us about all your favourite things?
My favourite thing is eating! I love food, especially spicy food. After coming here, I felt rather unaccustomed to the food because it’s so mild. Outside of food, I also like: watching movies—especially horror and suspense-filled films—and sports. When I was in middle school, my school wanted me to be a professional track-and-field athlete, because I ran very quickly. My parents did not want that for me because I did so well academically, but I’ve always been good at sports nonetheless. In college I was chosen by the university's Taekwondo team, and learned Taekwondo for a year or two and competed for my college. There, I majored in engineering management, which was hard, because we had to study maths and physics.
Have you always wanted to be a model?
Becoming a model has always been a dream for me—I longed for it from a very young age. My agency thinks highly of my skills, and so have the photographers since I started out modelling. We did some pretty good shots for my portfolio, and I was able to come to Australia. My childhood dream was to be a famous person or someone brilliant, but along the way I encountered great obstacles. My height and appearance was not favourable in China, so I met with a lot of difficulties and wasn’t taken seriously. But I kept doing what I liked, kept filming, and kept in contact with my agency. After coming here, I was taken seriously. I feel happy when there is work to do, and feel like I’m a step closer to my dream. I wish I could go to Europe and New York to participate in the fashion weeks. I want to be an amazing model like Liu Wen, that is my dream.
What are you most proud of this year?
This year in school I took part in a math competition and got really good grades, I was very happy about that. Also, at universities in China, the end of the third year of college is the hardest and also when the courses end, so it was really difficult for me to model while studying. But, I worked hard and studied, finally getting good grades, and ending on the perfect note for my college life. After finishing study, I came to Sydney to work. My biggest progress in modeling this year was signing to a foreign agency, which is hard for a new model. IMG chose me when they came to Shanghai, and that made me so happy. My other goal this year is participating in fashion week—this is really my biggest dream and I have worked so hard and prepared so much for it!
What do you love about Sydney?
My favourite food is Xi’an Cuisine in Chinatown. I go there probably every other day, because it’s near the train station, which is convenient for me. Everytime I finish an interview or work, I go there to eat. Also my agency IMG is my favourite, they treat me so nicely. Although I get assigned a lot of work, I still love them! And I have a good friend, a western model living with me called Emma. She is super nice—I love being with her. The best thing in Sydney has been meeting my super nice agent and friends at IMG, and eating super tasty food in Chinatown.
Shot on location in Bondi, Sydney