Being a ballerina too tall an order for model Du Juan
'I really wanted to be a ballerina when I was small but as I grew taller and taller, I felt like my dream was shattering. So I turned to modelling in late 2002,' Du Juan recalled.
The transition has not worked out too badly for the 1.82-metre tall Shanghai native, who is China's first international supermodel. The striking 22-year-old was in the city to open the MasterCard Luxury Week of fashion shows.
The first Asian on French Vogue's cover in 2005 is now in serious demand. She was on her way back to America for New York Fashion Week, before jetting to other shows in cities such as Milan, London and Paris.
It's enough to turn a girl into a diva, which some snubbed local media accused her of when she rejected their interview requests on Friday. But talking to us, Du Juan was modest enough.
'Modelling has been great and I cherish the opportunity to travel. Many people on the mainland do not have such a privilege. Being a model won't be a long career. You can only do it when you are young and full of energy.'