Hong Kong top models Angie Ng, Mia Kang and Kimberly Verge talk style
Striking looks and a killer body are essential, but it takes more than that to take your career global. Confident, stylish and intelligent, rising stars Mia Kang, Kimberly Verge and Angie Ng are tipped to be Hong Kong's next generation of supermodels
Text: Jing Zhang
WHO IS SHE?
From the edgy black bob, to those cheekbones and lips, Malaysian model Angie Ng has hit it big in Hong Kong since moving here four years ago. Her years in London have clearly shaped Ng's cooler-than-thou high fashion meets high street style. She stills works there a lot and the progressive industry in the British capital is a big fan of her sharp, striking looks. Soon Ng will be flying off for London Fashion Week.
"I was studying law at Reading University, and I would go to London because it was so close," she says. "That was when I started modelling."
Ng, who's signed with Model One in Hong Kong, moves remarkably well, and is definitely no wallflower. Her most memorable jobs include appearing in a video remix of Elton John's Tiny Dancer and a major Gap campaign.
With a thick portfolio of high fashion editorial and beauty work, it seems that Ng is being guided into roles that require some acting.
"Recently, I did a TV commercial in China, for EasyChat - an app similar to WeChat - which was interesting, as it pushed my limits with scenes that required a lot of crying and emotion. I like those challenges that aren't there in regular modelling. It triggered something in me."
Now Ng is taking acting classes to prepare for the future. "I'm just learning, but when the opportunity comes, then hopefully I'll be ready," she says.
"I like Phillip Lim, Céline and Balenciaga, especially after Alexander Wang came onboard," says Ng. "I've always liked the style in his lines, that 'off duty' look is what I usually wear: jeans, loose or cropped T-shirts and boots."
WHERE YOU'LL FIND HER
Ng says she doesn't go out to many bars, and is usually at home with her cats. "I'll occasionally go to Classified in Tai Hang. In the daytime, you'll always find me in the Causeway Bay sports ground working out. I lie down on the mat sometimes after a long workout and look at planes in the sky, it's kind of calming."
Watch: Meet three of Hong Kong's next generation supermodels
WHO IS SHE?
You might have seen her flawless face on those huge Clinique campaigns. Or maybe ads for Mannings and PCCW. Kimberly Verge has made headway with her gorgeous, classical pan-Asian beauty and fit physique.
"I'm very active," she says. "I love spinning and I also do yoga, which I actually studied at USC. I also go to the gym and hike a lot."
The Malaysian-Canadian model was a globetrotter from an early age and has been represented by Wilhelmina Models and Area Management.
"I was born in Canada, then moved to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, back to Singapore, Hong Kong, where I went to Canadian International School, then I went to Los Angeles and studied business administration at USC, concentrating on marketing and entrepreneurship."
After graduating, she did catalogue modelling in Chicago, before moving to New York where agencies told her she'd be perfect for Asia, because "they like that pan-Asian look".
"I thought, I spent seven years in Hong Kong, why not just move there instead of flying back and forth constantly? So now I've been here for two years," says Verge. "It's been amazing not only for work, but also for my personal life."
Her brother is here along with friends from school, and her family are set to move back at the end of the year.
"I would never have thought that I would be making more money here than in the US. Everyone thinks of New York as a global fashion capital, but there's actually a lot of big campaigns being shot here, and the market is perfect for Eurasians," she says.
Verge eventually wants to make use of her business degree and open her own company.
"I've had ideas with friends about either going into online retail or opening restaurants here," she says. "I'm such a foodie."
"My own style is a mix of darker comfortable rocker chic and jeans for day-to-day wear, but I love to dress up in flowy, beautiful boho dresses when I go out," says Verge. "I'm a big fan of brands like Valentino, Elie Saab and jewellery designer Michelle Oh. I'm a huge oneline shopper and my go-to sites are revolveclothing.com nastygal.com and asos.com."
WHERE YOU'LL FIND HER
She takes spinning classes at XYZ and goes to Ananda Yoga. "Foodwise, there are a lot of Peruvian places here and I love Mayta, but Chachawan and Yardbird are also favourite places to hang out and eat. I try to change it up as there are so many good ones. You might catch me at Havana, Kasbah or Tazmania Ballroom where the staff are like family now."
WHO IS SHE?
She has just flown back from a job in New York prior to our shoot, but Mia Kang is still looking ridiculously fresh.
Kang has done covers for Elle and Harper's Bazaar in Hong Kong, but her distinctive look and pout are gaining international traction fast. She's shot a campaign for Chanel lipstick at Coco Chanel's Parisian apartment and was chosen by supermodel Gaile Lai to front her jewellery brand Lucky Roses.
Confident, well educated and not short on attitude; Kang has been modelling for over a decade. The Korean-British model grew up in Hong Kong, went to Island School, and was "discovered" at the age of 13 by her dance teacher.
"I really had no idea what I was doing at first," she says. "One of the first jobs I booked was a Levi's campaign. I remember seeing myself in shops in Times Square, and only then did it hit me."
After high school, Kang travelled and worked in Tokyo, Singapore, Milan and London. She studied philosophy and economics at Bristol University, then went on to attain a master's in finance and financial law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, all while modelling. But after a few years with Models 1 in London, Kang moved back to be closer to her family.
"Hong Kong is so amazing. Warm weather, good food, the lifestyle is much better," she says. "I'm also learning Cantonese, but I'm not confident enough to bust any out yet."
It seems she is here for the long run, despite more overseas gigs. And we'll soon be seeing more of Kang beyond the catwalks, campaigns and fashion editorials. She is working on a food and beverage project with her brother Malcolm, though she says she can't reveal much more just yet.
"I have a few other ideas, but it's just about finding the right time to execute them."
FAVOURITE DESIGNERS/BRANDS Kang opts for comfort when she's off duty. "Maxi dresses, sandals, bag and sunnies - that's me. I'm not very brand focused but some favourites are Celine, Alice + Olivia, Givenchy and Balmain."
WHERE YOU'LL FIND HER
"Pure Yoga is my happy place," says Kang. "Taking an hour out of your busy day to stop and breathe is essential to keep going in a city like Hong Kong. My favourite place to unwind after a long week is the whisky bar Stockton."
Styling: Anson Lau
Stylist’s assistants: Jan Li, Jesse Lam
Hair: Jean Tong from A Ten studio
Make-up: Marian Woo
Models: Angie Ng from Modelone
Mia Kang from CalCarries
Kimberly Verge from Starzpeople