originally appeared in Mavin volume 2
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DEVON AOKI by Victoria Namkung Source: Mavin.net It is not surprising to see another beautiful teenaged model. But this time, the new darling of the runways and print ads is 16-year-old Devon Aoki. Her resume is already impressive, but landing the Chanel Spring/Summer ad campaign shot by Karl Lagerfeld is the most exposure this freckle-faced hapa has ever experienced. Devon was discovered in New York City at a Rancid concert she had gate-crashed. She moved with her mother and siblings to London at 14 and joined Storm Model Management, which represents models like Kate Moss and Chandra North. There are so few Asian faces in the modeling world and even fewer multiracial models. Devon believes things are shifting. "I think it's important that there is a change, especially in fashion. I'm pleased to be a part of a 'new breed' of models who perhaps don't exactly fit the status quo." At only 5'6", almost unheard of for runway models, Devon has represented designers like Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Yohji Yamamoto and Gaultier. Status quo obviously doesn't apply. Devon is sought after by notable photographers, like Ellen von Unwerth, Mario Sorrenti and Nick Knight. When asked about her equally famed father, Rocky Aoki (Benihana entrepreneur), she confidently states, "I think it's important for everyone to have a separate identity to someone else, whether it be a parental figure, sister, brother, boyfriend, etcetera." Although she flies to Paris for couture shows, has done a music video for Primal Scream and loves to travel, education is the real priority. "More of my time is devoted to school, but I do try to keep a balance. It gets overwhelming at times, but so far I have been able to manage them both." Devon's maturity and down-to-earth attitude are undoubtedly factors of her success. Is college in the future? "Definitely at some point. I'm not sure where yet. I'm considering going to college in the states, I would guess in the next few years." I think we would be lucky to have her back.