Metro

Rebel supermodel plans a life without plans

By Liu Yujie (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-06-17 08:04
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 Rebel supermodel plans a life without plans

Ge, who won an international top model competition at 17 and is 23, aims to past the rebelliousness of her youth. Photos provided to China Daily

Ge Huijie reveals her attempt to make up for the pain and suffering to her beloved when she was too young, writes Liu Yujie.

As a girl, she ran away from home at 14. As a young woman, she married rock star Wang Feng at 17. And, after becoming a mother at 18, she was divorced at 19. After cramming so much into her young life, 23-year-old supermodel Ge Huijie says she is now hoping for more change, with dreams of eventually becoming a fashion designer and actress.

Ge, the winner of the Nice Cup Ten Best Models competition at 15 and winner of the Pierre Cardin International Model Competition at 17, idly smokes as she lies on the carpet in her living room, sharing stories from her extraordinary life with METRO.

Having been up posing for photographs until 2 that morning, Ge keeps the thick curtains closed, even though it is now the middle of the day, keeping out the light, heat and noise.

As the interview begins, she reveals she has just woken up and it shows a little in her slightly swollen eyes and her hair that is held back with a band.

Wearing a cartoon T-shirt and short pants, Ge looks nothing like the decadent star she portrays on the catwalk.

Thinking back to her teenage years, she says she was extremely rebellious and a "stigmatized youth" at school.

"When my mother found I was in love with a boy in the seventh grade, she was so angry she sent me to another school," Ge recollected, with a smile.

She said she ran away from that school after getting a sudden and strong impulse.

"It all happened in a second. That day, my mother was talking with our headmaster and I was told to stand and wait. What they said agitated me. 'Run! Run away from all the mess!' came a voice from somewhere. I answered the call and ran away. Several days later, I returned home because I ran out of money but I never did go back to school."

Ge says she is the kind of person who tries to escape when her troubles become too much.

She was very candid before the nation's media when her passionate relationship with Wang ended suddenly.

She says it ended largely because she was too young at the time and was little more than a child herself who was not good at taking responsibility.

She said she has not changed a lot since then.

Rebel supermodel plans a life without plans

"Several days ago, I lost my purse that was full of everything important: My ID card, bank cards and keys. But I carried on as usual. Whenever I feel awful and frustrated, I just let it go and sleep for the whole day. Luckily, I have assistants taking care of everything," Ge said in a tone of self-mockery.

But despite her irresponsible past, she is trying to change. Two notes hang from the fridge door, saying: "Give mum a call every day!"

Ge said she is now trying to make up for the pain and suffering she heaped on her mother in the past.

"Each time I call mum, she is so happy. Though neither of us has a lot to say, a short call every day just tells her how much I love her."

Ge has recently been chosen by Zhang Yuan, one of the most famous directors in China, to appear in his next film, Youzhong (People who have guts).

The film tells the stories of 10 rebellious people born in the 1980s who manage to establish themselves in Beijing. Ge said she has not read the script yet, but she feels sure it will resonate with her life story.

"I'm looking forward to it very much" Ge said.

When asked whether she would like to make a career of acting, she said she would, despite fears about entering the world of performance.

"I heard a lot about how complicated that world is. A lot of things depend on personal relationships. If that is true, I think I'd rather stay away from it," Ge said with a firm look.

"But taking this factor out, I do wish to become a good actress and I think I have a talent for the performing arts. I expect to take on the challenge of playing roles that are different from myself."

Ge said models also need acting skills.

"Initially, I posed the way photographers instructed. Slowly, I began to have my own expression and posing became more and more natural."

Now, in front of the camera, she can surprise photographers with her contributions, which satisfies fashion designers who like models to add something to their lines of clothes.

Ge has recently collaborated with her friend Sure, a Photoshop expert, and has opened a brand-new store of her own, G&S Supermodel Attitude, on Taobao.com. She is pictured wearing all the clothes that will be sold through the site.

Ge said she hopes eventually to become a fashion designer.

When she is in a creative mood, she sits at the dining table and draws clothes that represent her style, which is simple and relaxed.

The price of G&S products is similar to those of the high street brand Uniqlo.

"I want to let more young people have access to fashion at affordable prices," Ge said.

Rebel supermodel plans a life without plans

"Actually, I know nothing about designing but as a model, I am constantly being updated about the latest trends. I have a perfect sense of fashion. A friend of mine who studied fashion design in the United States told me it's OK not to have a degree because, that way, you will not be restricted by the rules."

In September, Ge will step onto the catwalk for the New York Fashion Week.

Before then she has plenty of time on her hands to devote herself to her week-old online business.

If the online store proves a success, Ge said she might go on to create her own high-end brand.

"But that may be years away from now. Maybe it will soon come true. Or it may never come true. The only thing I'm sure about is I don't want to push myself too much. I prefer a future with no plans," Ge said as she lit another cigarette.

(China Daily 06/17/2010)