What it Takes to be a Runway Supermodel

A Casual chat with the Japanese model extraordinaire

Ai Tominaga is regarded as  one of the Japan’s most prominent runway supermodels, having debuted her as one of the very first Asian models on famed European catwalk runways.

Besides appearing on various magazine covers such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, Ai has walked in runway shows for Karl Lagerfeld, Gucci, Michael Corrs, Ralph Lauren, Dolce and Gabbana and many other famous fashion designers.

In this interview, I find out about the life of a supermodel, her outlook on life, and what she likes to do when she’s off the big stage.


What do you think about yourself? Fun? Adventurous?
I’m positive and a perfectionist when it comes to work.

Please share with us your best and worst experiences. 
The most memorable experience that I have was having the opportunity to work with the best when I was abroad, and having the chance to grow as a model since I started working at an adolescent age at 15. Those experiences helped build my career and made me who I am today.

Bad experiences include the feeling of frustration when I was not able to communicate in English at the time. However, overall, I thought that experience turned out to be a good one.


What makes a world class supermodel,what do they have in common?
I’m the one who wants to know the answer to this question…! Well, in my point of view, I think all supermodels have extremely high aesthetic sense. They are able to use their aesthetics in a cool manner while seeing themselves in third person. They also have a sense of avidness and pureness towards expressions.  

Is language capability and height a must? Do they have to be pretty?
Height: It’s probably better to have some height.

Language: Language capability is necessary but it does not need to be perfect. Language will come naturally when you’re in that environment.

Pretty: One’s individuality is one’s beauty.


Asian models are very popular now on the world’s fashion stage, why?
Perhaps the reason for the rising popularity of Asian models on world’s fashion stage is how Western society, where fashion was originated, is finally seeing the Asian market as vigorous and significant. With that said, I am happy that Asian models are now being recognized.

What is your advice to those hoping to be a world class model?
My advice to those aspiring to be world class models is to just go to NY, Paris, wherever, because you never know if you don’t try.