Connie Chiu was born in Hong Kong, The fourth child in a Chinese family, she is the only one born with albinism. Chiu grew up studying arts and journalism.
At the age of 24, she started her fashion modeling career by working with the French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. Now, Connie juggles modeling with her singing career; as a jazz singer, she is invited to perform at major events, jazz clubs.
For many years I thought that I had no role model. But now when I recall this moment in my childhood, it probably had a bigger impact on me than I ever realized.
Connie Chiu Early life
Well, the whole growing up into a tall woman didn’t happen! But I think this stranger, this Chinese woman with albinism who I never actually met, brushed by my life and gave me an idea of what kind of life, and what sort of person I could be. Back then I was a skinny girl squinting in the blazing Hong Kong sun, slowly but surely realizing that people were not always kind and life could be hard.
Now, I have so many things in my life to be happy about and grateful for; my lovely family, my amazing friends, great teachers who inspired me, and also support provided by government policies to give me, and others with certain limitations, equal opportunities for education, work and independent life.
If I only get to say one thing to a child or young person with albinism, it would be “Believe in yourself.” Life is not always easy, and it’s OK to make mistakes – as long as you learn from them. At the end of the day, you are the best person to find out what you can do and how far you can go. Appreciate people who help you, and surround yourself with good people who see and love you for the person you are, for all that you are.
When I was a young child I was like a cartoon with a catchphrase; I kept asking “Why?” I haven’t grown out of questioning the world, people and why people choose to behave the way they do. Now a bit older, hopefully slightly wiser, my catchphrases include “What if…” and “Imagine
Connie Chiu Personal life
A refugee from Hong Kong’s bright sun, Chiu left for Sweden. She recalls the chance inquiry to Jean Paul Gaultier that brought an invitation to model his haute couture collection in Paris and kick-started her career in fashion
South Korean celebrities Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-Kyo are to divorce after less than two years of marriage. Photo: Yonhap via Reuters
Connie Chiu has been working as a model since the early 1990s. The Hongkonger has albinism meaning she has an absence of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes.
she has fond memories of growing up in one of the hundreds of flats on a housing estate in Kowloon in the 1970s. She lived there until she was seven years old when she moved to Sweden to escape Hong Kong’s intense sun.
Chiu has albinism and was the world’s first fashion model with the condition. Albinism means she has an absence of pigment in her skin, hair, and eyes, causing a pale look and a sensitivity to light.
Chui says her family understood that her eyes were sensitive to sunlight, a symptom of albinism, a condition that affects people of all ethnic backgrounds and affects an estimated one in 17,000 people around the world.
She says her skin was burned a number of times by Hong Kong’s bright summer rays, a reason why she started wearing sunglasses and using a parasol to protect her from the sun. “I understood that I was different, but I didn’t feel upset about it,” she says.
Connie Chiu Journalism
Her foray into fashion started when, as a 21-year-old radio journalism student in Sweden, she was asked by her older sister, who was studying fashion, to model for an end-of-term fashion show. Chiu was instantly hooked.
Living with albinism is not easy, but it sure makes life interesting.
“I discovered that I was a performer,” she says, adding that her sister’s collection was inspired by clothing from ancient China. She took part in 12 shows; some of them open to the public. “I learned the process of waiting around, of pacing yourself and how to perform on cue,” she says.
Connie Chiu Modeling Career
A decision to send a black-and-white photograph of herself to Jean Paul Gaultier gave Chiu her biggest break; the French fashion designer invited her to model in his haute couture show in Paris in January 1994.
“I wrote my phone number on the back of a photo and sent it to Jean Paul Gaultier. About four months later, he called and said he wanted me to do his couture show in Paris.
That’s how my modeling career started. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard – I contacted agents, and met with directors and photographers discussing their projects. They appreciated my look, ideas, and attitude. That’s how I got jobs.”
As well as gracing catwalks and magazine covers (Chiu has struck poses for some of the world’s top fashion photographers, including Terry Richardson, Paul Burley, Heidi Niemala and Morten Smidt), she has also featured in pop videos, including playing an angel in singer Bonnie Tyler’s video for the 1996 single Making Love Out Of Nothing At All. The following year she was also in Recoil’s pop video Stalker. “I played a woman who was stalked but managed to turn the tables on the stalker,” she recalls.
She says being cast as someone angelic, mysterious and mythical was fun. She has also featured in campaigns to raise awareness about albinism, including one for the United Nations.
Chiu admits her modeling career would be different if she didn’t have albinism. “I would be a different person in many ways, but I regret nothing,” she says.
Chiu says she has encountered “resentful, bitter and lazy people professionally and socially – people who are stuck in the past and let it color their present and future”.
“I decided long ago to make a different choice,” she says.
She says she is a quietly confident and independent individual. She recounts doing a winter fashion shoot for Vice magazine where she was dressed in a blue furry coat. “I looked like a fashionable cookie monster from the children’s TV show Sesame Street,” she says. The shoot had her in a playground on top of a slide. Within minutes, children started playing and sitting next to her. “They just wanted to hang around me. maybe they just wanted to stroke the blue furry coat,” she says. Adults can be less open-minded. Once Chiu overheard a model at a fashion show talking about her. The model said she was only there because of her white hair and pale skin. Chiu says the model failed to see that all the models were there because of their looks, including her.
Connie Chiu jazz Music
Another of Chiu’s passions is singing jazz. “Singing relaxes me, and playing guitar or ukulele does the trick, too,” she says.
The best part of her job is that she gets to work with passionate, talented, and fun people who dare to have a vision, she says. “Jean Paul Gaultier is not just talented, but also instinctive, kind and funny. Shelley Fox is another visionary designer who is fearless in her approach,” she says.
Connie Chiu Magazines
she loves working on location. “Iceland was great, but so was juggling oranges in the middle of Paris,” Chiu says.
Me in 1999 – 18 years ago!. Clothes designed by Shelley Fox. I still have her clothes in my wardrobe! Editorial for Japanese Soen magazine. @shelleyfoxofficial #conniechiu A post shared by Connie Chiu (@aneveningbreeze) on Oct 11, 2017, at
When it comes to the craze for skin-whitening creams in Asia, she is not a fan. “I don’t like them. Well, I don’t need them,” she says. Chiu finds it ironic that some pale-skinned people cover themselves with fake tan while people with darker skin use skin-whitening creams.
“How safe are those creams? Don’t always believe what people try to sell you. Here’s a thought – maybe the color of your skin is beautiful as it is,” she says.
When she’s not in front of the lens – or clutching a microphone – her guilty pleasure is watching cute clips of cats and other baby animals on the internet. “I have an innate weakness for everything cute, sweet and kind. And that goes for people too,” she says.
As for the future, Chiu says she wants to continue modeling while working on her music. “Living with albinism is not easy, but it sure makes life interesting.”
Connie Chiu relationship
Connie Chiu is not dating anyone at the moment. She also prefers to maintain a low key life and has not introduced any guy as her boyfriend. Nonetheless, who knows if she is secretly dating a special guy!
Having a brief seek and peek through his social sites, it’s pretty clear that she is quite occupied in the professional career and casually rejoicing her unaccompanied stressfree life. The 50 years model seems to love her single life rather than engaging in a committed relationship.
Connie Chiu Net Worth
Connie Chiu has a net worth of around $900,000 as of 2019. Primarily, she accumulates her fortune as a fashion model and jazz musician. She earns around $80,424 from her modeling business on average.
Connie Chiu LinkedIn
— Connie Chiu (@conniechiu) June 1, 2019