'I've had beer spat in my face and called an Asian dog': Style star Margaret Zhang, 23, reveals the vile treatment she has faced being a Chinese-Australian woman in the fashion industry
- Margaret Zhang started her blog ShineByThree at just 16
- She juggled a commerce/law degree at Sydney University with her career
- The 23-year-old has worked on Dior, Gucci and Louis Vuitton campaigns
- Margaret starred on the first season of Fashion Bloggers while studying
- She says she has faced discrimination at a 'high corporate level'
- The style star says the treatment is 'frustrating' but she 'likes a challenge'
The fashion industry is, for the most part, considered to be progressive, breaking rules and challenging social conformity through wearable art.
But creative prodigy, street style icon and ultimate 'slashie' Margaret Zhang still feels that at times she is at a disadvantage for being a young Asian woman.
Speaking with Daily Mail Australia ahead of her talk at Vivid Sydney, the 23-year-old says racism is not always overt, although on one very memorable occasion, it quite literally smacked her in the face.
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Creative prodigy Margaret Zhang still feels that at times she is at a disadvantage for being a young Asian woman
'Anyone who's experienced racism will tell you it's not always having beer spat in their face - which has happened to be before,’ she said, adding: 'In Sydney as well, which is depressing.
'Sometimes it s to the point of hatred, but sometimes it’s just ignorance and a lack of respect,’ she says.
‘Honestly I wouldn’t swap [my background] for the world, but unfortunately at a high corporate level, sometimes it does put you at a disadvantage.’
The incident to which she’s referring occurred in October 2015, and she tweeted about it at the time writing: ‘In what world is it acceptable to call me an Asian dog and spit beer in my face?
The 23-year-old says racism is not always overt, although once it has quite literally smacked her in the face
In October 2015, she said tweeted about an incident where she was called an 'Asian dog' and had beer spat in her face
Taking it all in stride however, Margaret she continues: 'I like a challenge, but it’s frustrating.'
Launching her blog ShineByThree at just 16, the West Ryde local has experienced success on a such an explosive level it would no doubt make many other 20-somethings feel immensely inadequate.
Her portfolio includes directing a short film for Dior, modelling on the cover of Vogue China, photographing Jodi Anasta for Mon Purse, as well as consulting for some of the world's biggest fashion houses such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
The 23-year-old is a fixture in the front row at all major fashion weeks across the globe
She also completed her commerce/law degree earlier this year
She is a fixture in the front row at all major fashion weeks around the world, rubbing shoulders with industry elites such as Anna Wintour, Miranda Kerr and Jessica Hart.
If that's not all, she also completed her commerce/law degree earlier this year, but the extra time spent not studying has not granted her extra downtime, instead she's busier than ever.
'I still only sleep five to six hours a night,’ she says, having learned to embrace her down time while on the plane to listening to podcasts.
But despite having appeared on the first season of Fashion Bloggers, to call Margaret a blogger or an Instagram star (with 755,000 followers) not only seems anticlimactic but frankly a bit of an insult.
Margaret has also graced the cover of Vogue China
She says her motivation and drive comes from a constant strive for knowledge
'Boiling someone's entire career down to the fact that they have some numbers on an app is maybe the most stupid thing ever,’ she told Fairfax recently, and she doesn't participate in sponsored posts.
So what keeps this humble yet extraordinary overachiever motivated? Continuing on the quest for knowledge.
'I won’t take on any projects I know I won’t learn anything.'
Margaret Zhang will be sharing her journey to being a fashion icon on May 28 at the Sydney Town Hall as part of Vivid Sydney, tickets available through the website.
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