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September 2016

From the catwalks to success in the fashion business world, the beautiful KELLY PREHN talks British Triumph in China

KELLY Prehn was visiting the theatre in London for a school trip when she was discovered by a scout from Models One agency. That trip changed her life. Within weeks she was flown to Tokyo to begin a serious career in the fashion world, starting on the catwalks and in front of the cameras before jumping into business. Kelly, who graduated at the London School of Economics and Political Science, respected British Fashion Ambassador and Creative Director, is also one of the most influential people in China.

What is it like being in China?

Culture and fashion are exploding, it is a very exciting place to be, and a constant source of inspiration. Seizing an opportunity when I was a naive young fashion model, China has since been transformed, and I arrived at the crest of the wave. Now looking back on my career I realise how fortunate to be in the right time and right place. These are fantastic years to be part of this fascinating country that is continuing to evolve and grow.

Recently you visited Spain with a group of Chinese VIP Personalities. How was your trip?

It was incredible. We learned that none of the VIP’s we work with in the entertainment, fashion and arts industries had been to Spain yet. They asked if they could come with us during our next business trip to Spain. It started off as a handful of people and before we knew it a collection of 30 people confirmed for an epic three days roadtrip! They have a thirst for life and culture, and we showed them a side of Spain they would never have seen.

Chinainfluence.com puts you as one of the most influential people of the country. How do you feel to receive this recognition?

When I was first told that I was bowled over. China has been incredibly good to me and they have embraced me and I was incredibly surprised and very flattered.

Tell us more about your great work as an ambassador of British fashion?

I adored my time as a model and it opened so many doors. Working with traditional British brands such as Mulberry and Pringle of Scotland, who I admired since I was a teenager, was a dream come true. I wanted to be more involved in the creative and business process. British brands approached me asking me to represent and introduce them, attend launches, and before I knew it, this role of British Fashion Ambassador happened. It was natural because these are my roots, we have a long relationship and go way back. I feel so passionate about the amazing strong heritage of British brands, and I am well placed to help them in these dynamic exciting markets.

Who is an icon or influencer for you?

On a personal level, my husband, he is a great man. My family and friends are a big support. Outside this, I admire Victoria Beckham for her achievements; Natalie Massenet, the inspirational founder of net-a-porter.com, for her intelligence and ethos; and Her Majesty The Queen of England for her restrained dignity.

Do you miss the catwalks and the atmosphere backstage?

My time as a model was fascinating and opened many doors which I am greatful for. Then on the other side, I remember doing a freezing cold shoot in Paris on a cold November morning, looking up at the Eiffel Tower and thinking ‘pinch me now’, as two years before I was on a farm in Staffordshire. I loved every minute, even when I was cold, tired and jetlagged, but you forget those times and only remember the great moments. Modelling can be hard work and I still use those lessons in what I do today to stay focused.


Fashion Credits:

Giorgio Armani, Ursula Mascaro, Rabat, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari, Jorge Vasquez, Pedro Garcia, Teresa Helbig, Loewe, Jimmy Choo, Pomellato, The 2nd Skin, Manolo Blahnik