We recently wrote about Chinese girls who are paid to party at clubs around town. The story got such a response that we decided to cover the other end of the paid-eye-candy-spectrum in Shanghai–Western girls who earn thousands of yuan to sit and give face to high-spending club-goers.
Faviola Dadis, age 23, has only been in Shanghai seven months, but she’s done it all, from working the tables at Muse to fashion photography. Her nights involve endless games of dice with businessmen making guanxi and copious amounts of Champagne. Dadis says her main clients are, “Chinese people who want to have Western models to sit with them and entertain them. That doesn’t mean doing anything shady, just having drinks and making them look good.”
Book a table at a club, pop a few bottles and then you can request the manager to invite some girls over. Asian models are less expensive and willing to do more. Western models are pricier and generally sit around the table as a display of wealth, like a bottle of Dom Perignon.
Sable Blake, 19, from Toronto, came out here with a modeling contract and found herself making RMB300-400 per table to hang out and make conversation in clubs. “I’ve been offered up to US$20,000 to go home with a client,” she says. “I told him ting bu dong and didn’t accept, even when he told me to name my own price.”
The models are booked through different agencies, Don Nico PR being one of the most prolific with clients that include the Muse clubs, No. 88, M1NT and Bar Rouge. On any given day, Dadis, who handles most of the models for Don Nico’s firm, is co-ordinating models, “giving them a wide variety of pretty girls who can speak multiple languages–Russians, Americans, French.”
Not that it’s all night club work. Models in Shanghai experience traditional runway shows that can be bizarre in their own way. Dadis tells us that, “recently, we had to bring our own clothes to a fashion show and [the booker] didn’t want to pay up. He got rowdy with the girls and punched one of them in the stomach. All the models had to choke him and take him down.”
Are there any expat women out there working this scene? Share your stories below.