A photo of TT-born international model Naomi Chin Wing was mistakenly identified as Willow Smith in a caption by an international news agency on Wednesday.
The Associated Press (AP) photo, which made its way around the world, showed Chin Wing in a Marc Jacobs design on the runway at New York Fashion Week, but she was identified as Willow Smith in the caption. The error was repeated in publications by other international news organisations, including Harper’s Bazaar US, the UK Daily Mail and the Bulgarian News Agency.
The online Harper’s Bazaar story incorrectly said under the photo of Chin Wing, “The 18-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith has attended several Fashion Week shows, but this marks her first time walking as a model. For her debut, she donned a stunning black and white polka dot dress with dramatic shoulders. Leave it to Marc to close out New York Fashion Week with some truly epic castings.”
Newsday’s Feature staff has been highlighting and following Chin Wing's progress on the international runways, and Features staff member Veela Mungal picked up on the error. Features editor Debra Ravello Greaves called AP's US office to point it out and an AP rep took note and said the agency would look into it.
The caption was corrected by the agency at 12.51 pm yesterday.
Chin Wing, contacted by Newsday via Instagram, said she was aware of the mistake.
She also said she always knew she and Smith looked alike, but not at that show.
“They could have just gotten the right info before writing about it,” she said.
Chin Wing has been modelling for major designers since her debut in 2017. She was then dubbed TT’s next top model by Vogue magazine in September 2017 after appearing in Yves Saint-Laurent's Spring 2018 showing for Paris Fashion Week.
Since then Chin Wing has appeared on many runways for major couture houses including Ralph Lauren, Dior, Chanel and Carolina Herrera.
Chin Wing was discovered by local fashion director Christopher Nathan of Coco Velvet International. She won Top Model TT 2015 and was then signed to a global contract with IMG Model Management and is now based in New York.
Nathan said of the error, “For some time, industry practitioners have been messaging Coco Velvet’s Instagram page to say how much Naomi looks like Willow Smith.
“I was aware of the comparisons being made, and I did not have any problem with it, because I respect that is how it is in the industry. They are always comparing models to other personalities and stars.
"However, when AP made the mix-up, I felt that it should have been corrected, because Naomi deserves to develop her brand based on the hard work she has put in to reach where she is now. I am happy it has been corrected.”