Photo: Her World
Over the course of our 58 years of plastering models on our covers and fashion spreads, we’re sorry to disappoint but the requirements of what makes a great model hasn’t changed once in those six decades. You could say it’s a little boring but trust us, our local cover girls are the perfect examples ranging from Pat Krall, Pat Kraal and Huda Ali a few decades ago to Jean Yong, Fiona Fussi and Jasmine Sim all within the last two years.
Before you argue that today’s models all have sizeable social media followings (hello Kendall, hello Bella), which makes it seem like a requirement, we’re firm sticklers on the following ones. After all, that ensures a model’s career longevity and which model wouldn’t want that?
In the editorial arena, we like them to look unique just like Kate Moss when she emerged in the grunge scene of the ‘90s, versatile enough to fit the requirements of the era they live in and beyond (bombshell in the ‘60s, the rise of the supers in the ‘70s and grungy in the ‘90s), photogenic (a natural given) and of course, with a minimum height of 5’7. In the commercial arena, they should be attractive in an approachable way, photogenic and, they don’t have to be tall – we’re a little more lax on that. And, Addie Low of Now Model Management, an agency that champions local faces has the same sentiments – “For commercial models, they should have good teeth and skin, be pleasant looking and be marketable to appeal to different demographics. I like my models to have a good and positive attitude too. In fact, that’s a must when we sign them on”.
Singaporean and New Paper face winner Jean Yong (who is also Her World’s cover girl for our February issue!) remembers her encouraging path to modelling stardom. It was not an easy feat, but having chopped her looks into a pixie cut a day before the finals, showed how determined she was. As a rising model, Jean knows how important is her ‘walk’: “Practising in different types of shoes and watching runway videos have helped in building the foundation of my walk. Rather than watching myself in the mirror, I prefer to have my walk recorded via video as it allows me to track my progression over time. Also every walkway can be a runway! I take the opportunity to practise on my way to castings as it helps to be in the zone even before presenting yourself to clients.”
Jean, who won a contract with Now Model Management says it’s important to be represented by an agency. “I joined The New Paper New Face modelling competition which is an excellent platform for local exposure. During the competition, I was fortunate to be scouted by my agency Now Model Management. They have been vital in my development as a newcomer in the modelling scene. It is also through my agency that I have gained a support network. I am extremely thankful to have worked with fashion industry veterans, designers, editors and clients who believed in my potential despite my lack of experience. Such opportunities have been integral in my rapid progress to the international stage,” Jean shares.
And her last advice for inspiring models who are trying to carve out their names? Let your personality shine! “It is difficult to define one best personality as it is largely dependent on what resonates and works for the individual. But I do believe that one has to be confident, professional, showcase good energy and most importantly be genuine when meeting clients. Also I treat every casting as a learning opportunity rather than work. A good attitude goes a long way!”
Thanks to Project M, organised by Bugis Junction and Bugis+, ten hopeful models between the ages 18 to 28 will stand a chance to win two coveted spots as winners – and be signed on to Now Model Management, groomed by Addie Low and his team.