When did you start your modelling agency and how has the journey been?
I started Basic Models in 2012—we just celebrated our 10th year anniversary last year. It’s been interesting and definitely a rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs.
Back then, local models weren’t a thing. In fact, when people think of ‘local models’, it was always the stereotypical IT show girls or car show girls that came to mind.
But since then, we’ve slowly transformed the industry and pushed our local models to become what we all commonly know as models today.
Having been in the business for so long, what’s something you’ve noticed about the younger generation nowadays during castings that you perhaps never used to see in the past?
Young people in recent years are shying away from social media and are not wanting to have an online presence, with some even being averse to idea of social media in general.
It’s a headache for us because social media is so important in our line of work. Many brands are tapping onto social media to understand more about models’ personalities instead of just looking at headshots, so models should be open-minded and be able to embrace social media as part of their portfolios, and it’s something we take into consideration when casting.
Speaking of which, our next open casting will be held on Saturday, 4 November, if any aspiring models are interested.
Is there any change you hope to see in the industry?
On a national level, I hope to see more government support for the industry. We’ve been trying to get the public to recognise modelling as a profession for a long time, but it’s been difficult because it’s not a conventional path.
How has it been juggling a business and motherhood?
I started the agency a year before my first son was born. Honestly, you just have to suck it up. People constantly ask me how I balance work and life, but there is no balance—life is work, and work is life.
What’s one thing you hope your sons will remember as they grow up?
Money is hard to earn, so don’t spend it so wastefully (laughs). I find that with everything going digital, kids nowadays don’t really recognise the value of money.
As an introvert in the entertainment industry, how has your confidence grown over the years?
You can’t not be confident when you’re a boss. I actually hate being in front of the camera, but I’ve had to throw myself out there for the business because no one else is going to do it for me.
I remember when I first started out. I had to attend a lot of media events, meet people, push for castings, and just hustle hard to promote the agency, which I really disliked but still had to do anyway.
Bring us through the evolution of your fashion style.
I used to dress in the J-Pop style in Polytechnic, with the long socks and puffy tees. Nowadays, it’s kind of all over the place. I can go from British brands like Lazy Oaf to streetwear brands like Supreme.
I also like exploring new brands locally and abroad. One that I discovered recently is a Canadian accessories brand called Jenny Bird.