Singapore’s next top ‘male’ models

in Sexuality

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard Singaporean women moan about the quality of the local guys. They’re not tall enough, they say, or not handsome, or they don’t look after themselves.

Well, thankfully we can now put all these complaints to rest. Thanks to veteran fashion show producer and all-round godfather of Singapore fashion Daniel Boey, I have six hot, young Singaporean male models for you to meet.

The “boys” as they’re collectively referred to, are fairly new to the modelling and high fashion world. Out of the group only one had previously walked for Men’s Fashion Week, the others were all brand new; with some of them having only a few months experience.

Aaron Ng, Ian Luah, Conrad Ho, Gabriel DS and the twins, Ng Yu Rui and Ng Yu Ze are all very young ‒ Conrad and Gabriel are actually still doing National Service, while the twins are waiting to be called up, while Aaron and Ian have just finished.

All of them are modelling part-time, mainly they say because there’s just not enough work available in Singapore for Singaporean, or even Asian, models.

According to Daniel Boey, this is true not just for the guys but also for the girls. There remains a tendency for both Singaporean and international fashion brands and magazines to use Caucasian models for both the runway and editorial work.

So Daniel was ecstatic that he managed to get nine local models booked for all the shows at the recently ended Men’s Fashion Week 2012 (MFW2012). Ian walked in 10 shows, while Aaron and twins also racked up a substantial number; and they were competing not only with Caucasian models but also some of Asia’s best like Korean stars Lee Soo Hyuk, Heo Min Ho, Kim Han Soo and Japanese actor/model Tanihara Shosuke.

“Actually it’s great for the local boys to be walking with all these international models,” explained Daniel. “It makes them more competitive, they want to be as good and so they try really hard to improve.”

And they did. For Ian, who had only done one other catwalk show before booking MFW2012, you could literally see him improve with each show he walked. Considering he’s only been modelling for seven or so months, it was pretty amazing.

We sat down with the “boys” to have a bit of a chat about what they thought about being a male model, how they got into it and what they thought about the chances of Asian models making it big.

CONRAD HO, 22
Modelling for about 4 years

How did he get into modelling?
Conrad said he had a lot friends who are studying fashion and they kept asking him to help out by wearing their clothes for school projects or doing shows for them. He then won the ATZU model competition for last year’s Men’s Fashion Week and was spotted by Daniel; he’s been working part-time ever since.

Would he like to make modelling into a career?
According to Conrad, it’s a bit difficult to have a full-time modelling career in Singapore. He’s currently serving his National Service and is planning on doing a degree in Arts Management or Communication when he’s finished.

What does he think about the general status of Singaporean and Asian models?
“When I was modelling at Men’s Fashion Week last year there was only one other Singaporean male model; it was a bit awkward. This year there are six of us and a lot more top Asian models walking. I think there needs to be a bigger push for more local models and more Asians. There is some change, but it’s gradual.”

GABRIEL DS, 23
Modelling for about 3 years

How did he get into modelling?
Gabriel is actually a musician and tattoo artist. He only models for fun and got into it because his friends are working in the industry.

Would he like to make modelling into a career?
Not really. For Gabriel modelling is only a part-time thing, he’s more interested in pursuing his career in music and tattooing after he finishes his National Service.

What does he think about the general status of Singaporean and Asian models?
“This is my first time [to walk in a major show], I’ve done more editorial work. I think there should be more Asian models, it’s a good thing [for the industry] and it makes sense. Asians are buying the clothes and so should be seen wearing them.”

IAN LUAH, 23
Modelling for about 7-8 months

How did he get into modelling?
He knew local model agent Addie Low who had been trying to get him to sign up while. Since Ian wasn’t really ready, Addie waited until he was and then signed him up.

Would he like to make modelling into a career?
While Ian appears to be interested in trying to take modelling full-time, he says that it’s really only a freelance or part-time job at the moment. He also works in his family’s business.

What does he think about the general status of Singaporean and Asian models?
“I don’t really think Asian models can break into the [serious side] of the modelling industry easily; the market is still more interested in using Caucasian models, especially for guys. I do think it is improving but it very gradual; for Asian models it’s generally slower to be recognised.”

NG YU RUI, 21
Modelling for only a few months

How did he get into modelling?
Yu Rui was also picked up by model scout Addie Low, who he met through friends in the industry.

Would he like to make modelling into a career?
Yu Rui is another one who’s not so interested in modelling full-time. He’s currently waiting to enter National Service but says that even after he finished and studying he’d like to keep modelling as a part-time hobby.

What does he think about the general status of Singaporean and Asian models?
“I actually think it’s getting better. There are more Asian faces in commercials and more Asians generally in the fashion industry.”

NG YU ZE, 21
Modelling for only a few months

How did he get into modelling?
Like his twin brother, Yu Ze, was scouted by Addie Low at the same time as his brother.

Would he like to make modelling into a career?
Yu Ze is really only interested in modelling for a short time; he doesn’t see it as a possible full-time career.

What does he think about the general status of Singaporean and Asian models?
“There are more and more younger Asians taking over various parts of the fashion industry, so I think this will help improve the overall status of Asians in modelling.”

AARON NG, 23
Modelling for about 2 years

How did he get into modelling?

Aaron was hanging out at Zouk, supporting his friend who was entered into the Cleo Bachelor of the Year competition when he was spotted, once again, by model scout Addie Low. Turned out his friend was already signed with Addie’s +3 Models agency so Aaron agreed to sign up as well. He’s also a breakdancer and Addie has had to wait for a year or so for his hair to grow out enough for him to be more versatile and able to book more shows – apparently it was shaved off in all sorts of ways.

Would he like to make modelling into a career?
Aaron would like to give full-time modelling a try if the opportunity came up but he’s prepared for it to always be a part-time activity. Although he’s finished his National Service, Aaron is currently studying Business at SMU – he actually missed doing a few MFW2012 shows as he was sitting exams.

What does he think about the general status of Singaporean and Asian models?
“It’s hard for Singaporean models, a lot of the bigger agencies only want to use international [Caucasian] models but it’s getting better. I now go to more castings where they’re actually looking for Asian models so there’s more opportunity to get work. I’d like to be able to do more editorial [photographic] work too. I’d take the opportunity if it was good, I’m a bit split on my career, whether to focus on my studies or try to make it modelling. But the fashion market, if they’re looking for an Asian model they usually want to use a [mainland] Chinese model, especially if they’re more edgy or exotic looking.”

 

 

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Singapore’s next top ‘male’ models

This article was published on 2012/06/25