Lifestyle

Thursday, 22 April 2010 | MYT 12:00 AM

Tinie’s star turn

Top model Tinie will be judging other models on the Estee Lauder Model search 2010.

startwo@thestar.com.my

WITH a provocative but apt name like Tinie, most people assume that it’s her stage name. Or, that it refers to her “tiny” (thin) size. However, it’s actually part of her full name, Hartini Mat Jasin.

The well-known 180cm model has an attractive all-Malaysian look due to an interesting mix of Chinese and Malay genes. Born in Seremban in 1977, she has six siblings, all of whom are relatively short!

Tinie can’t remember the full details of how it all started, but she was watching a fashion show in a club some 11 years ago when Andrew Tan of Andrew’s Models spotted her and asked if she would like to model for him.

“My initial reaction was shock as I had never dreamed or aspired to be a model. I assumed a model would need a good package, like being fair and beautiful, which I felt I wasn’t. It took a month before I decided to give it a try as Andrew promised to train me,” recalls Tinie. “Later, I auditioned for a Versace show at Suria KLCC and was chosen to be one of 20 models.”

That was how Tinie launched her career at the ripe old age of 22. Fortunately, Asians do not look their age and even now, few will guess she is 33 and a mother of two.

“I was working as a quality controller in a small firm then, so I had nothing much to lose!” she says. Offers trickled in and within a year, she chalked up an impressive resume modelling for many of the international labels in Kuala Lumpur, as well as for Indonesian designer Sebastian Gunawan, Singapore Fashion Week, Dior Hong Kong, Fendi Hong Kong and Calvin Klein Hong Kong.

She won her first Model of the Year title in 2006 from MIFA (Malaysian International Fashion Awards) at the Malaysia International Fashion Week. “I didn’t expect to win so it was a great surprise. I think I won not because I was great on the catwalk or the most beautiful woman, but because of my hard work.”

Says Tan: “Although she’s always in demand, she’s never a prima donna. Tinie doesn’t have airs and she’s easy to work with. She is on par with international models and an icon for others to follow.”

Tinie could scarcely believe her luck when she repeated the feat the following year. She missed out in 2008, but took back the title last year. She also won Star Model of the Year in Seoul.

“I get to travel and meet new people all the time. I enjoy fashion and after a decade, I continue to marvel at how designers can come up with new ideas and styles. This keeps my interest alive so I’m never bored with my job,” she says.

Of course, there are the unavoidable, predictable downsides to the industry.

“A fashion show typically lasts 20 to 35 minutes. Gone are the days when a show can drag on to 45 minutes. Even so, a model appears at least three to six times. It’s the waiting part that I don’t like. Sometimes, we have to wait half a day or even a whole day just to do a 20 minute show. But, it’s part and parcel of the job so I listen to music or read along the wat. It’s nice though to have someone doing my hair, nails and make-up,” she explains.

Tinie shares that modelling in Malaysia is easier than abroad. “With overseas assignments, there are more rehearsals but we get paid for them. But to get a job, I might have to audition a few times and go through three agents. And then, if the outfit doesn’t fit, I could be dropped!”

This year, she will be on the panel of judges for the Estee Lauder Model Search, together with brand general manager for Estee Lauder Malaysia, Katrina Liew; Tan of Andrews Models; fashion stylist Weechee; actor and model Steve Yap; fashion designer Sonny San and Miko, hairstylist and founder of Miko Hair Studio and Academy.

Any words of advice from a seasoned model?

“Be disciplined. Without it, a model will not go far, no matter how gorgeous or tall she is. Be punctual and have a positive attitude. Modeling can be glamorous and exciting, and young models can get carried away.

“But, we are nothing more than walking clothes hangers, paid to show off the designer’s outfits to their best effects. We don’t get to choose which dresses or shoes to wear. Some models may demand to wear the highlight of the show or complain certain outfits don’t look good on them. Remember though, models are supposed to make the clothes look good, not let the clothes make them look good!” she emphasises.

Other important factors include self-confidence and cultivating your own style of walking.

“There is no ‘best’ walk – do your best and be yourself. It helps to be photogenic so you must learn which are your best features. The photographer or art director will be able to spot and highlight your best features.”

A good manager is also crucial as models representing themselves without a good agency or manager are only opening to unnecesary risks, she adds.

“You need a good modelling agency to safeguard and maintain your reputation and integrity. A good one will ensure you get paid properly. You are also protected if the client wants revealing shots that weren’t stipulated earlier.”

Weighing only 50kg, Tinie realises she’s underweight. “I don’t diet but choose my food carefully as I don’t like fried foods. I love Chinese and Malay cuisine.”

These days, she’s sporting a short blonde crop for an edgier identity.

“I had hair of various lengths but now, I find long hair makes me look haggard or maybe I’m older! I like the minimum maintenance and the designers haven’t complained!”

Her constant companions?

“I am never without my mascara, eyeliner and blusher!” Tinie concludes.

Model search

GOT the looks? Do you have a dream? Let Estee Lauder transform you into a model. Sign up for a chance of a lifetime to win overnight fame and prizes totalling over RM258,000. As winners, you will be the brand ambassador for Estee lauder Malaysia, star in a glamorous, all-expenses paid 6D/5N holiday photoshoot in Australia and appear in a seven-page spread in Malaysia’s top fashion magazines.

The contest has two categories: Category A (age 29 and below) and Category B (30 and above).

The Estee Lauder Model search 2010 Roadshow

The contest will be held at eight different locations in six major cities nationwide:

> Mid Valley Megamall, KL: Apr 27-May 3 (03-2284 8422)

>Jusco Kinta City, Ipoh: May 12-16 (05-549 5266)

> Metrojaya Plaza Pelangi, JB: May 19-23 (07-332 9976)

> Parkson 1 Utama, Oval, PJ: May 26-30 (03-7726 2377)

> Jusco Queensbay Mall, Penang: June 10-13 (04-641 1108)

> Parkson Mahkota Parade, Malacca: June 16-20 (06-282 7123)

> Parkson The Spring, Kuching: June 17-20 (082-425 080)

> Isetan Suria KLCC, KL: July 6-11 (03-2382 0600)

How to enter

To qualify for the contest, simply purchase the RM280 Estee Lauder Model Search Makeover Package which entitles you to a full makeover by an Estee Lauder make-up artist, professional hair-styling by Miko Studio and Academy, styled in eclipse apparel, an instant A4 portrait photograph and a RM230 redemption voucher for Estee Lauder products.

> For more details, call the hotline (019-2977 884/885).

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