A model from Kampar, Perak has been crowned the 'Face Of Asia 2017'! Jesiey Giam, 29, is the first Malaysian to win the highly-coveted title.
Giam's first foray into modelling was at age 17, but for the last three years she had been on hiatus from the cameras and runways to focus on becoming a beautician. When she decided to return to modelling last year, she enrolled in the Amber Chia Academy.
“Age is just a number. It’s not something that should define you,” says the comeback winner in an interview at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya. Giam was accompanied by her mentor Amber Chia as she shared her experiences at the Face Of Asia 2017 competition.
“I learned a lot and grew as a model. It certainly helped me gain exposure,” says Giam. “The experience was very enriching because I got to meet models from around Asia, and be exposed to different types of beauty and cultures.”
All the participants were required to go through a two-week boot camp in South Korea. Though the camp was daunting for Giam, the training also served as an ego booster.
“One of the most challenging things about being a model is finding the best catwalk style that suits you – and perfecting it,” she says. “Compared to the other models, I'm quite short. It was intimidating to be among so many others, competing to be in the spotlight. But the boot camp helped me gain confidence and I was happy to overcome that challenge.”
Chia also shared about her job as the organiser of Face Of Malaysia and the Malaysian national director for Face Of Asia.
“Face Of Asia reminded me of Ford Models’ Supermodel Of The World, which took place in 2009,” says Chia. “It was a good opportunity for Asians to compete among each other, especially since modelling is such a cutthroat industry and the competition is so fierce.”
“I do what I do because I want to give opportunities, like this competition, to those passionate models who want to make a breakthrough in the industry. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the opportunities I had when I started out.”
Asked about the evolution of modelling since she exploded onto the scene, Chia says: “I’ve seen the ups and downs of the industry. I came into the industry before social media was a thing.
“The thing is now modelling goes beyond what models used to do. It’s more than just photos and video shoots. It's important for models to have an online presence and have a following on social media. I'm still learning and it’s interesting how social media has taken over modelling.”
Giam adds: “Just go out there and accept things as they come. Learn as much as you can and enjoy yourself!”