Style Watch: Malaysian model Sheena Liam on owning your fashion choices


Sheena Liam believes in dressing honestly. She chooses practical clothes that show off who she really is – regardless of what society may think. Photo: Sheena Liam

Sheena Liam is a familiar face in the Malaysian fashion scene. The 29-year-old gained recognition after winning the second season of Asia’s Next Top Model back in 2014.

Since then, Liam has gone on to appear in various campaigns for numerous brands. She even walked the Spring/Summer 2014 London Fashion Week runways.

This feisty Malaysian who grew up in Kajang, Selangor, presents an unabashedly unique sense of style. If her Instagram snaps are anything to go by, she is comfortable just being herself.

You could even say that Liam has something of an arthouse quality to her – beautifully off-kilter, yet familiar in her timeless aesthetic.

Not surprising, as she is also an artist. She uses embroidery as her medium of creativity. Married to Ernest Zacharevic (famous for his stunning public murals in Penang), being expressive is probably in her soul.

Read more: Style Watch: Malaysian cosmetics entrepreneur Dahlia Nadirah speaks fashion

Liam does it so well too, where dressing up is concerned. She is forward with her fashion views and practical when it comes to styling herself.

Here, we take a closer look at what makes her so much of a hip icon in Malaysian fashion.

What is your favourite or go-to look?

I’m definitely a classics girl, I’m always in shorts and a tank, plus a good bag. When I was travelling non-stop for work, I’d often have to live on a set wardrobe so there was no space for experimental fashion.

Photo: Sheena LiamPhoto: Sheena Liam

What are your three essential style or beauty items?

Sunblock, a good belt to cinch any look together, comfy but stylish sneakers.

How has the pandemic changed your style?

Lipstick which used to be my staple look has gone out the window. It has also cut down shopping for clothes and become more self-care and skin routine focused.

Who is your style icon? Or rather, what’s your inspiration?

Leia Sfez is the ultimate French girl cool for me. Alexa Chung (from the UK) is also one of my favorite style icons, as in that I feel she doesn’t take anything too seriously and would wear anything once. I can relate to that.

Photo: Sheena LiamPhoto: Sheena Liam

Give us one style tip, or two.

Fit is important. Stop trying to fit into that one size too small pair of jeans and buy the size you can eat and dance in. The numbers don’t matter, how comfortable you feel does. Having the right fit on your clothes also improves your posture.

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