Admittedly, most of us would just fancy stereotyping a pretty face and a gorgeous body whose lifetime vocation is to be on show and nothing else. We would celebrate and affirmed ourselves that we are right with our conclusions and judgement even before knowing the very person we are unkindly bias about. How great it is to exclaim “See! I told you! “. Ironically, this exposes how small minded and judgmental and possibly because of our very own inadequacy arising from jealousy and envy.
Is modelling even a real job?! We asked. Regrettably, holding such moral high grounds are not uncommon.
Our special interview guest today will right the seemingly wrongs of a fashion super model who is steeped in professionalism and dedicated to her craft.
Amber Chia, the color of her name that spells sunshine. She sparkles brightly at sight with her photogenic face and her earnest personality when we met. Such were proof of her personal branding of not just a super-model with stature but also of imitable qualities as a human being.
Let’s introduce ours already famous special guest.
Amber is a Malaysian model. She was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, but grew up in the city of Tawau, in Sabah, East Malaysia. She began her modelling career at the age of seventeen in Kuala Lumpur. Amber gained exposure after being a finalist in the 2004 Guess Watches Timeless Beauty Contest, which was a model search for Guess Watch’s brand ambassador. She was subsequently voted Model of the Year by the Malaysian International Fashion Awards in 2004 and 2005. Her most defining features is her pouty lips. Amber’s distinct look is instantly recognizable the nation over. This makes her the ideal spokesperson for any brand. She is able to bring instant acknowledgment and credibility to anyone that she represents. Amber’s appeal doesn’t only come from her looks. Her approachable nature and bubbly personality make her an instant hit with anyone that meets her. Being from a small town herself, she is able to connect with your average Malaysian allowing them to feel that she is truly one of their own.
Dreams of being a fashion model came young for Amber. She had already voiced her determination to her parents at 17 wishing to venture to Kuala Lumpur for chance to be in front of the camera. Amber bravely took flight on her own and arrived in the city of her dreams to be a model. Lost as she was without friends or financial means then, it had never deterred her and on the contrary propelled her to learn and mature in the industry. We always thought this has always been the best way to learn and immersed in the very environment one’s wishes to thrive that eventually becomes as natural as one’s second skin.
Amber enjoys her work so much so that exhaustion is the word seldom seen in her personal dictionary and that is precisely. We believes to be her secret ingredient to success. As mentioned prior, most people do not believe modelling is a real job and requires minimum effort. All that is seemingly needed is some pouting and prancing on stage or in front of the camera and the day is done. The gloss and the glamour that comes with job just made the vocation all the more superficial void of any intellectual depth. However, on the contrary, modelling can be very exhausting physically and the routines are punishing. Could you imaging repeating your facial expressions, movements and coordination repeatedly till the photographer shouts approval or show producer says ok. What about subjecting to the volatile emotional whims and fancies of the designers and magazine editors? We understands that it is undoubtedly Amber’s passion for her profession and lead her relentlessly pursuing excellence in her work as a model.
Amber reiterates that the principle of life is not much different from the passage of learning. Despite her difficult start, she equates and accepted that it is all part and parcel of venturing into anything new. Challenging as it was in the beginning such as going for 20 to 30 model castings with no favorable results and financially broke, it was daunting and almost insurmountable. Her indomitable spirit kept her trying for the next breakthrough. While surviving with side income of being a cosmetic counter promoter and show usher, Amber managed to continue pursuing her goals. Hers was not an overnight sensation at all. She had to endure 16 hours shift with small fashion shows back to back just to earn her daily expenses. Amber had never lament about her state then as she felt that every opportunity counts and the money helped.
Despite attempting unsuccessfully in several least known Malaysia beauty contests, her claimed to fame came in 2003/2004 where she bravely ignore the detractors and won the face of Guess in the Timeless Beauty search held in Switzerland beating contestants from 63 countries. Her victory proved to a pivotal moment in her quest for recognition. Amber’s fame soon sky rocketed and open doors for her internationally. She humbly states that a learning heart is the core of her success and continues to be till this very day. The accolades she received are nothing more than the fruits of her labor and passion for her craft. Otherwise she honestly exclaimed
I will still be selling fish in the market helping my father
Modesty is invaluable coming from someone like Amber who knew the meaning of success through sheer effort and perseverance.
No regrets and full of gratitude when asked if she prefer be something else retrospectively. Amber is comforted that because of her successful career, she was able to provide a better life for her parents and herself. The journey was inevitably challenging but she had reveled every moment from the start. Without any hesitation, she would do it all over again for the same reasons she had started out with. Her passion for modelling and the achievement she knew she would eventually obtained.
Hearing Amber speak, one would be surprise to know that Amber could hardly utter anything in English when she first started. It is not perfect but one would impressed by the grueling effort she made to ensure she learn the language. She valiantly faced the jokes, the jeering and the rolling of the eyes from others to speak language so alien to her believing it is indeed the most promising way to master it. Such is the consistent trait of this super-model whose spirit and joy of learning befits her title SUPER.
At this stage of her career, Amber is already juggling multiply roles. She ventured into acting in Chinese movies and series such as The 3rd Generation, Possessed, and Trio & a Bed. Chia was gradually appearing in TV host shows and sitcoms. In 2009, Amber took a 3 month leave of absence and journeyed to New York to attend the highly-acclaimed New York Film Academy to hone her acting skills. However, fate would play a number on her and she instead became hot property during the New York Fashion Week, including becoming only 1 of 4 models selected personally by Victoria Beckham, out of thousands who auditioned, for her exclusive couture collection’s presentation. Since her return to Malaysia in mid-2009, Amber ventured into business and started Amber Creations, primarily focusing on events management & film production. By the end of the year, Amber Creations had secured the Ford Models Supermodel of the World license for Malaysia, which she transformed into the talk-of-the-town model search, including the broadcast of the grand finale on Star TV. With business acumen rivaling her modelling achievements, she soon opened her very own Amber Chia Academy in 2010, with emphasis on the creative art of modelling, makeup & photography. In between the time compressed frenzy of activities, she married her manager in 2010 and gave birth to a baby boy in the very same year.
Wisdom and clarity are the hallmarks of this super model. Amber’s determination and self- belief are the cherries on her cake. We have no doubt why she had risen to the top of her game.
Care to hear from Amber her take for all the aspiring models or model wannabes?
Attitude, Professionalism & Looks
in descending order of importance.
A bad attitude will never get you far or anywhere. Amber feels that this is the utmost quality imperative to ensure longevity in this connected industry where a bad reputation such as perpetual lateness will give any model the boot no matter how great looking him/her maybe. Being professional ties in with good inherent attitude. Looks is inevitably important. However, beauty is subjective in the eyes of the beholder. No one thought she was beautiful then in Malaysia but Amber was regarded as stunning in the western fashion world.
Don’t judge yourself, let the professional judge you
Indeed why be inward looking when individual looks may appeal to different people around the world. The basic criteria of height, skin and body are essential in modelling but it does not removed the uniqueness of that person as Amber explained.
Is the one word advice that Amber has dispensed to our readers. We believe it is also the core word that drives supermodel Amber Chia to who she is and who will always be.