Malaysian lass bags Traditional Dress Award

Contestans parading on the stage wearing their traditional attires during the Asia New Face Model Contest held at the 7th Asia Model Festival Awards (AMFA) 2012 in Seoul, Korea recently.

The female winner of the Traditional Dress Award, a subsidiary award of the 2nd Asia New Face Model Contest 2012 held at the 7th Asia Model Festival Awards (AMFA) ceremony in Seoul, South Korea recently was won by Wafa Johanna de Korte from Malaysia.

The prestigious AMFA is organized annually by the Korea Model Association (KMA) and is touted as the Academy Awards equivalent to the Asian modeling, fashion and entertainment industry.

Wafa Johanna de Korte, a 17-year old exotic beauty of Malay and Dutch parentage donned an eye-catching  kebaya and sarong ensemble which impressed the panel of more than 10 international judges, including Malaysia’s supermodel Amber Chia.

Wafa Johanna de Korte in her eye-catching blue kebaya and batik sarong ensemble receiving the (Female) Traditional Dress Award.

”I did not actually expect to win [the subsidiary award]. It was so unexpected. I was in a state of shock until the other contestants had to literally push me to the front to collect my award and I’m not that disappointed at all”, said a beaming De Korte, female winner of the regional Asia New Face Model Search Malaysia 2011 competition held at Zouk Club Kuala Lumpur in November last year.

“We [Malaysia] may not have won the contest but I am proud to say that we did not come home empty handed. So I am more than honoured to have received an award that is of international recognition.”

(L-R) Kurt Chin and Soo Xu Ze stride out in their matching Baju Melayu and Samping

Malaysia sent five contestants – Wafa Johanna de Korte, Soo Xu Ze, Kao Yu Ling, Kurt Chin and Jane See – all winners of the regional Asia New Face Model Search Malaysia 2011, to compete at the Seoul finals which saw a total of 45 up-and-coming models from 11 Asian countries battled out for the Asia New Face Model 2012 crown.

The subsidiary award was presented prior to the crowning of Asia New Face Model 2012 which was eventually won by Li Peilin (Female winner) from China and D. Bayartogtokh (Male winner) from Mongolia.

Our girls dazzle in the traditional dress category as they grace the catwalk in beautiful outfits. (L-R) Jane See, Kao Yu Ling and Wafa Johanna de Korte.

“Of course I would have loved to win the main award but coming home with something makes me just as happy plus being in Korea taught me a lot of things. I am so proud I won wearing a kebaya,” said the 5 feet 9 inches tall lass who returned to Kuala Lumpur last month,” added De Korte.

“I chose to wear the kebaya because I thought that I should wear something that shows the people in Korea the beauty of our culture. Besides, I’ve always loved wearing the kebaya as it makes you feel very elegant. It was just a simple sarong and a kebaya top so it didn’t take long to come out with the idea and time to make the outfits. To me, simplicity is the key.”

Winner of the (Female) Traditional Dress Award - Wafa Johanna de Korte holding her prized trophy.

On her Korean experience, De Korte said: “I think I have learnt to be much more independent and how to live on my own. I have also learnt to communicate with people of different cultures, speaking different languages and how things are done in their countries.”

“I hope to become a successful model just like Amber Chia. Amber has taught me a lot of wonderful things this past year, like how to carry myself and how to be careful with people around me. Anywhere you go, everyone knows who Amber Chia is, so I would like to be a household name like her in 10 years time and hopefully to go international. Being a model has always been my dream since I was young.”

Leggy lovely Wafa Johanna de Korte parading in casual wear.

De Korte said it is common that people have misconceptions about models.

“They should know that models are just regular people with a job. I have met some of the nicest people who are models who take care of me [as I am usually the youngest model] and they had shown me the way so much through their experience.

“I was very intimidated at first when I started out modeling but after warming up to people and its been very fun and I enjoy it a lot. The Amber Chia Academy helped me a lot and I would like to thank everyone for helping me and supporting me in my life.

The Malaysian entourage at the 7th Asia Model Festival Awards (AMFA) 2012 in Seoul, Korea. (L-R) Kao Yu Ling, Kurt Chin, Amber Chia, Benjamin Toong, Soo Xu ze, Wafa Johanna de Korte, Jane See and KS Tan. Not in the picture is Deborah Henry.

De Korte is a graduate of Amber Chia Academy (ACA) which has been appointed by Korea Model Association (KMA) to be the exclusive representative of the Asia Model Festival Awards (AMFA) for Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

ACA will select up-and-coming models to compete at the annual Asia New Face Model Contest as well as recommending accomplished and professional models to receive the Asia Star Model Awards at the prestigious AMFA.

Dazzling and stunning! ACA principal Amber Chia (left) poses with Asia Model Star Award (Malaysia) 2012 recipients KS Tan (centre) and Deborah Henry (right).

Each Asian country is entitled to one female and one male Asia Star Model Award and ACA recommended acclaimed beauty queen and model Deborah Henry, as well as model and actor KS Tan to be this year’s recipients.

All the photos to this post are courtesy of ACA.