Over 300 guests celebrated the grand opening of modelling and make-up school Amber Chia Academy (ACA) latest branch at Berjaya Times Square shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The grand launch of Amber Chia Academy’s fourth outlet at the shopping mall, with the other academies located at Jaya One in Petaling Jaya, Malacca and Penang is part of its network expansion plan and was amplified in grandeur and joy as the opening was celebrated in conjunction with the academy’s founder and principal Amber Chia’s 30th birthday celebration.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Amber Chia said: “Last year in August I opened my first Amber Chia Academy in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya and my target was to have three academies by end of 2011.
“I am actually lucky in 2011 because not only I had fulfilled my target but also exceeded expectation and this is kind of my big birthday present with the opening of a fourth academy today.”
“I am looking forward with a plan to go international in five years time in which Amber Chia Academy will become an international academy and it could be a college called Amber Chia College or Amber Chia University. My target is, hopefully, in five years time Amber Chia Academy will become a world wide brand.”
In the grand opening co-hosted by Amber Chia and her partners; catwalk guru Benjamin Toong and Miss Malaysia World 2010/2011 Nadia Heng. Guests, including celebrities, friends, guests and members of the media were kept in high spirit with all round entertainment, a sumptuous buffet and a free flow of Kronenbourg premium beer.
Blasting off the party atmosphere was an exotic make-up showcase followed by a dazzling fashion show; both performed by graduates as well as current students of the academy.
Guests were also enthralled by the splendid performances of Malaysia Tag-Team Beat Box Battle 2011 champion Koujee on beatbox and Astro Star Quest 2008 winner Alexis Chean on vocals. The fantastic acoustic duo with their combine beatboxing and singing had the guests breaking out into screams and rapturous applause.
Then young sensation singer Shruthi who is also a student at the academy made her appearance with her sexy gyration and her famous multiple full turns on the runway as she sang a number of hits including Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance driving the audience gaga while dancing around with her.
Violinist Dennis Lau played the “Happy Birthday” tune on the organ as the huge decorated cake was brought out and confetti strewn over all over Amber Chia after she said a silent prayer and blew out the candles. Champagne bottles were opened and toasted to the night.
Everyone present including renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo and fashion designer Keith Kee clearly enjoyed themselves and partied till the last drinks out.
Among the sponsors who made the entire celebration possible were Prosense (main sponsor), Schmidt Marketing, Secret Recipe and Kronenbourg 1664.
When asked what makes Amber Chia Academy different from the others, Amber said: “It is different because the other academies are open in office shop lots and this one is in the shopping mall so we are open 365 days a year.
“Everyday we are open for those who are working and studying and want to go for weekend courses and Amber Chia Academy at Berjaya Times Square is perfect for these people.”
How will she manage the four academies?
“Time management is important to me. Of course with more academies, my schedule will be even more hectic and now that I am a mother as well, it would be crucial for me to manage my time effectively.
“I am really happy to have a good team where all my staff and partners help me out a lot.
On the courses conducted at the academy, Amber said: “The modelling courses cater for those who want to achieve their dreams to be a model and also for those who want to groom themselves to look like a fashion model. At the Berjaya Times Square outlet, we have two new courses which are Kids Modelling and Nail Art.
“On top of that, we are planning extra-circular workshops and activities on performing arts in the near future. The academy will provide an excellent platform for learning of the creative arts.
Talking of her experience as a model, Amber said: “When I started modeling 14 years ago, it was very tough because it took me 2 years to fully start my career in the modeling world because then I didn’t know what to do and where to go and I just go to a lot of casting, some were fake ones and some were real ones and from that time onward I told myself that if one day I achieved success in modeling I would want to set up an academy to make all the girls and boys’ dreams come true which is happening now as a lot of parents are thankful to us because they told us that and they trust me.”
“I am glad and thankful to all the parents who trusts the Amber Chia Academy by bringing their daughters to the academy to achieve their dreams. When they achieve that dream, that moment is the most satisfying and happiest for me.
On her birthday wish, Amber said: “Every year my first priority that comes to my mind is to “stay healthy” because I believe with good health you can do a lot of things.”
“What I want to achieve is to open another three Amber Chia Academies in 2012 and also want my next supermodel to represent Malaysia. Hopefully in the coming new year one of my students would become the next Malaysian supermodel.”
Amber Chia’s partner catwalk guru Benjamin Toong said: “I am very happy that we have a fourth academy now and we hope to have many more to come, not because we want to do more business but because we want more new models to tell the whole world that Malaysia is in with fashion.
“I have lots of friends from overseas who asked me how is the Malaysian fashion modeling scene? Since action speaks louder than words, I wanted to show them what we have so with the opening of this latest academy, I hope more students will come to us and we will definitely train all of them to become the best of the best and show the whole world that Malaysia ‘boleh’ and can be recognized in the modeling and fashion world.”
“What I can see now is that a lot of models when they get older, they forget about modelling and fade away. I am so happy to be part of Amber Chia Academy that I can see Amber age and still remain in the modeling line and she is so willing to share all her wealth of experience and knowledge with all new models, ” he added.
Nadia Heng’s new partnership with Amber Chia Academy’s latest outlet is intriguing because she was a former student at the Jaya One branch where she was polishing her grooming, posing and runway walking skills.
“The academy had grown from strength to strength within just one year and contributed tremendously to the modeling industry in Malaysia. The fact that we are opening the fourth outlet just within this year itself is incredible and I think that speaks volume of itself. It also means that there is a massive pool of talent out there and a huge demand for this industry and we hope to really groom and create new talent like what Amber Chia said “we want to put Malaysia on the world map”.
Siti Hajar Shafie, 25, a free-lance model and student of the academy said she enrolled at Amber Chia Academy for the advanced modelling course last August to polish up her presentation, posing, catwalk turns and other areas.
“I was personally trained and guided by Amber Chia, Benjamin Toong and the other gurus at the academy. And I must say I am very glad that I have now fully equipped myself with the skills and techniques imparted by the professionals,” confided Siti who will be ready to take on the world!