Two talented and aspiring models, one male and one female, were a step closer to realize their dreams when they won the Amaze International Model Search (AIMS) 2011 competition at the grand finale held on Saturday 1st October 2011 at the covered outdoor stage of Publika Dutamas in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
In the fiercely-fought contest with 22 finalists, 11 from each female and male categories, Sheena Liam, 20, a journalism student at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya and Kenzo Tan, 24, a plastic surgery agent charmed the hearts of the judges with their strut on the runway, presentation, intelligence and attitude by becoming the Amaze International top female and male models 2011 respectively.
Sheena Liam, from Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang, who is in her second year of her journalism degree course said: “Yes I am happy to win this competition. I never thought I would be a model. When I was young, I was like very skinny and very weird.”
“I started modeling when I was 15 because of the glamour and the rush to get on the stage. I love the runaway so much.”
“My mother used to be a fashion designer so when I was young then I was fascinated by modeling and want to be a model.”
Sheena said she enjoyed the two weeks she spent together with all the other finalists.
“We were together for two weeks. We stay separately but we have events together, we did everything together. We were like friends so we go everywhere together like we go to watch movies. It was the best time of my life.
“I realise that if you dream big, you will eventually achieve it, so keep dreaming bigger and bigger and you will have them.”
On his win, Kenzo Tan said, “Firstly I am like shocked because I thought it was the other male model and secondly of course I am very very happy to win the title.”
Kenso said he started modeling at aged 20, then stopped for two years for personal reasons, and resumed this year. He said he was a Hong Leong bank officer before he took up the job of plastic surgery agent ten months ago.
“For me, winning this title is a starter, I don’t want to just end up in modelling because I also do acting. I want to be a model as well as an actor in dramas, commercials and movies. I don’t just do photo shoot or catwalk. I also do acting. So far it’s not a big character role I play but still I learnt a lot from acting. Next time I may get a big character role which I think I can carry.”
“I want to be an international Malaysian celebrity, it’s not just a model, can be a famous model and can be very a famous actor. I don’t want to just end up as a model, I want to be a celebrity so that’s my goal. I am not sure whether I can do it or not but I will do my best.”
“My advice for those who want to be anything, not just a model, I have this to say. Don’t give up. There’s nothing wrong to have a dream, dream that is totally not related to your life but as long as you dare to dream, dream big and make sure when you dream big, go for it.”
The two winners, each won a cash prize of RM3,000 and other sponsored goodies and a chance to be sent overseas for competitions.
“We will sent them to either Hong Kong or South Korea, to compete in a modeling competition under the brand of Amaze International,“ said Tina Fong, business development manager of Amaze Communications and Modeling, the event organizer.
The two first runner-ups went to Soo Xu Ze, 20, from Kuala Lumpur for the male category and Gwendolyn Chin, 20, from Subang Jaya for the female category.
Six subsidiary titles were awarded.
Most Beautiful Skin Award (Gwendolyn, 19); Most Beautiful Body Award (David Lian, 21); Most Media’s Favorite Award (Gino Chiew, 21, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah); Most Photographer’s Favorite Award (Stefanie Wong, 19, Kuching, Sarawak); Most Talented Model (Keith Valentine Tan, 21) and Most Promising Model Award (Aven Chop, 19).
Keith gave a superb harmonica playing during the intermission. He was the Youngest World Champion in three categories of Harmonica when he was 16 years old whilst Aven is a newbie in modeling industry and it was his first time participating in a modelling contest with no previous experience in modelling.
The runway parade began with the 22 finalist parading in casual day wear then moved to couture wear and finally in evening gown much to the delight of an appreciative crowd. Later they were tested in the Q & A session, each given a different questions posed by the judges.
The event organiser had not forgotten its corporate social responsibilities. It was embraced at the event where Charity ambassador Leng Yein, launched the “Love and Care’ charity campaign in which RM5 of the sale proceeds of souvenir items will be donated to House of Joy, a shelter home in Puchong for underprivileged children and adults.
“All of you are really good hearted people, do something good today,” said Leng Yein, a former Miss Malaysia finalist turned model. She later presented a mock check of RM5,000 to Lesley Mah, a representative from House of Joy.
Catwalk guru Benjamin Toong, the chief judge, said: “Catwalk is not only about walking on the runway. It’s everything about face, about expression and body language. So today they really surprised me because everything that I taught them in class for the past two weeks, they keep in mind and they show me what that had learnt.
“Today we are not looking for a runway model. We are looking for runway and commercial model who also know how to talk because she needs to be an ambassador.
“This is the first Amaze International Model Search competition , she needs to know how to promote Amaze in all the years to come and for the rest of her life to tell that Amaze actually made her become someone.
On the criteria for judging, he said 40% of the marks are for catwalk, another 40% for overall presentation and 10% each for showing how smart they are and for attitude.
“Of course I can’t guarantee 100% that she will be the next Amber Chia but it’s up to her because attitude is very important. I have seen Sheena and she shows very good attitude
“Amber Chia became so famous today because of her attitude. She has a good attitude. Everyone told me she is so humble. How can a model be so humble. I said Yes, it’s her. That is the secret of her success!”
AIMS is a nationwide model search competition organized by Amaze Communications and Modeling Sdn Bhd and presented by i-Young Sheep Placenta. This event is also in collaboration with Asia Success and Kuala Lumpur Design Week (KLDW).