WILL the upcoming Asia’s Next Top Model, endorsed by Tyra Banks, be shot in Singapore?
my paper understands that Top Model – to air in November and produced by Singapore headquartered ice-TV Group – will indeed be based here.
Banks herself was here yesterday to attend a press conference at Resorts World Sentosa.
At the conference, she spoke about Asian beauty being on the rise, and called this “a beautiful thing”.
The 38-year-old added: “What I don’t like to see is when models of different races come in and out of fashion...like, oh it’s an ‘Asian model moment’.”
She added: “It’s not a moment.
It (is) just (as it) should be. I feel the same way with black models.”
In the fashion world, names like Liu Wen have taken hold.
The Chinese model is considered to be at the forefront of an Asian invasion into catwalks in Europe and America.
Banks, a former Victoria’s Secret bombshell who graduated from Harvard Business School recently, has long championed beauty in all shapes and sizes.
In fact, when it comes to her Top Model brand, which she created in 2003, she is picky about casting and choosing a winner.
Banks makes a conscious effort to choose contestants who do not necessarily fit the traditional model mould.
Thus, when casting for the show, she said that she usually doesn’t want to pick someone who is “super-duper skinny” as a winner.
“What we stand for is not having a cookie-cutter definition of beauty,” she added.
Asia’s Next Top Model is not the first within the region.
There have been successful variations of Top Model in China, Thailand and the Philippines.
There are current seasons running in South Korea and Vietnam, with the show entering Japan for the first time this year.
In Singapore, Top Model follows SuperModelMe, another model-based reality show that debuted in 2009.
Asia’s Next Top Model will feature Nadya Hutagalung as the host for the show.
Singaporean fashion director Daniel Boey, Shanghai-based fashion photographer Todd Anthony Tyler and Australian TV personality and model Joey Mead King are signed on as mentors and judges.
Banks was candid when called on to defend Top Model, which enters its 19th cycle in the United States later this month.
Asked by my paper why the show has yet to turn out a talent with true staying power, or a name that’s instantly recognisable, Banks readily admitted that today’s changing landscape means the age of the supermodel is “almost a little dead”.
“Because of the rise of the obsession with celebrity, actresses and singers are now on the cover of magazines...even clothing campaigns, so it’s very difficult now for a model to make it,” she explained.
“Our girls actually work a lot.
It’s just like American Idol. The ones who went home fifth or sixth are the ones doing really well.”
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