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No catwalk but the show must go on

Modelling industry has its fair share of Covid woes

29 Sep 2020 / 09:12 H.

PETALING JAYA: It’s no walk on the catwalk for models and modelling agencies due to the lingering repercussions of Covid-19.

Part-time model Joanna Joseph said as the sole breadwinner of her family, this pandemic had placed a huge dent on her financial status as a model.

“I have to put off or cancel many of my plans because of this pandemic and this affected my earnings. My father has renal failure and my mother is an epilepsy patient, so that makes me the breadwinner of the family,” she said.

Joanna added the pandemic had changed the modelling industry in many ways.

“For one, outdoor jobs like ramp walks can no longer be carried out and we have to limit our contact with people. You can only do so much online because most activities are meant to be carried out offline. We had to come up with more creative content despite the obstacles thrown at us,” she said.

Malaysia’s Miss Body Beautiful 2020, Louisa Ananthan, said this pandemic is a setback for full-time models as their whole career is based on this industry.

“The pandemic has definitely changed the modelling industry. Modelling is all about networking and getting new work opportunities.

“However, the current state of the world makes it hard to expand social webs to venture into new projects,” she said.

Nicholas Chan from Attitude Models & Production said they are trying their best to adapt to the new norm by reducing the number of crew members and models in campaign shoots and events.

“We now prefer to have our photoshoots done in small groups and we make sure we maintain a 1m distance, in compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) provided by the government,” he said.

He added things have been very slow at the moment as fashion shows and major events have been cancelled until further notice.

“This has been one of the toughest moments for our industry but we are trying to adapt to the situation in the best way possible. Similar to how the recent Miss World Malaysia was conducted, we have moved most of our events to online platforms such as Zoom because most of our clients prefer using such platforms,” he told theSun.

Entrepreneur Amber Chia said she has learned to make adjustments to comply with the SOP.

“We make sure that all of our courses and programmes are conducted online. Previously, we had around 15 to 20 cast members, however currently we deal with a maximum of eight only.

“We have been affected just like the other industries but at the moment we are doing quite well. Most events are conducted online and we are getting the support we need from social media influencers and models,” said Chia, who is also the founder of Amber Chia Academy.

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