Living a dream on the fashion runway
By Jude Toyat
Nur Fazrynn Nassim, better known as ‘Yeen’, an up-and-coming model born in Penang on Sept 26, 1988.
Yeen has always loved fashion and modelling since she was a kid, taking pictures of herself and posing in front of the camera, as well as watching fashion shows on television.
With Audrey Hepburn and Coca Rocha as her fashion inspirations, she strives to be the best and keeps improving herself by learning new things about the modeling industry.
What you wouldn’t know about her from looking at these photos is that she was once bullied for being overweight. Rather than giving in to the bullying, she worked and continues to work hard to be the best that she can be. Her story is one of determination, overcoming obstacles and becoming the best of herself as she lives out her life’s dreams on the fashion runway.
So tell us how you were ‘discovered’ and how your modeling career all started?
There is a person who I accidentally met after I had completed my diploma. She told me that I could become a model and gave me one modeling website where she helped me to register myself and get others to know me and that’s where everything about modeling and me started.
Did you attend any fashion or modeling courses or classes before that and where did you actually study before getting yourself involved in this industry?
I studied my diploma and degree in Civil Engineering at UiTM Samarahan and UiTM Shah Alam respectively and completed my studies in 2013, yet I never attended any fashion course or classes before I got myself into the real modeling industry.
Can a modeling agency tell just from a snapshot if you have what it takes to be a model?
I’m sure they know. A picture tells a thousand words. But to survive in the industry, models need to stay real to themselves and others all the time.
Was modeling something you always wanted to do, or did it just kind of happen?
Yes. Modeling is something I have want to do since I was a kid, but I never thought that this dream would finally come true.
What are the height and size requirements for a high fashion model? Are there any other related requirements?
Modeling is somewhat mysterious. We as models may not know what our clients really want for sure. We might observe that all the models on television are skinny and tall, but in the real world, models exist in many looks and sizes. It depends on the models to carry themselves well in this industry.
What is your height? Did your height ever prove to be an obstacle when trying to introduce yourself in the professional modeling industry?
I meet a standard height requirement for a female model in the international modeling industry which is 178cm. I have never been rejected before in the industry by any client considering my appropriate height.
Do you ever get shy in front of the camera?
I never get shy in front of the camera but before this I do admit that I was quite shy posing in front of the photographer. But then, I learnt to be more professional as I grew in this industry. Normally, I build a rapport with the photographer before any shoot, in order for me to be comfortable and to connect well with them to give them the gorgeous poses that they want.
What are the various categories in modeling as a career option?
There are so many categories: these include runway modeling, catalogue modeling, time-varying coefficient (TVC) modeling, print modeling, underwater modeling, nude art modeling, and many more. It is important to focus on only one category but it does not harm any model to venture into other categories as well, at least they can find something interesting that they will love to do.
Are there jobs for models that specialise in just parts of the body?
Yes there are. Some clients want to model eyes since the models have unique and beautiful eyes, or maybe they want to model your hair. For me, it is important to acknowledge the best part of our own bodies, and utilise it as one of your strengths and specialties.
What kind of modeling you are interested in and why?
I love runway modeling since I enjoy doing it and I know that I am excellent in it. Clients and the audience love my walk. Besides that, I like underwater modeling, although it is hard since not all models can look good underwater but luckily I’m a pretty good swimmer and this gives me a lot more advantages and confidence compared to other models.
Do you have any limitations, or do you model for any kind of clothing at all?
I do have limitations. I respect each cultures and religions. So, if the clothes or shoots looks insulting or disrespectful towards other cultures or other religions, I will strongly say NO.
Is modeling an easy job or more strenuous than people realise? How so?
Modeling, to be honest, is not an easy job as people may think. It is not just about you posing in front of the camera or about you walking on the stage and wearing clothes, it is about what you are selling and delivering. Modeling is about you fulfilling and giving what the client wants.
What do you think is the hardest part about being in the industry?
The hardest part about being in the industry is to understand our clients’ preferences. Sometimes models will be rejected since they are not suitable for the job but I always tell myself and other models not to give up and try other options and clients.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a model?
The best thing about being a model is the good pay and the worst part about it is the fact that it is not easy to get a job or get booked by clients. Models must always work hard all the time.
How much do models actually make?
It’s a business, the more a model works, the more money they will get.
Sometimes the modeling industry gets a bad rap with the jealousy and egos encountered between other models and agencies. Is this true for you? How did you manage to tough it out and make good friends?
It is totally true. I have met with some girls with bad attitudes who were mean to me. They can say anything they want, but if they act beyond the limit, there’s always a lesson to be taught. I treat good people nicely and I am very bad when people are bad too. But for now, it is important to stay cool and focus on climbing to the top.
It is often said that a model should have a good personality. According to you, what are the traits required for good personality?
Always be disciplined at your workplace and during work hours.
What personality traits do you think you have that makes you a good model?
I am a happy-go-lucky type of person, always positive and easy to make friends with. It is very important for me and other people to work in a happy and positive environment.
What do you know about the advertisement industry, advertising psychology and photography?
What I know about those is each of them plays an important role in selling a product. It is business, so it requires brilliant ideas in order to attract people’s attention.
Do you have any advice on how to ensure good pictures every time?
My advice is, make sure each picture that you are posing for tells a story and should be something different from the other models before you.
What do you always bring along with you in case you receive an emergency call for modeling?
My black heels and my make-up box.
Are modeling conventions and searches a good place to start a modeling career or are they a total rip-off?
Yes. It is good for models starting out to have experiences or ideas about what modeling really is. To be honest, in the real world, modeling in the modeling industry is harder than a normal modeling competition.
Any upcoming plans for fashion week?
Yes. I have been invited to a casting for Singapore Fashion Week. Hopefully, I’ll get the job.
If you weren’t modeling, what would you see yourself doing?
If I wasn’t modeling, I think I would be an engineer since I do have the academic qualifications.
How would your friends describe you? How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly?
My friends describe me as a social butterfly. I have lots of friends. I’m a Libra, considered very friendly and easy to make friends with.
Do you eat nutritiously? How often do you exercise or go to the gym?
I hate doing exercises or eating nutritious foods, but I still have to do it in order to get fit in this modeling industry. I take dance class and go to the gym during my free time. I hate it but I must do it since I love modeling so much.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, it would be my mother’s ‘mee rebus kuah ubi’. For me, it is the best dish and I love it so much.
How would you describe your personal style, and where do you pull your inspiration from?
I love to be simple yet classic and edgy at the same time. Audrey Hepburn and Coco Rocha will always be my inspirations.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I am good in lips-syncing. People love to see me make funny faces and laugh so maybe that is my talent.
I am thinking of starting a modeling agency, do you have any advice?
My advice is to always try finding fresh and unique faces. Faces that can sell in the international market.
What’s your favorite song/movie/music of all time?
My favorite song is ‘How Could an Angel Break My Heart’ by Toni Braxton. My favorite movies are Titanic, Gia, Harry Potter, Malèna, Lord of the Rings, and Underworld.
What are the 5 things you can’t live without?
Deodorant, tweezer, phones, laptop, money
Give us 5 facts about you that people may not know.
- My looks are different in each of my pictures.
- I am very choosy when it comes to choosing a man or a life partner.
- I used to have an eating disorder but now I have overcome it.
- I am allergic to seafood.
- I love babies so much that I can spend the whole day playing with them.
What’s your motto or life advice that you live by?
Don’t judge others no matter who they are and what they did before, because we don’t have the right to judge but God. I always believe in karma and my advice is to always be good towards yourself and to those who love you. Do not be afraid to dream big because dreaming only shows the beginning of a life journey to the edge of your glory. Muah!!
What are you goals as a model and how do you see yourself progress in this field? What do you hope to accomplish and where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
My goal is to become an international model and represent myself as a brand. 10 years from now, I dream to become one of the big names in fashion and modeling industry in the likes of Dior, Chanel, and Jean Paul Gaultier.