THE BUSINESS OF MODELLING
Despite only standing 5’7 tall, 30-year-old Shir Chong overcomes her lack of height in the rarefied world of modelling, she is endowed with long legs and by having the right catwalk technique.
As an international model, Shir has travelled the world, met world-renowned designers and dealt with the harsh truth of the modelling world.
Originally from Sabah, Shir says that a career in modelling was something that never crossed her mind when she was growing up.
“I moved to KL when I was 14 years old and I was at a shopping mall, which is when I witnessed a fashion show for the first time. I was like wait a minute what is this?"
I realized it was a fashion show, people were telling me that I was considered tall, why not try. That’s when it got me a little curious about modelling
“I realized it was a fashion show, people were telling me that I was considered tall, why not try. That’s when it got me a little curious about modelling,” Shir says with a big smile.
She then entered a modelling competition, reality show called I wanna be a model. Although, it catapulted her into the modelling scene it didn’t solidify her career in modelling.
“I went to the competition, I got lucky and I won the competition and I think throughout the competition it really helped me to grow in terms of mental strength.”
“I tried to reach out to some international agencies but my modelling portfolio wasn’t really that strong then. So, I got some rejections but that never stopped me,“ states Shir.
The slender model has now taken a break from the catwalk and has ventured in business of her own called Art of Pout, a modelling agency located in Damansara Perdana.
With her skills hardly diminished, she intends to coach girls and boys who are interested to learn a thing or two about the fashion industry. Over the span of three days, it’s an in depth master class covering everything from modelling industry and also professional etiquette.
“I don’t really see it as a model school. I don’t want to restrict it as a model school but as long as you’re interested to learn about fashion or beauty or just to even develop your confidence or even your professional etiquette.”
“There are some corporate companies that approach me before asking me to train people like flight attendants, how they carry themselves. It’s about having fun and learning about the perspective in fashion and beauty,” states Shir.
The model turned businesswoman expressed her concerns since newly running her business, as she admits she still has much to learn about the business world. Art of Pout officially launches on the 1st of December, since then Shir and her team are tirelessly prepping and finalizing every last detail such as restricting it to 30 students a class.
“I’ve faced lot of challenges mainly because it’s my first time running a business. But I’m very blessed that I’ve met a team of very good and supportive partners. They are my backbone and are always helping me solve issues.”
“I’ve learned to be patient, I’ve learnt how to be a better leader. I know when to step up and when to step down. You want your team to be happy working with you and I guess that’s the new way of empowering myself as well,” Shir adds.