Tuti is no stranger to the modelling industry, having previously won X Top Model Search Malaysia 2012 and its subsidiary title X Walk. With a strong image that is fearlessly edgy and fierce, she has proven locally that she can rock the runway as well as editorial shoots, but does she have what it takes to conquer the region?
The brand new season features a fresh panel of celebrity judges, namely the show’s new host Cindy Bishop, accomplished model mentor Kelly Tandiono, as well as famed fashion photographer and Creative Director Yu Tsai. At the exclusive screening party yesterday, we had the chance to speak to Tuti before the big premiere—find out what the outspoken model has to say about the competition right here:
Have you always been modelling?
I started modelling around 3 or 4 years ago. I loved it, and haven’t looked back since.
At what age did you decide that modelling was what you wanted to do?
I was 22 when it hit me, like, this is what I wanted to pursue full time.
What was the most challenging part of being on Asia’s Next Top Model?
There were times where I thought that I had the best photo of the week in the bag, but then it wasn’t the case when we were scored at the panel, (turns to Kelly Tandiono, seated beside her, and jokingly went) why Kelly?! (laughs). So yeah, things can be quite unpredictable on the show. Sometimes it also felt like there wasn’t enough time for me to work it, or give my best shot. And I hate elimination day, that’s all I can say. (Kelly agrees: “We all hate elimination day”.)
How do you feel about the social media feedback? And how are you dealing with it?
Instead of focusing on the negative energy, I focus on the positives, on how this competition and its effects have made me a stronger individual. I believe that this is a chance to represent my country in such an amazing competition and it is a very rare opportunity. Above all, I wish to be known for my professional, based on my skill sets and achievements and I am grateful to the support from my family, friends and fans from here and across the region.
What is your stand on being a Muslim model in the industry?
I’ll try to be as balanced as possible and not cross certain boundaries and still progress in my career. As a Muslim woman, I am proud to be able to be part of this international competition and to show that my religious beliefs can correlate with my career in the modelling industry. I want to learn, grow and stretch my horizons but still stay true to my beliefs. I know it’s not going to be easy but I didn’t join the competition expecting an easy ride. I’m here to be a top model and I’m ready to be.
What’s next for you?
I definitely want to go far, and take my modelling career to greater heights. I want to go to Milan, or maybe London.
Which designer, international or local, would you love to work with?
I would love to walk on the Givenchy runway one day.
Asia’s Next Top Model Season 4 premieres tonight, 9th March at 9pm on Star World and Star World HD (Astro Channels 711 and 722).
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