Photo provided by Lu Yin
Lee Lu Yin, who is turning 21 this year is a young model who did not expect modelling to be a part of her life until it actually happened. Besides modelling, she is also the owner of two online fashion clothing stores and co-founder of a floral store which she runs with her sister, the founder. Other than that, she is also an event freelancer and a commercial talent.
Modelling was never really her dream job from the start. She had never thought of being a model as she thought it was too far away from her reality. Before stepping into this industry, she studied for about a year at Makeup Miracle Academy & Workshop. After graduating, she started to look up jobs related to makeup. Her first job was working as a shop assistant in Tom Ford, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. In the year 2019, she was introduced by her sister’s friend to a modelling runway job at Saito University College. That was her very first paid modelling job. After that opportunity, she decided she should continue working in this field by applying for modelling jobs. At first, it was a rough start as her portfolio was empty and she was not as established as she had more failed attempts than successful ones in casting and job applications, but since she had decided to go on with it, she did not want to give up.
She was lucky to have very supportive parents and friends who guided her along her way and gave her opportunities. She was brought up differently as her family was very open about it. She shares her experiences in this industry and gives us advice on following our dreams.
At the age of 16, Lu Yin was interested in runway modelling, but she was scared she would not get into this industry. Later that year, having been noticed by her aunt, she encouraged her to join modelling as she saw a spark in her. Her aunt even wanted to give her a chance of modelling in Shanghai, as she had connections there. However, it did not happen as she was still in school. When she was finally ready to give it a shot, the pandemic happened.
Joining this modelling industry was not a hard choice for her: “It comes naturally, I work for events and I always have to go out to places. I love watching runway walks and shows such as Asia’s Next Top Model. Once my sister’s friend was looking for runway models. I went for casting and just tried my luck. I was unprepared and I didn’t know what to do, but to my surprise, I still got in.”
Some might think, why did Lu Yin choose to work in this industry? The answer is not complicated at all. “I get paid, I get to have fun, I get free photos and I even get to dress,” Lu Yin said. “Isn’t that what everybody wishes for?” she added.
However, there were fears and doubts she struggled with before going into this and during her work. She watched videos online about modelling and how cruel it can be. She was scared of being scolded just like the mentors and judges’ videos she saw online that were very fierce and demanding. She was worried she could not handle it well.
“At first, my boyfriend and his partner wanted to plan a show for the models and to ask me to join their program, like a variety show for models. I was scared because there were a lot of challenges. Previously I’ve heard about their previous show, their final challenge was to cut their hair off, you can’t choose your hairstyle, not only that, you have to dye it too! Or you might have to hold a snake or iguana… That’s my fear. No thanks!” she stated.
Lu Yin has learnt a lot along the way. She has been through many obstacles that she has to overcome while doing her job. “Let’s take the runway as an example, we start with the basics. We have to learn how to pose, how to walk, how to walk with high heels, your eyes can’t open too wide, you need a good facial expression, the model look. During my first runway, they taught me all these basics about an hour before casting. I got in!”
She also had some rather unsettling experiences that she shared. She was once in a situation where an uncle came up to her and touched the clothes she was wearing. He complimented her for pulling off the style well and then proceeded to touch the cloth on her waist. He also did a double-take at the clothes she was wearing. That was one of the bad experiences that she would never want to encounter ever again. Stay tuned for Part 2 in Lu Yin will be sharing her unforgettable experiences throughout her modelling career.
By: Emily Cheah