21 questions with Alicia Amin, Asia's Next Top Model Season 5 contestant
The Johor-born coffee-loving, pole-dancing model tells us about her accidental venture into the industry
1. Who are you?
I'm Alicia Amin, I'm 22 years old, and I'm one of the 14 finalists at Asia's Next Top Model Season 5. I'm currently based in Melbourne, Australia.
2. How did you get into modelling?
I accompanied a friend to a Ford Supermodel Search casting in 2010 (I was 15). She didn't didn't turn up, but one of the casting directors encouraged me to try out anyway, and I ended up as a finalist. I didn't win, but I never stopped modelling.
3. Favourite shoot so far, outside of Asia's Next Top Model?
I love working with Bibo Aswan. He helped me the most when I was starting out, so naturally every shoot I do with him has a place in my heart.
4. Biggest modelling/fashion influence?
I started when Freja Beha Erichsen, Frida Gustavsson and Jac Jagaciak were at the top of their games, so that cool, IDGAF-but-strong attitude is what I try to emulate.
5. What do you do in your free time?
Make people coffee (I've been a barista since I was 15) and drown myself in books. I also picked up pole dancing as a form of exercise.
6. We have to ask, how do you get your abs?
My abs come and go according to how active I am. I do believe in a good diet for a good belly (both internal and external), so I try my best to stay away from a high sugar intake.
7. Most common misconception about you?
That I have a crazy extroverted personality. I can have a good time and I'm not apologetic when it comes to how I live my life, but I can be a very nervous person and too introspective.
8. One thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I actually retired from modelling in 2015 when I started university. Oops, but guess who's back?
9. What do you miss most about home when you're studying in Melbourne?
In Malaysia we never pay up to RM60 for a nasi lemak. *cries*
10. Favourite spots in Melbourne?
For night life: Section 8, Garden State Hotel, Workshop Bar.
To explore: The Grampians, The Great Otway National Park, Redwood Forest (it's beautiful)!
For cafes: Market Lane, Brother Baba Budan & Drugstore Espresso.
11. Favourite Malaysian dish?
Rendang Tok, my grandma's recipe.
12. Favourite travel destination?
Locally? Sabah. For international travel, Zurich actually made the biggest impression on me although I was only there for 24 hours – must've been the Alps.
13. Dream vacation?
To either dive everywhere all over the world, lakes and rivers included, or have the opportunity to explore South America or Iceland on horseback.
14. Who do you fangirl over?
Rihanna, all day erRihday.
15. Last time you were starstruck?
When I watched Fun perform live. I did not believe Jack Antonoff's voice actually sounded like that! I cried.
16. Last item you added to your wardrobe?
Nude Tony Bianco pumps.
17. Next thing you're buying?
A cat leash. I am not kidding. My cat loves going on walks but he's too fat to fit a regular size cat halter.
18. Current favourite from the Autumn Winter 2017 runway shows?
Vetements used a very diverse cast as models this season, which I applaud greatly, and focused on bulk – which is realistically me in winter, always. But I liked Brandon Maxwell's show as well.
19. Best piece of advice you've ever received?
1. Stay hungry. 2. This portion from Neil Gaiman's New Year wish coming into 2015: "Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand… Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love."
20. Advice for others who want to pursue modeling?
You cannot control how people receive you as a model. There is a very small window to make it but for lots of people, the window might never appear – no matter how much weight you lose, or the number of poses you can do. Your personality might make people want to work with you again but it's a combination of persistence and right place, right time. Be professional but make sure you're having a flipping good time along the way. It's a crazy industry, and a bumpy ride but I promise, if you can take its ups and downs, you'll enjoy yourself.
21. What's one thing you're most excited for people to see on this season of Asia's Next Top Model?
Well, as the tagline says, Expect the Unexpected!
Catch Alicia in action during the Season 5 premiere of Asia's Next Top Model on StarWorld, Astro channel 711 and 722 HD on 5 April 2017.