solid gold sundays revisits the 1994 supermodel of the world thailand competition, which i produced, and which uncovered a gem in winner rochana ( or rojjana ) phetkanha.
the dark-skinned 18 year old beauty from Isan catwalked away with the £20,000 top prize and was signed by london agency Storm ( who famously discovered kate moss ) and Boss in NY. she went on to a stellar career in the world’s fashion capitals, becoming the face of chanel allure ( she was allegedly paid £40,000 for 30 minutes work with photographer herb ritts ). the thai supermodel, nicknamed Yui, went on to grace the cover of Singapore Vogue and clinched a walk-on part in the movie The Fifth Element.
the 1994 competition also saw the fashions of asian-american label Van Buren ( helmed by thai designer maggie barry and american ty moore ) on the runway, modelled by the top faces of asia – including singapore supermodels Freda Amir and Anita Akhbar – who were flown in specially for the show.
I wrote about my thai supermodel adventures in my autobiography “The Book of Daniel : adventures of a fashion insider” ( published by marshall cavendish ), along with my experiences working on other major fashion competitions and beauty pageants in singapore and beyond.
have a lovely weekend !