Model Profile - Fah - Model, Stylist & Entrepreneur - Bangkok
Updated: Jun 19
Kewalin Jaroonsrisawasdi, known as Fah is a 25 year old Industrial Design graduate who fell into modelling by helping a friend with their Uni course. Soon, her Thai-Chinese looks caught the attention of casting directors. Balancing modelling and styling work with her main job as a visual merchandiser, Fah aka Mulan is popular with her friends for her mashed potato recipe and has just launched her own fashion led personal sanitiser brand qlean.
Perceptions amongst both consumers, brands and publishers about what constitutes a model have changed rapidly for the better over past years. Working as a model was never part of Fah's plan but after being told by many around her to give it a go, she overcame of fears and lack of confidence to begin working professionally on advertising campaigns in both street and studio settings.
SSPE caught up with multi-tasking Mulan between her busy schedule in Bangkok, Thailand to discover what what motivates her as she enters a new phase of her career combining her Industrial Design degree with her fashion experience to launch qlean
into a selection of Bangkok's popular malls including the prestigious Siam Center & Siam Discovery.
How did you get in to modelling?
I graduated almost 3 years ago in Industrial Design from The School of Architecture and Design (SoA+D), King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (MUTT). I had no plans to become a model, it was just a coincidence.
A friend on a final year Branding Design course needed some help so I stepped in as a model for fun. She liked the images we produced so she invited me to take part in her final project. After her photo launch, many people began telling me to try my hand at modelling, to go to castings and to register with an agency etc. So I did and a casting director asked me to go along to an advertising casting and I got the part!
Was it a dream come true once you got your first paid job?
Hmmm, actually at first I wasn't really into it. It wasn't a career I had in mind that I wanted to pursue. I didn't feel confident about myself and never considered myself good looking, pretty or charming so I always had questions and doubts running around my head when people would say, "Your face is really unique" or "You look cool, you should be a model" etc. I'm half Thai and half Chinese so I suppose my look is a bit different to the average Thai. I've grown to get used to people making positive comments and now I actually quite like it!
How long have you been modelling for?
Just over a year
What kind of modelling have you been doing ?
There's been so many varied jobs around the Bangkok area for now. It tends to be mostly street style shoots or studio work for advertising. My face seems quite popular for commercial and advertising work so those tend to be mainly studio based.
What is the reality of working as a model compared to how you thought it might be before you started?
Well it's not always as glamorous as you may think. Sometimes the crew can be disorganised and take a long time to make decisions or keep changing their mind - which means a long time standing around waiting for things to happen.
I'm still getting used to being defined as 'A Model'. The perception I had in my mind of what a model should be like was quite different to how I saw myself. Being a model was something that I thought I could never be. Being a model felt as far away as being an astronaut. I've grown up since then and come to terms with the job and my perception and perspective have changed. Now I feel that if you can project your own sense of style and be unique then you can put this into modelling. Its' no longer about an exact body type criteria.
What are the best and worst parts of the job?
The worst part is working with a team that don't seem very professional. I'm not judging their skills, it's when they seem to forget about the needs and comfort of the model and neglect safety concerns if shooting in a slightly sketchy area or when the brief I'm given is not clear or specific enough.
The best part is when I feel I have contributed to a perfect outcome - when the shoot team and the client are happy and really like the work. It makes me feel proud and appreciated that I was part of a successful job.
Have you had chance to model at Bangkok's Elle Fashion Week?
No - I’m not tall enough to be on the catwalk but if I do ever get the opportunity, I would't let the chance slip away! I'm happy so far with modelling and hope it continues.
Where does your interest in fashion come from ?
Mostly from my older sister. When she was a teenager she was really into fashion and always dressing up in different styles. That inspired me to try and look as good as her!
How would you describe your personal style?
Oh that's so hard…I don’t know how to explain my style... I always mix my style. I like to have a sense of street style but to add more something a little sexy. I'll mix it with long socks or stockings. I like wearing an oversize blazer or jacket to complete the look.
Who else has inspired your fashion style?
I really like Oanhdaqueen from Vietnam, she wears really amazing outfits and her style and body are fantastic.
Where else do you look for inspiration ?
Mostly from Instagram, Pinterest or Anime. Some of my style is inspired from the Anime I watch.
Favourite Thai brands / designers?
My favourites are :
Favourite International designers / brands?
Do you keep an eye on the youth fashion scenes of any other Asian or International Countries?
I’m always checking through Instagram street style accounts like Drop Tokyo and various international influencers.
What are your interests outside fashion & style?
I'm working so hard between modelling, styling and visual display that most of my spare time is spent in my bed listening to pop and jazz songs or taking care of my plants. Since the COVID 19 lockdown period I've taken more interest in cooking. I've found it fun and interesting and get to explore new dishes every day.
I really love to cook mashed potatoes! All my friends say they are delicious and they want me to sell them but I have no time to cook whist launching qlean. I'm not very good at cooking Thai food though so it's mainly pasta and Korean.
Do you have any secret or favourite places to find clothes in Bangkok?
Mostly I shop on Instagram or other on-line marketplaces. Sometimes I go to Siam Square area in central Bangkok.
Where else do you like to go for fun in Bangkok?
What is the next step with your life?
qlean - my handsanitizer project I launched with a friend is my main focus. We are trying to create a stylish trend focussed hand sanitiser with an affordable price point and good quality. With COVID 19 comes the importance of clean hands and carrying a sanitiser at all times.
We want to create a lifestyle product that can be part of people's daily lives that gives high protection but does not dry or harm your hands. We want people to think of qlean as a wearable fashion accessory that has a useful purpose. My goal in life is to be a multitasker and get rich! Haha.
All photos by Al de Perez for Street Style Planet Earth
Shot on location in Bangkok, Thailand
Words & Interview by Al de Perez
For more great Alternative Youth Culture features from the Bangkok Thailand series as well as China, Korea and Taiwan & Japan, check out the other SSPE interviews and features.
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