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'I wanna be a supermodel'

091015_19a
Yann Kumpha, 23-year-old winner of Cambodia’s supermodel competition, commanding the catwalk at NagaWorld. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Phnom’s Penh’s glitterati were on hand at a competition to select a handful of new celebrity models to promote Khmer traditional clothes and silkwear

The winners… present themselves as brand ambassadors of the products.

Who wants to be Cambodia’s next top model? Never mind the lack of soul-sucking judges and product placements – the hundreds of people on hand at NagaWorld Hotel and Casino last Friday could have been watching another spinoff of Tyra Banks’s hit reality series.

Techno music blared as 20 hopeful supermodels strutted their stuff on the catwalk hoping to attract one of six contracts from IPlanet to model their products.

Hundreds of Phnom Penh’s most fashionable folks gathered to cheer on the city’s sexiest specimens.

A VIP ticket to the event cost $100, including dinner and a seat in front of the stage, but most people opted for a more affordable $1 general admission ticket.

IPlanet, a software development company based in the US, didn’t let just anyone take the glamorous walk down the casino’s catwalk.

Out of over 2,000 applicants for the contest, they chose only a select few between the ages of 16 and 25.

Women in the contest also had to be taller than 1.65 metres and men 1.75 metres, effectively eliminating most of the city’s population.

Adding to the reality show vibe, TV3 was on hand to make a live broadcast of the event that was also sponsored by Spy Company, Systema Company, Shokubutsu Company, NagaWorld, Cindy Beauty Salon, Star magazine and LG.

And while Cambodia’s flyest fashionistas were the main attraction, the event also featured the country’s hottest threads.

“The contest is to select newest supermodel in Cambodia,” said Bunkert Ang Am Nuay Siri, the general manager of IPlanet.

“But at the same time it is to promote Khmer designers’ works, from modern clothes to Khmer traditional clothes made from silk by Cambodians.”
The selection committee, looking for a fresh face, did not open the contest to Cambodia’s current entertainment celebrities, but rather hope that a future star has been born.

“The condition of the winners is to understand how to present themselves as the presenters or brand ambassadors of the products by their modelling and presence in fashion photos,” said Bunkert Ang.

After three hours of turns on the catwalk, Cambodia’s newest supermodels were chosen. Three men and three women walked away with a one-way ticket to modeltown.

The winners at the end of the night were Chhun Hang Jour from the men and Yann Kumpha from the women.

Other fellas who made the cut were Ho Po Seng and Chan Ratanak Sambo. Doung Pheaktra and Ly Sopha Linda rounded out the lucky ladies.

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