Watch Video: Meet The Duo Who Could Be Singapore’s Next Top Models

No, they haven’t worked on any major campaigns or catwalk shows, but like some of the world’s most unexpected – and successful – models (cue everyone from Kate Moss to Paul Hameline), these two budding local faces just have that special something. Together with Tiffany & Co., we go in for a close-up.

 

Layla Ong

Lace, tulle, velvet and satin T-shirt, velvet jeans, and tulle gloves, Givenchy. Hardwear sterling silver wrap necklace, Tiffany Circlet platinum necklace with diamonds, (on right hand, from top) Hardwear Ball 18K white gold ring with diamonds, and matching sterling silver ring, Tiffany & Co.

Who she is: Represented by Basic Models Management, this 21-year-old hit the headlines at birth as one of Singapore’s earliest test-tube triplets. Since then, she’s graced magazines and TV (Asia’s Next Top Model) with her unique Asian beauty – think Tao Okamoto with an alternative edge.

Why know her: She’s Singapore’s most editorial-looking female model since the ’90s with her willowy 1.76m frame and slightly alienesque features complete with a bee-stung pout – a look international designers would covet. Far from niche though, she sports a girlish charm, and confidence that belies her just-over-a-year-long experience – photographers and 48.5K IG followers already heart her. Add her “adventurous” spirit (she got her start by entering an open casting at Basic), and there are echoes of her versatile and popular idol, Liu Wen.

What’s next: Mid-way through a three-month placement with South Korean modelling agency JS at press time, she’s working towards hitting the industry’s “big four” – New York, London, Milan and Paris – for Fashion Week next year.

 

Bryan Yap

Wool tuxedo jacket, Givenchy. Hardwear Ball 18K yellow gold necklace, Tiffany & Co.

Who he is: This 19-year-old, signed to Now Model Management, is our answer to Nyima Ward, the freewheeling model son of ’90s star model Trish Goff (and a Meisel favourite). Yap’s mum, Carol Wan, was a model in the ’90s, and nudged him towards the same path by showing his photo to industry friends two years ago.

Why know him: Yap’s portfolio is lean with just a handful of editorials and a lookbook for Singapore label Depression – he’s been busy with school. The polite mechanical engineering grad has all the makings of a high fashion clothes horse though. An impressive 1.86m tall and Hedi Slimane-rocker-boy skinny, he’d fit right in the league of Asian male models storming the international runways in recent years with his features: slightly lazy eyes; a prominent nose and cheekbones. He’s also a stylist’s dream. To date, he’s allowed his shoulder-length locks to be chopped, dyed platinum, shaved, and, for this shoot, powdered back to black. No matter the look, he moves on set with cool, quiet charisma.

What’s next: National service, and then, he says, most likely more school, but modelling will always remain an option. He says: “I enjoy it; I get to wear stuff that I don’t get to wear every day; and it’s made me more conscious of how I present myself.”

This story first appeared in Female’s November 2017 issue.