The Super Model: Iman Fandi
Iman Fandi is like Taylor Swift in the pop star’s You Belong To Me music video. As a student (she’s pursuing a psychology diploma in a private school here), she hides behind nondescript black framed glasses, keeps her wild, luscious curls in a ponytail, and dresses down in yoga wear and practical trainers. Pint-sized with a cherubically fresh face, she could pass off as a 15-year-old — that’s three years less than her actual age. Get her in front of the camera — something she’s been familiar with since age 5 with her celebrity sports family and statuesque former-model mum Wendy Jacobs — and she metamorphoses.
The first thing you’ll notice about her is how pretty she is. Her tawny skin is flawless (the only makeup that she’s got on in the photos here is mascara). Her features are almost perfectly symmetrical and take after her mother’s: bright, almond-shaped eyes; a straight, strong nose; slight bee-stung pout. Her cheeks are gently plump with youth, though this will refine with time to reveal an elegant bone structure that points at her exotic Javanese-South African heritage.
The other most striking thing about her is to be witnessed in person: a cool composure and intelligence that’s beyond her years. Growing up in the public eye and constant advice from mum and her industry pals have made her keenly perceptive. (The psychology background doesn’t hurt either.) On set, she knows her angles and is instinctive about art direction. Moving naturally and with grace, she appears much taller than her 1.68m frame. Off set, she’s affable yet polite — she credits her mother for instilling in her that in this line, “professionalism and respect for everyone are non-negotiable”.
Her dad Fandi and elder brothers Irfan and Ikhsan — two generations of soccer heart-throbs — might lend a Beckham-like air to the household, but there’s a Kendall/Kaia/Gigi quality to her; Tay-Tay Swift be damned. “I regard every shoot as a learning opportunity, for there are always improvements that can be made,” she says. “(I’ve always made it a point to) check in during shoots to make sure I am doing what the client wants, then seek their advice after to better myself for future shoots… The learning curve is important for me as I grow as a model and a woman.”
The Beauty Queen: Fiona Fussi
With her winsome German-Chinese good looks, she got her start winning the 2011 Elite Model Look competition in Singapore. She speaks multiple languages fluently: English, Mandarin, German, Cantonese and Japanese. She always appears to be have right mix of poise, playfulness and warmth.
In short, Fiona Fussi is quintessential beauty queen material — except that she’s completely redefined that title since going from teenage pageant winner to the 22-year-old budding idol that she is today.
In those seven years, she’s become the face of multiple beauty and lifestyle brands, travelling the globe — New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris — to shoot commercials and other marketing content for them. One of the most impressive is an ongoing series of makeup tutorials filmed in the French capital, a gig she’s had since 2015. (It can mean that she jets over multiple times in a month.) “I was living in Paris for three months then, and went for the casting not knowing what the job was,” she recalls. “The director asked me if I knew how to do my own makeup.”
Nope, it’s not just her personality and telegenic beauty — alabaster skin; pretty, naturally pink lips; Bambi eyes — that have won over clients and her 94.4K Instagram followers. She’s a self-proclaimed beauty enthusiast who’s careful and clever about taking care of her skin. Gran and mum taught her the importance of sleep and drinking plenty of water. Moisturising is a must, and she makes it a point to remove her makeup every night, no matter how tired she is. (The word she used was “adamant”.)
This practical, fuss-free approach applies to her taste in makeup too. She uses concealer only on areas that need it. She’s taken to eyebrow powders recently “because you don’t have to be as precise as when using a pencil”. Her other essentials? Tinted moisturiser or a BB cushion, mascara and lip balm (she swears by Chanel’s Rouge Coco Lip Blush).
As much as she likes things “fast and easy”, she’s quick to point out in true Gen Z fashion that “beauty is very individual”. “We are not entitled to define it for everyone. It’s about expressing one’s personality, being confident in your own skin, and working with what you have,” she says. And the prize for Miss Effortlessly Cool goes to…
The Digi-Pop Princess: Ysa Yaneza
A brazen presence, ability to churn out addictive earworms, and courage to butt heads with the status quo — these are the qualities of a bona fide pop star, and this 23-year-old anti-heroine is one of our next brightest. And it’s not just because of her penchant for bubblegum pink and shiny body-con. Entering the scene in 2017 following her college years in Chicago, where she found her footing in music, the Filipino-Singaporean singer-slash-producer purrs out post-millennial love songs coated with sugary slick electronic production. To go with her strangely addictive tunes like Tea and IRL: music videos laced with candy pop colours and ’90s kitsch that place her firmly as Singapore’s answer to Charli XCX.
Read more on the next page.