Clock is ticking for Asia’s next top model contest

The Korea Times, AMFOC ink partnership agreement
By Kang Hyun-kyung

The Korea Times and the Asia Model Festival Organizing Committee (AMFOC) reached an agreement Friday to cooperate on the Asia Model Festival ― an annual event to select Asia’s next top model and promote Korea’s ties with other Asian countries in the fields of fashion and beauty.
The partnership comes as the clock is ticking for the 14th edition of the regional event to be held from June 7 to 9.
Under the agreement, The Korea Times will be an official media partner for AMFOC and the two sides will work closely to give the Asia Model Festival a stronger presence in the global fashion and beauty scene.
Korea Times President and Publisher Lee Byeong-eon lauded AMFOC President Yang Eui-sig for his unwavering effort and commitment to take the annual cross-cultural event to the next level since its inception in 2006 as a fashion and beauty platform.
“As a media partner, The Korea Times will do our utmost to let the world know about the Asia Model Festival, so the two sides can benefit from AMFOC’s stronger presence on the global stage,” Lee said during a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding with the organizing committee at its headquarters in southern Seoul, Friday.
Among others, Lee said he was impressed by President Yang and his dedicated staff for their hard work in keeping the annual event going in the face of a host of challenges, noting the festival is worthy of global attention, and that there is certainly a role that The Korea Times can play in promoting it to a world-class event.
Yang responded favorably and said he was grateful to Lee and The Korea Times for forging a partnership with AMFOC. He said having a media partner will help the festival build stronger credentials as a prime fashion and beauty event.

Yang, 55, is the pioneer who initiated the rare three-in-one festival. The contest to select Asia’s next top model is the main event; while the Asia Model Awards will take place on the sidelines with special awards given to Asian models who excel and K-pop stars. In addition, cosmetics shows are to be featured during the three-day event.
The fashion and beauty festival is Yang’s brainchild and the fruit of decades of his endeavor to establish a platform that could facilitate collaboration among Asian countries.
In the early years, Yang said, financing was the toughest challenge. “I met thousands of government officials and corporate executives to raise money for the event. It was a tough to sell and few bought into my idea,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Yang didn’t give up because he had vision for the platform. “I was serious, and desperation was the key driving force that brought about the Asia Model Festival.”

Yang and the other founding members’ hard work paid off.
The 14-year old event has now become a career launchpad for Asian models. Some past winners have gone on to work for global fashion brands and walked the runways at “Big 4” collections, including the New York Fashion Week.
Many of the title winners have risen to stardom in their home countries and are active in as actresses or TV show hosts.
About 80 models from 25 Asian countries, who were the winners of local contests, will arrive in Korea in May for the 14th Asian Model Festival for a month of preparations. Once they arrive in Seoul, they will stay at a hotel in the capital and participate in pre-festival events for rehearsals, preliminary contests and promotional events for three weeks.
During the final contest in June, the models will represent their countries and compete to win the Face of Asia title.
This year, the festival will pay a special tribute to the late fashion designer Andre Kim and the runway show featuring women’s wear designed by the iconic designer, who died in 2010, will be held.
AMFOC has local partners that are in charge of hosting the competition to select models to represent their countries. Once selected, they are called the “face” of their country.
Depending on the countries, three to five models, both men and women, are chosen and they participate in the final contest to select Face of Asia, Asia’s next top model of the year.
While some countries have completed the selection of their representative models, others, including Singapore and Bangladesh, will host their local contests in April and May.
The latest local contest was held in Beijing on March 29 to select the Face of China.
This was organized by China Fashion Week, the local partner of AMFOC, on the sidelines of the fashion week there. Through the Face of China contest, five models ― both men and women ― were chosen.
During the event, the contestants walked the runway wearing Korean fashion brands. AMFOC signed a partnership with KOTRA that allowed 25 small- and medium-sized Korean brands, including Doucan and Fotton Garment, to take part in business matching and influencer marketing events at the Face of China contest.

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