Going Global: Malaysian Models Who Walked For Fashion Week

From Paris to Milan
By: Astrid Zulhaime
January 30, 2024

January may be coming to an end, but the Fashion Week schedule for 2024 is just getting started. This season’s collections are shaping up to be nothing short of iconic judging by the shows we have seen so far during Paris Fashion Week, namely the men’s shows and Haute Couture. We don’t know about you, but we’re still recovering from Maison Margiela’s Spring/Summer 2024 runway show—what a moment!

Fashion week may be a bit of a niche subject, especially in Malaysia, considering the country is not a major fashion capital. But if there’s one thing we can count on Malaysians to do, it is to unfailingly support the successes of our very own. Do you know that there has been several Malaysians who walked for international fashion weeks these past few years alone? Here are the Malaysian models taking fashion week by storm.

Our Malaysian Models Walking For Fashion Week

Ridzman Zidaine

Ridzman Zidaine is the first ever Malaysian male model to walk for Paris Fashion Week, AKA the most important fashion week out of “The Big Four”—Paris, New York, London, and Milan. The 23-year-old cemented his name in Malaysian history when he not only walked for Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall/Winter 2024 show but opened the event as well! There’s no wondering why Zidaine is working with top luxury labels including Hermes, Emporio Armani, and JW Anderson—he’s a star.

Shikin Gomez

Another recent fashion week debut is when Shikin Gomez walked in the Dior Pre-Fall 2023 show in Mumbai, India. Calling it “a dream come true,” Gomez shared in an Instagram story that she was proud to represent her country and everyone who looked like her. The Damansara-born model’s career started when she was named the runner-up for Cycle 5 of Asia’s Next Top Model back in 2017. Now, Gomez is one of the top models working in Malaysia’s fashion industry.

Vanizha Vasanthanathan

Vanizha Vasanthanathan, a Malaysian Indian model and Odissi dancer, walked for ACT N°1 during Milan Fashion Week in 2022. If that’s not enough to impress you, the 31-year-old is also the first Malaysian Indian model to grace the cover of fashion’s number one magazine, Vogue. Vasanthanathan covered Vogue Singapore’s October anniversary issue alongside Indonesian model Rizal Rama. Just casually achieving every model’s dream, no biggie.

Atikah Karim

Walking for various international fashion week shows are nothing to Sabahan model Atikah Karim—been there, done that. In 2015, Karim was signed to a modelling agency in New York and has been based there ever since, making Malaysia proud by being a recurring face in the fashion industry both locally and abroad. Never knowing when and where the Bajau-Bruneian model will pop up is part of the fun; on the runway during Paris Fashion Week or a Saint Laurent fashion campaign. Karim has done it all.

Gwen Lu

Speaking of a Malaysian model who has walked for plenty of designer brands during fashion week, add Gwen Lu to the same category. A Balenciaga and Lemaire darling, Lu was born in Butterworth and moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue her modelling dreams. Ever since those fledgling days, Lu has grown into a modelling superstar; being signed to modelling agencies in every major fashion capital means you’re constantly booked and busy, honey. A true fashion inspiration.

If anyone in your life believes that Malaysian models can’t achieve international success, send them the link to this article and watch them be proven wrong. Watch this space as we’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled during the rest of the 2024 fashion week schedule for any other inspiring Malaysian faces strutting down the runway.

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