What does it mean to be a Cambodian super model?

In a world surrounded by spotlights, cameras, and people, fame inspires women to pursue careers as models. The media play a huge role in inspiring Cambodian supermodels, and now it’s up to them to show what they can do.

Supermodels: who are they?

A Cambodian supermodel, Chan Kongka, was the first to compete on the national stage through a program called Cambodian Next Model. As an official super model recognized locally and internationally, she serves as an inspiration and idol for a new generation of Cambodian girls who wish to follow the same paths.

How does it feel to be a supermodel?

As opposed to Hollywood and the West, where supermodels are wealthy and respected by society, Cambodia is at a very early stage. Kongka lives in a model apartment in Phnom Penh with her foreigner boyfriend. By producing quality content for herself including photos and videos, she is keeping people aware of who she is. She actually invests her own money in producing those content and is trying to keep up with the trend.

In what ways did they earn a living?

Most of the time, it’s a freelance job. Depending on the project, which is interested in her beauty and talent, they hire her by the day or by contract for an act, a photo shoot or a video advertisement. Acting in TV shows, music videos, and films will earn her money, but not as much as we think. It’s 100 dollars per day to 500 dollars per day depending on the project. She will need to find other income from her social media posts. Similar to the super star, she is looking for a yearly contract to do product placement in her social media content as a brand ambassador.

When she isn't working as a supermodel, what is life like for her?

Just like everyone else, she is active, looking to create new things, and doing things for her family.

What is the role of fashion in Cambodia?

A very young fashion industry exists in Cambodia, and somehow it is struggling to grow. Since there is no recognized local fashion brand in Cambodia, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to catch up and create something new. Currently, there is an eco-system in place. A super model trend is thriving, digitally very active. There is very little labor required to produce the actual product, but there is no creativity to create a strong and promising fashion brand.

What will the future look like for supermodels in Cambodia?

Cambodia is always influenced by its market, and for now, everyone is on social media, and Tik Tok is the most active one, where all super models are creating their own shows. In the future, probably a new local fashion brand built for local consumers, something affordable, easy to wear, adaptable to the climate, adaptable to the culture. It’s only a matter of time before it happens.

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