Global Maven: Jessica Minh Anh

Paris’ River Seine, London’s Tower Bridge, The Savoy, and Malaysia’s iconic Petronas Towers. To most people these would be bucket list destinations but for model and fashion director Jessica Minh Anh, these are the places she’s used as a runway.

Jessica Minh Anh on Tatler Magazine (May 2012)

Hailing from Malaysia, Jessica has a taste for the extreme — she was the first person to do a fashion show on the iconic Tower Bridge of London in 2011, it would be the same site where the Olympic rings were proudly displayed in 2012. Since her first outing, Jessica has been featured by numerous magazines, among them, Marie Claire Malaysia and TV networks BBC and Fashion One TV.

J Model Management’s high profile shows on international press 2011-2012

Her most recent accomplishment is a fashion show that could only be described as “walking on water.” The MEGA team met Jessica in Bateau Mouche where the show took place. It was aboard the glass boat Le Jean Bruel. As the music reverberated through the boat, we were treated to a visual spectacle — on one hand a fashion show featuring designers from all over Asia, including our very own Joyce Pilarsky and on another, the scenic landmarks of Paris. For someone so young, Jessica has already achieved global status and is yet still hungry for more.

Jessica is said to redefine the modern fashion show standard

She fills her 18 hours per day running J Model Management’s seasonal showcases, training staffs, photoshoots, interviews, and the gym

MEGASTYLE:   Why did you conceive of doing a fashion show on the River Seine? JESSICA:  After my two history making showcases on England’s iconic Tower Bridge and PETRONAS Twin Towers’ Skybridge, everyone was guessing it would be another bridge. I wanted to focus more on the creativity side of my shows rather than just height and capture a series of architectural wonders of the city of light instead of just one destination. A floating catwalk on the world’s most famous river sounds like a perfect idea to me. It wasn’t until I took the first step on the catwalk when I realized the concept worked perfectly. The surrounding was changing continuously as the boat passed by Paris architectural masterpieces such as Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, and Grand Palais des Champs Elysees along the Seine and the 37 beautiful bridges. Also, as the show started at 8pm and finished at 9:30pm, the transition from daylight to night was incredible. I believe guests truly enjoyed the whole fashion show experience of watching models walking in front of them as if they were walking on water. I love making people surprised and happy.

J Model Management shooting at the Louvre (July 2012)

MEGASTYLE:  What is your personal motivation for mounting these fashion shows (London’s Tower Bridge, PETRONAS Twin Towers’ Skybridge, the Seine)? JESSICA:  My goal of entering the industry is to make a big difference by creating fresh and exciting fashion show concepts. With J Model Management, I have the opportunity to do so while working with the most talented and ambitious individuals. Being the first to set a milestone on some of the world’s most extraordinary venues, I always face initial technical and logistics challenges. But I personally believe there is always a solution to a problem and have so far manage to overcome them. That has definitely made me stronger and more motivated to conquer the next destination. I believe it takes a lot of courage to transform your dreams into reality and I am very thankful for the way I was brought up as we were always trained to be fighters in lives. If you want something, you just have to go for it.

Jessica’s latest fashion shoot at the Louvre, Paris by British fashion photographer John Oakley

MEGASTYLE:  In your point of view, what is the future for Asian design? JESSICA:  Asian designers are getting more and more recognition in the fashion world and the most intriguing thing about their collections is probably the combination of the best of East and West. I think Asians generally have a good eye for detail and I respect that. I am very positive that [there will soon be] a firm position for Asian design in the high fashion world in the near future.

Jessica Minh Anh in Joyce Pilarsky finale dress during the J Summer Fashion Show 2012

MEGASTYLE:  What about Filipino designer Joyce Pilarsky made you take notice and why did you choose her to join the Seine fashion show? JESSICA:  When I saw Joyce’s exquisite embroidered lace dresses in beautiful colous, I knew she would be an amazing addition to J Summer Fashion Show. Her collection shows a lot of strength, sophistication, and elegance. It’s for a modern women who dares to stand out in the crowd. The smooth combination of silk and crystals in her many unique designs makes each piece a must-have creation. I wanted her to open the show and I couldn’t be more happy. It did light up the beginning of the catwalk.

Top: Jessica as front row VIP at Paris Fashion Week 2012; Below: Backstage at Paris Fashion Week

MEGASTYLE: What are your upcoming plans? JESSICA:  I am looking forward to hosting my shows at the most beautiful cities in the world in the upcoming years. I can never stop planning and exploring various options. The idea of adapting to a new culture while implementing new and unique concepts fascinate me.  

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