Cambodia has slowly been rebuilding both its economy and culture. Influences from the west and all over Asia are flooding in as young Cambodians look to the outside world for its popular culture references.


The modelling scene first appeared in the early 1990’s, originally spearheaded by Sapors modelling agency. Since then the number of agencies has grown but the market is still small. Internationally there is very little demand for Cam-bodian models, culturally Cambodia is quite reserved and with strong family ties and the majority of models work in the Cambodian market.


Editorial opportunities are limited to a hand full of local publications and models work for a relatively low income often promoting products and taking part in fashion shows in shopping malls and on TV shows.


Despite the lack of work many young Cambodians still aspire to be models and modelling agencies recognising this hold regular modelling classes, young “want to be” models attend these classes which cost around $100 a month. In the classes they learn how to walk and posture as well as taking part in mock up photo shoots to prepare them should they continue to be models . 

Waiting in the back stage dressing room at Cambodia TV9. Every week TV9 hosts a music and dance show with two segments allotted to a fashion show. The show is sponsored by Angkor beer. Conditions back stage are cramped and hot. Srey Leap (photographed in the foreground) is one of Cambodia’s new emerging models with the agency, Sun Models.

 

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The control room at Camboida TV9. Every week TV9 hosts a music and dance show with two segments allotted to a fashion show.

 

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Model, Kam Sambath, has her hair done on set of a photoshoot. Kam Sambath was meant to attend a modelling competition in Hong Kong. Just before she was meant to fly her family stopped her amid concerns for her safety. They did not want her to go to Hong Kong alone. Cambodian Culture is still very reserved and family focused, young female models often face difficulties from their families over concerns of how they might be perceived.

 

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Cambodian Women's Talk show being filmed. The new show is the first of its kind in Cambodia, the 4 hosts discuss contemporary issues for women in Cambodia. 

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Aspiring Model framed through the high heel platform shoes of another model. High heels and plat- forms are currently a big trend in Cambodia and being able to walk in such shoes is a priority for the aspiring models, just like any other models around the globe. Sun Models charge $100 a month for an intensive model training course. The aspiring models come to the training every evening.

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Cambodia draws many influences for its style and fashion trends, with a huge influence from South Korea. “Style” is often discussed and a new generation of Cambodians looking for international influence to there styles. At Sapors modelling agency an aspiring model practices her turns.

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During the catwalk classes the aspiring models are taught how to model for a photo shoot.

The classes are taught by Em Riem (Pictured holding the ipad) a Cambodian artist and former model. Em Riem studied art in France and also worked as a model whilst he studied. Aspiring young Cambodian models hold Em Riem in high regard. 

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Whilst the number of independent fashion designers in Cambodia, both local and expatriate grow the majority of fashion shows are held in Shopping malls. The models wear the brands sold in the mall to promote sales. The shows also have their own format where the audience have a chance to win prizes as part of a lucky dip.

 

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Young Cambodian model wearing fake nails uses her mobile phone. The Lady Magazine editorial team opted for Chinese inspired styling for this shoot to coincide with Chinese New Year which is widely celebrated in Cambodia.

 

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Rendell is the daughter of Sapors (owner of Sapors modelling agency).  She is of British and Cambodian heritage and studies in Australia. At only 16 years old she has also modelled in Australia and is tipped to be one of Cambodia’s next big models.

 

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Picture of Sapor the owner of Sapors models. The modelling scene first appeared in the early 1990’s, spearheaded by Sapors modelling agency. Since then the number of agencies has grown but the market is still small.

 

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Young Models get ready ahead of a fashion event.

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Make up used as part of a photoshoot.

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Novice model walks bear footed next to a more experienced class mate in heels. New trainees often don’t have any access to heels and as part of their training are conditioned by walking on the balls of their feet.

 

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