These are the Malaysian Models Walking the International Fashion Week Runways

They are taking over in stride.

It’s hard for Malaysian models to break into the international scene, let alone the major fashion weeks. Notoriously known for being exclusive when it comes to model casting, inclusivity and diversity have been the elephant in the room for centuries—still prevalent today, unfortunately—in the fashion industry as a whole. The silver lining is, however, pioneers are fighting out there, putting our nation’s name on the map—slowly but surely. 

The proud moment when we see Malaysian faces strutting down the runway is mutual. As they walk down the runway for legendary brand names during the major fashion weeks—Paris, Milan, New York, and London—they will also pave the way for future successors. They have changed—and will continue to change the game. These Malaysian models may not be household names yet, but their effort deserves every ounce of respect and recognition. 

Ridzman Zidaine

The past few years might be a slump for many but not for Ridzman Zidaine. Making his first official debut in 2019, Zidaine has an outstanding portfolio working with hotshots like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Issey Miyake, J.W. Anderson, and Lemaire, to name a few. As the first Malay male model to walk the Paris Fashion Week, Zidaine is a trailblazer taking the fashion world by storm. 

Shikin Gomez 

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Nationally recognised, Shikin Gomez has recently walked for the Dior Pre-Fall 2023 showcase in Mumbai. It’s not the first time Gomez made it on the global stage—she was also the runner-up for Cycle 5 of Asia’s Next Top Model back in 2017. Since then, Gomez has been a venerable model walking for Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week for the past few years. Her appearance on Dior’s runway left an indelible impression, for both herself and all the up-and-coming models in Malaysia. 

Vanizha Vasanthanathan

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Vanizha Vasanthanathan’s story as a dancer and a model is inspiring, and her appearance at Milan Fashion Week back in 2022, too, was as phenomenal. As an Indian classical dancer, not only is Vanizha born to be a model standing at 181cm, her impactful stomps, literally and figuratively, made her a star dominating the Italian runway for Marco Rambaldi and ACT N°1.  

Atikah Karim 

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Atikah Karim needs no introduction. Now based in New York City, the Sabahan model has a distinguished allure that is hard to miss. Representing East Malaysians, Karim is spearheading the fashion scene. All eyes were on her as she glided down the runway for brand names like Rick Owen, Marine Serre, Y/Project, and Peter Do, to name a few. 

Gwen Lu

Signed with model agencies in almost every fashion city, Gwen Lu has a decade-long experience as a pret-a-porter and haute couture model. Her suave and poised appeal made her a regular face in Balenciaga’s shows. It’s also refreshing to see her sashay her way down the parvis of the Pierre and Marie Curie University campus recently for the Lemaire Spring/Summer 2024 show.