KLFW model payout issue: here's what model Alicia Amin has to say

09 Aug 2022 04:45pm
Raja Alicia Raja Amin
Raja Alicia Raja Amin

SHAH ALAM – Hot on the heels of the commotion surrounding backdated payments for modeling services in past Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week shows, social media was rampant with the local modeling community being vocal on the issue.

In an interview with model and actress Raja Alicia Raja Amin, who formerly walked for the prestigious fashion event, she opened up about her own experience and how she thinks this situation could be improved in the future.

“In 2019 when I was paid upfront I rallied with the younger new models to help them with payment as I was aware of what happens behind the scenes and many of them still haven’t gotten paid until today despite my many conversations with him (KLFW founder, Andrew Tan) and the team.

“In 2013 after refusing to pay me for over a year, I threatened to sue as my mother is a lawyer. After that they refused to work with me until 2019 when I became more established,” said the 27-year-old.

Alicia went on to say that anyone who makes a big deal about payment loses favour. Those who keep quiet and just silently wait for it will get more work opportunities but the money owed will eventually accumulate, she said.

“That’s why some people had owings up to tens of thousands as per my IG stories. There are many people who have shown me screenshots of them chasing their money for years just to receive a reply of “waiting for money from sponsors” or being ghosted completely,” she added.

The fuss surrounding the model payout issue garnered mixed reactions, so much so that social media users even questioned if the event should go on.

However, Alicia said that KLFW as an event is essential and an amazing platform for designers, brands and freelancers to work together.

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She said to cancel KLFW is to rob our country of a major fashion event and work opportunities.

“What we need is a different organiser who respects the people he sub-contracts while honouring their payment.

“Get rid of this “at least I pay you even if it’s late” mentality. Preferably after almost 10 years of KLFW and continuous payment issues I think it is fair to say that KLFW should be taken over by someone else.

“Maybe hire an accountant or a paymaster to keep these things in check. It is irresponsible and disrespectful to leverage the fact that KLFW is an important event to mistreat your staff and contractors.

She said the easiest way is to implement signing of contracts when engaging in large events, but for small time models they may be rejected for being careful.

The freelance industry in Malaysia is heading a dangerous direction if the biggest fashion event in the country cannot pay those they hire.

“What about the smaller shows? Do we have a future then?” she questioned.

Attempts to contact other models and others who may have experienced payment issues proved futile as they were unresponsive.

Recently, The Vibes reported on Tan addressing allegations surrounding backdated model payments.

Tan emphasised that the operations relies on the efficacy of the payment terms which includes the participating partner’s end. He said they’ve had to deal with delayed payments from clients for up to a year or so.

The fashion director then urged those with payment issues to come forth and resolve it with him directly.