entertainment

"I Did My Due Diligence" — Alicia Amin Reveals Aftermath Of KLFW Protest For Unpaid Models

"Models from previous owings had their money cleared out as well, from [the] year 2015 even."

Cover image via @hangriii (Instagram)

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Malaysian supermodel and actress Alicia Amin recently garnered national press for a protest she held at the venue of KL Fashion Week (KLFW) 2022

On 18 August, the Asia's Next Top Model alumni took a stance outside the venue of the show at Pavilion Bukit Bintang, holding up a giant sign in her one-woman protest for models that were unpaid by the event.

"All models this year to be paid within a day," the sign began. "Those still waiting for Andrew's payments from previous years, come speak to me," the caption ended, with Amin referring to founder of KLFW, Andrew Tan.

Alicia being confronted by security during the protest.

Image via @hangriii (Instagram)

Sharing the entire experience of her protest on social media, Amin posted a series of Instagram stories during her demonstration

Amin also clarified some confusion on the matter for those who wondered about how walking for KLFW worked. "There are models that KLFW hires and rotates among shows accordingly. Designers can hire models outside the KLFW selection if they want," she explained.

Nonetheless, she was also forthright in explaining how tired she was of models being mistreated. "I'm alone because I don't want to risk anyone else's career or reputation. I can disagree and protest against terrible paymasters and still support my beloved designers who built my career because these two entities are not the same."

Taking the noble route, Amin disclosed that while she was not owed any money, she remembers how isolating and scary it was to be a young freelancer trying to balance getting what was rightfully hers and the opportunity to get booked again. "It's a hard place."

Instagram stories that were posted by Amin during her protest at KLFW 2022.

Image via @hangriii (Instagram)

Expounding on her intentions behind the protest, Amin later disclosed that the matter of models being unpaid spanned further than just the 2022 shows

In a conversation with Malay Mail last month, Amin revealed that the unresolved matter of models being unpaid had occurred for KLFW 2019, which moved her to take up the cause on behalf of other models for that year. After having a conversation with Tan to have the models paid, she still received messages months later that some models still did not receive payments.

However, the supermodel was also irked by a comment made by Tan this year stating, that while the establishment may be late in paying some models, they always end up getting paid.

Amin also recalled an experience she had with delayed payments after walking for KLFW in 2013, but received her dues after threatening to sue the company behind the event.

Amin backstage at the Syomirizwa Gupta show for KLFW 2022.

Image via @hangriii (Instagram)

Nonetheless, Amin expressed how she did not hate KLFW, nor was she looking to 'cancel' them

Speaking with SAYS, Amin was candid about holding Tan accountable regarding a conversation she had with him about paying the models within a day of their work at KLFW 2022.

"Previously, we tried talking about this but these issues of payment were still sorted. So to avoid another round of broken promises, I just made a promise between the two of us public for everyone to see, thus making this open secret a fact instead of hushed whispers. People cave under pressure, from media especially."

Tan had also commented on Amin's protest, noting that everyone has the freedom of expressing themselves, and that he would personally oversee all aspects of KLFW's finances for the 2022 show.

Amin in conversation with Tan outside of KLFW 2022.

Image via @hangriii (Instagram)

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Amin, who divulged on the progress of her efforts to get the unpaid models compensated

"All KLFW 2022 models were paid this year as far as I know," she said in conversation with this SAYS writer. "I did my due diligence backstage to ask everyone personally."

Amin also shared how models who had walked for KLFW in 2015 finally had their owed money cleared out as well, after a long and arduous wait.

However, the issue is not exactly resolved in its entirety, according to the supermodel. "Some less known models are still chasing their payments but I am in contact with them and following up when I can as best as I can," she noted.

Though she did not share extensive information on this issue, Amin also revealed that the matter of getting models paid has since caused some volunteers to come forward regarding bad working conditions of the show.

Amin backstage at KLFW 2022.

Image via @hangriii (Instagram)

Closing out our conversation, Amin had this to say about settling the ongoing issues surrounding KLFW:

I will do my best to settle one thing at a time, but I am aware some things are beyond me and might take more time for a full reform
Alicia Amin

We also recently spoke to a 67-year-old model who walked the runway at KLFW 2022:

Another model showed the devastating after-effects of walking in killer shoes on the runway: