Singaporean chosen by Marc Jacobs for new ad campaign

Singaporean chosen by Marc Jacobs for new ad campaign
Nadia Rahmat is the only Singaporean chosen for Marc Jacobs' new ad campaign.

It started with the simple hashtag #castmemarc.

And next month, Nadia Rahmat's face will be plastered in fashion magazines worldwide as part of the latest Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2015 ad campaign.

At 1.65m and 50kg, the 24-year-old Singaporean does not look like your typical model.

Yet, the communications student was handpicked out of 50,000 people from around the world to be one of 11 new faces for the campaign.

Speaking to The New Paper on Tuesday, the affable and composed Nadia said: "It's very unreal, I can't believe it's really happening. It's like one of those times when you Photoshop your face onto an ad campaign, except that it's real this time.

"It feels weird and bizarre, but it's nice."

Last September, renowned US fashion brand Marc by Marc Jacobs held a worldwide social media casting, which allowed Instagram and Twitter users to submit photos, using the hashtag #castmemarc, for a chance to be featured in the ad.

Nadia recounted: "When I chanced upon the casting, I thought, 'Why not?'. I identify with the brand's style as it's fun and more 'street', so I decided to join."

She has never been signed to any modelling agency here, and has previously only done freelance modelling for local fashion labels Mash-Up and Yesah.

In 2011, she was scouted to join The New Paper's New Face modelling competition, but only made it to the second round.

By the time the Marc by Marc Jacobs casting ended on Sept 26, there were at least 100,000 posts with the hashtag #castmemarc with some participants submitting multiple photos.

In October, Nadia was informed via e-mail that she was one of 50-plus shortlisted hopefuls who would be flown to New York City for a face-to-face casting.

During her first visit to the Big Apple, she was sent straight to the studio - with luggage in tow - after touching down from a 24-hour flight.

She was then wearing a white tank top and a pair of velvet black leggings, and her long hair was braided.

The styling team kept her braids for the shoot, with the stylist giving her the nickname "braids girl".

Recalling the experience, Nadia laughed and said: "I thought I would have the chance to go to the hotel to freshen up first as I felt quite gross and wanted to shower so badly. It was so scary and really stressful."

However, instead of feeling insecure or intimidated, Nadia said she was more in awe when she saw her fellow contestants in the waiting room.

'TENSION IN THE ROOM'

She recalled: "I was thinking: 'All these people are so beautiful and unique in their own ways, what am I doing here?'. There was definitely tension in the room as it was obvious that everyone really wanted to be picked."

For Nadia, the waiting part was the hardest as names were called at random times throughout the second day of casting.

She recounted: "I was freaking out because all of us had no idea what was going on. It didn't mean that if our names were called, we were definitely picked.

"It depended on who suited the direction of the campaign. Everything felt very uncertain."

Ultimately, seven women and four men were chosen for the campaign, which was shot in New York City on the second and third day of the casting.

The only other Asian in the group was a female Korean designer.

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