BAZAAR Cover: Suganya Opens Up About Finding Her Own Voice And Self-Worth

Embark on BAZAAR cover star Suganya’s journey of growth, in tandem with our 21st anniversary, as she reflects on experiences, aspirations, and commitment to the modelling world.

Photography by Chee Wei. Styling and text by Ainina Hasnul.
Suganya wears looks from Dior Spring/Summer ’24, with jewellery from Cartier. Shot on location at the SP Setia Corporate HQ in Shah Alam.
BAZAAR cover Suganya

Harpe’s BAZAAR Malaysia April ’24 cover, featuring Suganya

 

In the enchanting world of fashion, where dreams are woven into threads of creativity, there emerges Suganya—a fresh and captivating talent, whose journey is as inspiring as her charm. At just 26, Suganya, with her sharp features and infectious energy, embodies the essence of youthful vibrance, an ideal capture for our 21st anniversary issue.

Hailing from Perak, Suganya’s introduction to the industry was marked by determination and resilience. Despite the early morning calls and long journeys, her spirit remained unwavering, leaving an indelible mark on everyone she encountered.

Harper's BAZAAR April '24 cover, Suganya

Pleated silk chiffon dress, DIOR. Trinity earrings; Trinity necklace; Trinity ring; and Panthere de Cartier watch, all CARTIER.

 

Her story is one of tenacity and passion, navigating the intricate pathways of the fashion world with grace. From humble beginnings to her current standing, Suganya’s ascent has been nothing short of remarkable, all while maintaining her humility.

In a recent interview, Suganya candidly shared her experiences, reflecting on her journey and feeling deeply connected to the celebration of BAZAAR’s 21st anniversary.

Reflecting on your journey since your inaugural modelling trip to Jakarta in 2023, what standout experiences have shaped you, and what are your aspirations for 2024?

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My journey to Jakarta marked a significant milestone in my career. Within my first month there, I secured a campaign, a show, and a magazine editorial, which was incredibly rewarding. However, I faced challenges upon my return, discovering that the agency I was signed with no longer existed, and I had yet to be compensated for my work. 

Despite this setback, I continued to build my portfolio and reputation, landing opportunities with notable names in the industry. Looking ahead to 2024, I am eager to embark on an international modelling journey. While I anticipate the challenges ahead, I am determined to pursue my dreams and make my mark on the global runway scene. 

BAZAAR cover Suganya

On Suganya: Pleated silk chiffon dress, DIOR. Trinity earrings; Trinity necklace; Trinity ring; and Panthere de Cartier watch, all CARTIER. On Gwen: Asymmetric shirt; trousers; and Dior Boy loafers, both from DIOR. Trinity earrings; Trinity necklace; Trinity bracelets; and Trinity ring, all from CARTIER.

 

As we celebrate our magazine’s 21st anniversary, how does it feel to be the cover girl for such a momentous occasion?

Being chosen as the cover girl for BAZAAR’s 21st anniversary issue is an overwhelming moment for me. From the sheer excitement of hearing the news to the realisation of gracing the cover solo, it was truly surreal. Reflecting on my journey, starting with a shared digital cover just a year ago, this milestone feels like a testament to the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my career. I’m incredibly grateful to the entire team at BAZAAR, especially Aziz, for believing in me and granting me this opportunity. 

BAZAAR cover Suganya

Asymmetric shirt; and skirt, both DIOR. Trinity earrings; Trinity bracelet; Trinity rings, all from CARTIER

 

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Reflecting on your own journey, do you remember what you were like at 21, and how have you evolved since then?

At 21, I was a different person altogether. Looking back, I’m not sure if I fully embraced that version of myself, but I recognise the importance of that period in shaping who I am today. I was young and somewhat naive, often taking failures personally and being overly critical of myself. 

However, through self-reflection and growth, I’ve become more compassionate towards myself, allowing room for mistakes as opportunities for growth. While I still have much to learn about managing my emotions and cultivating self-love, I’ve undoubtedly matured since then. Perhaps when I’m 31 and being interviewed again, I’ll have an entirely new perspective to share, reflecting further on my journey of growth and self-discovery.

Asymmetric shirt; skirt; and Adiorable heeled boots, all DIOR. Trinity earrings; Trinity bracelet; Trinity rings, all from CARTIER.

 

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self, knowing what you know now about the fashion industry?

If I could go back and advise my younger self, I would emphasise one thing above all: start now. You’ll never be entirely ready, and there will never be a perfect moment to begin. Embrace your flaws and imperfections gracefully because they are what make you unique. 

Understand that the fashion world is constantly evolving, and there will always be room for new talent and fresh perspectives. Have the courage to take risks, be open to learning, and adapt to change. Remember, what you bring to the table is entirely within your control, and it’s your actions that will ultimately shape your journey in this dynamic industry.

Oversized blazer; shirt; skirt; Lady Dior bag; Toile de Jouy Soleil scarf; Adiorable heeled boots, all from DIOR. Trinity necklace;Trinity rings, all from CARTIER.

 

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How do you maintain authenticity while navigating the demands and expectations of the fashion industry?

Balancing authenticity with the demands of the fashion industry can be challenging. While I always strive to stay true to who I am, I quickly realised that this isn’t always straightforward, especially when starting out. Clients often prefer models who are easy to work with, but that doesn’t mean compromising on personal values.

Early in my career, I found that my sharp features were highly sought after by make-up artists and designers. However, behind the scenes, I was sacrificing my health, leading to extreme weight loss and physical discomfort. Reflecting on this, I realised I needed to prioritise my well-being.

After three years in the industry, I’m gradually finding my voice and advocating for myself. While it may sometimes lead to disagreements or missed opportunities, staying true to my principles is paramount. As long as I feel confident and aligned with my values, I know I’m making the right choices for myself.

Macrocannage jacket; tank top; with Macrocannage flared skirt; all from DIOR. Trinity necklace; Trinity bracelets; Trinity rings; and Panthere de Cartier watch, all from CARTIER.

 

Share your thoughts on the importance of representation and diversity in the fashion world, and how you aim to use your platform as a model to advocate for inclusivity and positive change.

To be diverse, you must be inclusive. These two concepts are interconnected. Despite Malaysia’s diversity, true representation of its people is lacking in the fashion industry. It’s essential to move beyond conventional beauty standards and embrace a variety of identities.

Advocating for inclusivity means booking a diverse range of models, including those with darker skin tones and different body types. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone feels represented and can relate to the fashion portrayed in magazines and brand catalogues. As a model, I strive to use my platform to support diversity by showcasing a variety of models with unique stories and perspectives, both online and offline. Additionally, I aim to collaborate with local designers and brands committed to fostering positive change within the industry.

Creative director: Abdul Aziz Draim
Art director: Khairani Ramli
Hair: Ckay Liow
Make-up: Khir Khalid
Assistants: Ainina Hasnul & Syazrel Boharin
Special thanks to SP Setia Berhad for the use of their premises.