CHARLENE CHUA AT STORM; GIRL POWER! words Hugo Fernandes - interview and fashion Joseph Parker - photography Celia Croft - HMUA Jayde Coxon
Twenty-one-year-old Charlene Chua at Storm is the kind of girl you wanna hang out with until the D-day of the doom of a zombie apocalypse happens and even then, she might just as well be the bad-ass girl who's gonna save you from the zombie attack. With her extra edgy looks and a striking personality, she is the perfect description of what girl-power is all about. Chua was born in the Netherlands and started her modeling career after having to step in for a model who never showed up for a job Charlene herself had booked - so yeah, from boss-lady to model; she graced the fashion realm with a unique and dazzling Asian beauty.
With an extensive editorial portfolio, Charlene has a style of her own, current, edgy, and fashion to the core she walks into the set to represent in the best way possible. F Word's own, Joseph Parker, had the pleasure of meeting with her for a chat and to take some pretty sick photos while taking the opportunity to see the force to be reckoned with that Charlene is. You go, girl!
HEADLINE IMAGE: Charlene wears swimsuit HOUSE OF HOLLAND X SPEEDO; hat WESTERAFFAIR
Joseph Parker: Charlene, nice to meet you! Let's start from the beginning. Where are you from?
Charlene Chua: I was born and raised in a city called The Hague in the Netherlands but eventually moved to Amsterdam.
J.P: Do you still live there? If not, where do you live now and how did you end up there?
C.C: I still live in Amsterdam but I come to London quite a lot because of modeling.
J.P: What is your favourite city out of the two?
C.C: Oooh... that’s a tough one, just because back in Amsterdam I have my friends and I would be close to my family. But I’m really starting to love London as well...I think I’ll have to for London (sorry friends and fam).
J.P: How old are you? If you don’t mind me asking?
C.C: I’m 252 months old AKA 21 years old. [Laughs]
J.P: You have beautiful skin; do you follow any particular routines any tips for the rest of us?
C.C: My skin wasn’t like this a few years ago. I’ve struggled with acne, dry skin and oily skin most of my teen years. Luckily I’ve finally found a routine that works for me. When I wake up I cleanse my skin, moisturize it with two types of moisturizers (because some parts of my face are oily and some dry), use sunscreen and I try to use a minimal amount of makeup. Before I go to bed I do the exact same thing. And I also try to change my pillowcase every week. BUT(!!!!!!) most importantly: DRINK WATER!!!!
Charlene wears shirt ROKIT VINTAGE; earrings MANIMEKALA
J.P: That's definitely good advice and a good routine. Okay, so, how did you get into modeling?
C.C: I used to have a clothing store with my two sisters. We were shooting for the webshop but the model got sick, so I had to jump in. Both the photographer, who was in an internship at a modeling agency, and the owner saw the pictures and scouted me. [Smiles]
J.P: What is the best thing about the modeling/fashion industry – in your opinion?
C.C: Traveling and meeting new people. [Smiles]
J.P: Do you follow any trends?
C.C: I think everyone does. If I like a trend, I’ll incorporate into what I usually would wear but I will never participate in a trend just because it’s “in”.
J.P: And how is your relationship with social media?
C.C: I’m in a love and hate relationship with social media. I love to be up to date of things my friends and family are doing. It’s also a portfolio for your work. But sometimes I just want to delete everything. There are a lot of shitty people, shitty messages, etc. online.
J.P: Who would be the top three Instagram profiles you would give a shout out to?
C.C: @rachelchua_ (my sister, the firstborn), @denisechua (my sister, the sandwich child) and @julienamatkarijo (my sister from another mister and mom, my best best best friend). [Laughs]
J.P: Do you do anything else outside of modeling (career-wise)?
C.C: I used to be a trained ballet dancer and I’ve been missing doing that a lot lately, so maybe picking that up. I love to write and draw as well.
J.P: Favourite modeling job to date?
C.C: If I had to choose one, I think that would be the Shiseido campaign I did a while ago, just because that’s my mom’s 'fav' skincare line. [Smiles]
Charlene wears corset HOLLY SIMPSON; skirt STILL STILL STUDIO; belt ROKIT VINTAGE; shoes WESTERNAFFAIR
J.P: A person you look up to:
C.C: My mom! The self-made businesswoman, the tiger mom, and the OG boss lady. [Laughs]
J.P: Favourite and worst food:
C.C: Favourite food, probably anything that’s made out of potato: chips, crisps, mashed potato, you get where this is going [laughs]. But I also love a good homemade salad and soup. Worst food: toast with Marmite.
J.P: What is your go-to music genre?
C.C: Hip hop.
J.P: If we press play on your playlist now – what are we going to listen to?
C.C: Probably any song with Burna Boy in it.
J.P: Top three movies:
C.C: Mulan (!!!), Gran Torino and The Green Mile.
J.P: Do you have any pet peeves?
C.C: People who eat loudly and nasty: Stop. Doing. That. Oh and also people who clap when the plane lands.
J.P: Actually, do you have any pets?
C.C: I used to have dogs when I was younger. I also had 21 goldfishes, “Blub, Blub I, Blub II, etc.) but after the 21st fish past away, my mom had to stop me from buying a new one.
Charlene wears sunglasses STYLIST'S OWN; sparkle suit NATHALIE COSTE; dress ELVHEM; shoes CAMPER LAB
J.P: Describe your perfect day?
C.C: A day with my family and friends, a lot of food, maybe some wine [wink] and football (Liverpool!!!).
J.P: What is your biggest fear?
J.P: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
C.C: Probably Singapore or China to visit family.
J.P: One thing you stand for?
C.C: Treat each other nicely and equally. Be open to healthy conversations. Even though you might have different opinions, listen and you might learn something from each other.
J.P: What's your favourite ‘F' word?
C.C: French Freaking Fucking FRIES.
Words: Hugo Fernandes
Interview and fashion: Joseph Parker
Photography: Celia Croft
HMUA: Jayde Coxon
Charlene wears dress BRUNA IGNATOWAKA; stockings CALZEDONIA; shoes WESTERNAFFAIR
Charlene wears sunglasses STYLIST'S OWN; sparkle suit NATHALIE COSTE; dress ELVHEM
Charlene wears swimsuit HOUSE OF HOLLAND X SPEEDO; hat WESTERAFFAIR