21st Century Boy - Azfar Firdaus
CLEO Malaysia|July - August 2019

Rising from rebellion, Azfar Firdaus is a model with albinism who is all about acceptance beyond labels.

The world’s perspective of beauty has changed, we now bask in the beauty of imperfections and differences. What started out as a favour turned into a side gig for Azfar Firdaus, our country’s first Albino model. He’s a PhD student that juggles his studies and modelling, which is no easy feat, but he does it to help shed light on albinism and how they live. Growing up, nobody treated Azfar differently — not his family nor his friends. It was self-realisation for Azfar, and coming to terms with his condition was hard. But soon enough he found the silver-lining and changed his perspective.

Azfar is determined to let people know more about albinism through modelling, so that those with the same condition can go out there and be themselves, feeling empowered and free, and that their differences are celebrated. We had the opportunity to sit down with the talented and inspiring Azfar as he opens up albinism, how he copes with it , his journey to becoming a model, rising from rebellion and what he thinks about beauty.

Can you tell me how you got into modelling?

Well , for me it started out as sort of a charity thing. I have this one friend who was running a modelling programme for disabled kids, so he approached and said “Hey you’re unique, why don’t you put yourself forward so that we can move forward as a brand?”, and that ’s when I decided to just go for it , that it ’s a good thing to have that sort of exposure and also to expose lives of the disabled to the world.

Have you ever thought of doing it permanently/professionally?

For now, personally for me, I like to do it as a part time thing. Because I don’t like the whole idea of putting too much pressure on how I look or how I dress. Cause I like doing it , but for fun.

Do you have any current fashion obsessions?

Um, current fashion obsessions... Well , y ’know the new Detective Pikachu movie? I like how they dressed like Pokémon trainers; all dressed in oversized hoodies and leggings.

What are some closet essentials that you have to have?

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