In this first episode of the series, Rory Asyari chats with Ayu Gani about her journey in the modelling industry
Last year, Glenfiddich successfully presented ‘The Where Next Club’ in Indonesia by introducing several notable Mavericks, leading entrepreneurs who successfully push and break boundaries to excel in their business, each with inspiring stories about their passion, their career journey and how the two elements ultimately support one another. Walking towards the end of 2022, ‘The Where Next Club’ is back in collaboration with Prestige Indonesia.
Once again, Glenfiddich presents three amazing inspirational Mavericks in the interview series. As each session goes, we will learn about their passion and the source of their motivation, how they push and break boundaries in their field, and how they answer the important question: “Where next?”
In the first episode, Glenfiddich X Prestige: The Where Next Club invited the winner of 2015 Asia’s Next Top Model from Indonesia, Ayu Gani. Since won the competition, Gani has made her name and become not just an international model but also a content creator, motivational speaker and mentor for aspiring models. Moderated by Rory Asyari, Gani talked about her journey in the modelling industry from the very beginning and share about her plan for the upcoming future. With a slicked back hair, Gani looked stunning in a brown blazer dress from J Koo from Masari.
Gani described the start of her modelling career as “by an accident.” It was her mother who encouraged her to join a modelling competition by a well-known magazine in 2011. She admitted that she was rather a tomboy since she was a child, never used to wearing makeup, didn’t know how to dress well and even never wear high heels. When then her mother told her to join the modelling competition and become a model, that sparked a spirit in Gani, so she felt challenged and decided to sign up for the competition. At the end, she earned “The Most Favourite” title in the competition.
Gani’s career then started to thrive after she becomes the cover girl for the magazine, as the prize for being one of the winners. And not long after, she started getting a lot of offers to take part in photo shoots and fashion shows, including walking her first Jakarta Fashion Week fashion show.
In October 2012, Gani received an email inviting her for the casting of Asia’s Next Top Model. When she told her mother about it, once again her mother encouraged her to participate. So, Gani went and applied for the popular competition. After almost a year of casting process, Gani finally went into quarantine in Singapore in 2013 and after a quite of long process, she became the first Indonesian to win Asia’s Next Top Model in 2015.
Gani shares that she never expected that joining the competition on a whim would really change her career and even her life. In one single evening after she won the Asia’s Next Top Model, Gani’s social media followers went up to 200 thousand followers and every media, headlines, news was all about her winning at that time.
As Glenfiddich has always challenged convention and embraced the unknown, Gani’s career is also not without challenges of its own. From getting rejected by modelling agencies and fashion shows, to challenges that comes from herself, such as insecurities and how she feels that she doesn’t belong in the industry and as a person at that time. But Gani overcome those challenges by never quit. She always put herself back up and try again, over and over. One other thing is that she always listens to the people who are being supportive of her, the ones who are always encourage her to try.
Just like Glenfiddich that has transformed and evolve over the years to become the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt, as a professional model who has walked in international runway, Gani has also transformed into a more mature individual. She elaborates that as she encounters and overcomes problems in her life and career, she also grows to become a better person.
As a lifelong learner, Gani is always inspire to learn something new and interesting. And speaking of inspiration, from the inspirational aspects of Glenfiddich, Gani found something in line with herself as a person. “From the tagline itself: ‘Where Next?’ I always ask myself: where next?” tells Gani. “I mean, in the past, I’ve won Asia’s Next Top Model. I think that was the biggest top of my career that year and then I’ve also done international modelling work in London, in Europe, in the U.S. And then I always question myself: what else do I want to do? Where next? So, I think it started from there, we can dig up a lot of things. Starting from a simple question: where next?”
To answer that question, Gani spells out her next journey. Besides being a modelling mentor for Indonesian models, Gani has her own modelling agency which she founded during the Covid-19 pandemic. With her modelling agency, Gani wants to give back and contribute something to the fashion industry. She also founded a modelling school because she wants for many aspiring models out there or people who want to become a model to know what it feels like to be one.
Not just that, Gani also plans to base her modelling agency in New York and becoming a bridge between modelling agencies in Indonesia and New York. Taking inspiration from Glenfiddich which has contributed to introduce modern category single malt whisky to the world, which it started in 1963 to become well-known today, Gani also aspire to introduce Indonesian models to the outside world as well.
As the interview reaches the end, Gani shares a message to the audience so that they can push themselves and break boundaries to become successful. “I think, most importantly: don’t be easily satisfied. I’m never easily satisfied about something. And always keep in mind that whatever you do will continue. Like, there’s still a ’Where’s next?’ question lingering. Because when we always ask the Where’s Next question in our head, we will always dig deep on what else is there within ourselves that we haven’t achieved yet, what other goals do we want to score, what else do we want to be in life. I think what’s important is having the mindset and thoughts to never stop,” Gani closes.
Like Brett Bayly, Regional Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich Southeast Asia, said: “Glenfiddich has always been an innovator, always challenging convention and pursuing excellence in the category. We have never stood still, constantly pushing boundaries with new innovations and fresh experiences. We hope that the continuation of The Where Next Club in Indonesia keeps inspiring people with these amazing stories.”
See the full interview in the video below: