Born to an Austrian father and a Malaysian mother, Mika Aaron Jenewein started his modelling career as young as the age of 8. Mika got his first breakthrough when he was crowned first runner-up in Malaysia Supermodel Search in 2015. Since then, the 190-cm tall model also placed second at Fresh Faces in Barcelona is now signed under an Austrian modelling agency. At the recent Pitti Uomo 92 and Milan Fashion Week, we spotted him at some of the biggest shows like J.W. Anderson, Ermenegildo Zegna and Neil Barrett.
ESQUIRE: Tell us more about yourself.
MIKA AARON JENEWIN: I've been in the industry for about 2 years now. It all started with Supermodel Search Malaysia 2015 when I got called up on stage by one of the judges to do the audition. Another big part of me being a model is my family. They were always there to support me and I think that’s really important in any profession you do.
ESQ: You've walked some of the biggest shows this season, how do you feel?
MAJ: On one hand, I can’t be too proud right now, because I’m still not where I want to be. I will continue my hard work, try to improve myself and keep on working until I made my dreams come true. On the other hand, everything I've reached is so overwhelming for me. I mean I’m super young (19) and especially in July I’ve been travelling a lot. I still can not believe all of this is actually happening to me. But in general I’m just really thankful. Thankful to my mom and dad who always believe in me, thankful to my brother who is very good at reminding me, that he looks better than me :P And also to my agency who always keeps on pushing me and continues to work on everything.
(Left: At the J. W. Anderson SS18 show (photo: Imaxtree/Andrea Adriani); Right: At the Neil Barrett SS18 show (photo: Imaxtree/Salvatore Dragone)
ESQ: Which was your favorite show and why?
MAJ: My favourite show was Zegna because all of the outfits were amazing! The whole show was just so much effort and everything was so nicely done, that I just really enjoyed my whole time there.
ESQ: What was the most memorable moment?
MAJ: It was when J.W. Anderson gave us the converse shoes from the runway! Haha
ESQ: Lead us into the backstage of a show. Is it always chaotic?
MAJ: The backstage can either be very chaotic or very calm. It really depends on the show. In general, everybody is enjoying their time and it’s more like hanging out with the crew and being happy about the show that’s about to happen, then taking it too seriously or being stressed.
(Left: At the Ermenegildo Zegna SS18 show (photo: Imaxtree/Salvatore Dragone); Right: At the GCDS SS18 show (photo: Imaxtree/Alessandro Lucioni)
ESQ: What is the best thing you've learned in the modelling world?
MAJ: The best thing I've learned in the modelling world is confidence. In private, I’m a bit shy, but through modelling, it forces me to be more outgoing and I have to talk to more people than I usually do. It’s still not that easy for me, but I’m getting there.
ESQ: What do you look forward to next?
MAJ: I just arrived in Paris and it’s my first season here, so I’m really excited about everything. I’m very busy with castings, but I’m just looking forward to the experience in this beautiful city.
ESQ: Will we be seeing more of you in Europe?
MAJ: I will try my best to let you see more but competition is very hard here in Europe and there are so many good models. I’m already thankful for the shows I got in Milan, so everything that comes now is a real big bonus for me.
ESQ: What do you miss the most about Malaysia?
MAJ: Malaysian food! And my favourite sirap bandung! I also miss my friends a lot, because we often hang out at a mall or a skate park. We are very close, I’m already looking forward to seeing them again.
ESQ: Who is your favorite designer and which show would you like to walk the most?
MAJ: For Milan, my favorites are Prada, Gucci and Zegna. In Paris, I really like Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme and Kenzo. And of course I would love to walk for all of them. A smaller designer I really like is Giuliano Calza and his brand GCDS (God Can't Destroy Streetwear).