Eny Jaki - Female mongolian model
ENY JAKI - International figure of Mongolian model

There is no doubt that Mongolian Model Eny Jaki is taking the leading place to represent Mongolian models internationally.

Her career skyrockets her to the most prestigious fashion destinations including Milan, Paris and New-York. A dream that became success story intertwined between passion, difficulties and self-improvement.

Eny Jaki - Mongolian model

As a model you got to combine all the works of the photographer, stylist, make-up artist. You  see what they want and then combine it all to give the feeling.

Eny Jaki

You currently live in Berlin. How is the life over there?

I got here last February 2020 for work, then just got stuck for one year because of the Corona crisis. It’s good for my career but I do miss my son and my family. But I enjoy Berlin too, how free people are and many interesting people living here. Before I never explored the underworld, how people party, how do they think. I never had as many friends as I do now. It’s quite an exploration to me.

Is modeling part of the culture in Mongolia?

There are a lot of agencies in Mongolia that teach modeling. I started with that also. I was 17 when my mum brought me to model courses, she wanted me to learn to walk and to take care of myself because I was quite boyish back then. And I didn’t know how to take care of my skin, hair, nails and so on. Before that I didn’t know what fashion industry was and from these courses I understood what was fashion is. I got really attached to it and that’s how it started. Then they told me maybe you could be a model. That was a cool activity beside studies and I accepted. The first year I really started working as a photo model was for Gobi Cashmere. Then I settled with Mongol Model Agency.

You also performed abroad?

They sent me to Singapore, which was my first modeling experience abroad. I didn’t do really well back then. But I kept going and thought I would have more chances outside of Asia. So I sent my photos to agencies in Europe and the USA. I got an opportunity to go to New York to represent a Mongolian brand, and that’s where I met my scouting director. He connected me to all my agencies.

Eny Jaki - Model from Mongolia

And that’s when things really took off?

I started working in New York, Paris, London, and other places. I’ve been modeling for 7 years now, but it hasn’t been full time from the start. Now I got agencies in Germany, Paris, Milan and NY and recently I got onto Models.com. Which is quite amazing because I used to look up models on this website and dreamed of being there myself. Now I feel I can finally call myself a professional model.

Big brands choose you so often. What makes you special?

I guess the world is changing. From what I see they don’t always use feminine models now. With Black Lives Matter, cultural differences, gender equality… they are looking for new interesting faces. Brands want their models to be super cool, talented, unique.

So I cut my hair, started to explore myself. And the more I became me the more I was getting booked. With my body language, my facial expression, I try to be cool. Now the fashion industry is choosing models who aren’t super skinny : plus size models are doing an amazing job. Being you is the new vision I guess.

Eny Jaki - Female model from Mongolia

What is the impact of being Asian-Mongolian?

I guess I am becoming a representative for Asian girls, and the fact that I am Mongolian seems quite interesting. When I see people they are impressed that I came from this country and it makes me feel super special. As a model in Mongolia, there isn’t much connection to the outer world. There are no model agencies in Mongolia, that has connections, so it’s quite hard to go abroad.

But once you are here they treat you as an individual without making a distinction between where people are from. A model is a model. Me and Ariunzul Oyunbaatar, who is working in Hamburg, are somehow the two first models representing Mongolia abroad. In Mongolia there are no model agencies but I think it’s the beginning!

Eny Jaki - Asian Model

What is your relationship with the camera?

I have to connect with the camera. When I see a camera I tend to move like a snake. I move with it, control which side should I look at, which angle the camera has. It’s a special connection. It’s like choreography. and if you are in the flow you can be one with the camera.

I love being in front of them. When I was pregnant I missed it so much for a year.

How do you keep improving your skills?

In the modeling courses I took there were acting classes, dancing classes, and runway classes which taught the basics. But your personal path is what makes your persona unique. I learned a lot by myself with the experience of working with different people. For instance two years ago I was acting in a movie and it helped my modeling skills so much, so I brought acting into modeling. I started to try out new facial expressions and play with new things.

I am my own coach and I need to find inspiration from different sources like magazines, tutorials and other models’ work. When I was starting, I used to try different angles and work on new poses with the mirror. Then in time it becomes automatic and I even forget it’s not natural.

Acting in a movie helped me so much to improve my skills than now I include acting into modeling.

How important is the photographer taking pictures?

We have to connect with each other and need to make each other comfortable. So working as a photographer you have to make the model as comfortable as you can. If the model is new and uncomfortable you have to make jokes and communicate. Otherwise you can’t convey a good image.

As a Model you have to combine all the works of the photographer, Stylist, and make-up artist. You see what they want and then combine it all to give the right feeling.

We usually have a mood board in the morning, which gives an idea of what is expected and how to work as a team. Then in time we can get comfortable and decide what works for the project or not. It’s all about communication and feeling the vibe.

To improve these I am doing yoga and teaching myself to keep down my own negativity and bad thoughts.

What are the best and worst aspects of modeling?

On the good side you see meet and work with many talented people. You travel a lot and visit different countries.

On the other hand, there are many difficulties…

Sometimes you have a shooting but it’s extremely cold outside. You stand on your feet 10 hours a day non-stop in a place where you can’t even move. Traveling can be super hard because sometimes you need to be in different cities one shooting after another.

It takes a lot of endurance and a strong mentality. Especially in the first year of traveling I felt quite lonely. Everybody you meet is traveling and you can’t really make friends. It takes a lot of energy but if you can enjoy it it’s amazing.

Eny Jaki - Tom Model Mongolia

Are you dealing with strategic choices to keep your image?

Last year I was working mostly in commercial and I wanted to strike for high fashion. That’s why I cut my hair. We talk with our agencies and see what we can do to build a portfolio, to choose attitude and image.

All the other aspects of brand selection are decided by the agency and I don’t really get involved in it. They book me and provide a schedule.

But we talk a lot about what I want and which direction we are taking—do I want to make money, do I want to work, do I want to keep myself for bigger brands, etc.

What is the biggest mistake made by beginner models?

When I was beginning the worst mistake I made was to compare myself to all the other beautiful models coming from all over the world. Comparing my weight and size brought so many frustrations and that was completely wrong.

Now I understand that these things doesn’t matter at all, that you only must be yourself.

Are you following Mongolian fashion design?

Yes of course I do! I think fashion in Mongolia is doing really well.

But we do lack professional stylists. Often the designer or the photographer chooses the styling. In the same way, there are no art directors and the same person is doing everything at once. It makes it almost impossible to produce a great image.

For hair and make-up, I would say we’re a few years behind global trends. In Europe for instance we are doing a lot of natural stuffs for face and hair. Sometimes when I go the shooting they don’t even do anything! In Mongolia when you say it’s natural… It’s not natural.

If Mongolia wants to progress its fashion industry we have to develop in these areas.

Any future projects when you will be back in Ulaanbaatar?

When I get back to UB I will think about providing modeling courses, to prepare new models and help them connect internationally. I struggled a long time to cross those boundaries, so I would like to be a bridge and make their life a bit easier.

I also would like to work on other projects, like becoming a film producer or a nutritionist to open the food culture in Mongolia.

Eny Jaki - Top Modeling
1 Comment
  • July 31, 2021, 9:27 am

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