Yann Yapp and Rowan Lee : A Blessing In Disguise | #ytwalkoflife

When you are given an idea of 2 genetically blessed individuals falling in love with one another, you begin to have a mental listing of unbelievably beautiful couples from all around the world based of who you have recently followed on Instagram.

‘IT’ youth duo such as I-Hua Wu with Noma Han from and Luka Sabbat with Adriana Mora comes to mind instantly. Iconic couples like Serge Gainsbourg with Jane Birkin and Kate Moss with Johnny Depp. In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, we have Rowan Lee and Yann Yap with a height difference of only 4 inches. They are represented by a Kuala Lumpur-based modelling agency. Each of them begun their career as a model at a relatively young age as soon as they completed high school.

Yann is wearing Rowan Unisex Sandal

Yann is wearing Picabo Sandal


The Yap household consisted of 5 with an elder sister and a younger brother as Yann is the second daughter in her family. Growing up in the the state of Selangor where it overlooks the Straits of Malacca. The more conventional background of her family never exactly affected the creative pursuits of Yann. “ I had always loved art since I was a child. Drawing, arts and crafts. The piano was something I have consistently learnt since I was about 10 years old ” Yann excitedly went on about her hobbies.

Whereas, the upbringing of Lee seemed more domestic considering both of Rowan’s parents raised him in a village which was a Chinese-dominant area located in Batu 9 Cheras. “ Thinking about it brings me back a lot of nostalgic memories because it is probably the only place that would make me feel like home ” said Rowan. Instead of being hands-on with his creative pursuits, the rebellious version of Rowan used to sneak out during the wee hours of the morning to a nearby cyber cafe for a quick round of Dota games before his Mother wakes up.

Rowan is wearing Gray Unisex Sandal


 “ At a tender age of 19 years old, I was discovered through Instagram by James Tan and he asked if I was interested to try out modelling. I had my first gig as a model. I loved it especially when it came to walking on the runway ” 

The rise of social media gave Rowan the leeway to explore his path to being a model. “ At a tender age of 19 years old, I was discovered through Instagram by James Tan and he asked if I was interested to try out modelling. I had my first gig as a model. I loved it especially when it came to walking on the runway ” Rowan passionately answers. In contrast, Yann started modelling by joining Malaysian television channel, 8TV who hosted their own reality television competition series called ‘ I Wanna Be A Model 2016 ’ at a similar age when Rowan was scouted.

Rowan is wearing Gray Unisex Sandal

Yann is wearing River Unisex Slider


“ Shir Chong was the one supermodel that I first looked up to before I started my modelling career ” said Yann who continued to speak highly of Shir as a mentor. Shir Chong, a Malaysian model who has graced the front covers of SISTERS, CITTA BELLA, Harper’s Bazaar and Nu You was one of the many who has been an important role model to Yann when she first step foot into the industry. She seemed to have really pushed Yann throughout her career and gave the right advice on how to express herself right when on set and on the runway. Rowan spoke highly about French model, Rafael Miller who has recently been signed with NEXT Models, an international agency representing supermodels like Binx Walton and Karmen Pedaru to musician talents like Lana Del Rey, Travis Scott and Dua Lipa. “ I have learnt to do my homework and make sure I do my research before a shoot, just because it is important as a model. ” said Rowan as he went on talking about the having the right working ethics as a model.

“ I used to think that being a model was a pretty straight-forward job but throughout the years, I have came to an understanding that being in tuned with my body posture is as important to create a graceful photo ”

In such a competitive and fast-paced industry, it is easy to be blinded by the glitz and glamour . Early call-times, being punctual, long waits, and not forgetting the endless amount of make-up applied on the skin of models for the sake of looking picture-perfect. “ I used to think that being a model was a pretty straight-forward job but throughout the years, I have came to an understanding that being in tuned with my body posture is as important to create a graceful photo ” Yann spoked about how her perception of the industry has shifted over time.

Models are required to be as fluid by adapting to the different demands of the modelling industry. “ If you restrict yourself by being rigid, you will eventually struggle to survive as a model. It is not easy at all. I have learnt it the hard way ” Rowan explained as he was proven wrongly at the early stages of his career. The one misconception that many tend to forget is when there is a cliché mentality that models must look a certain way. “ Most assume that you can only be a model if you are only tall, skinny and have a certain facial structure. The truth is; it really does depend on the genre of modelling work ” Yann mentioned of the plethora of model work out there.

Rowan and Yann spoke about how it’s like working together as a couple — “ We really do enjoy what we do as a couple. Other than being able to spend time together on sets, we end up understanding each other more because we are working towards a similar path. It is handwork but having mutual friends and similar interests makes it easier for us. ” Couples must be rather envious of how much time they get to spent together yet with such career, there must be plenty of early mornings, late-nights and turning up for social events together. An exhaustive, unavoidable element to working in the fashion industry.

Yann Yap and Rowan Lee are both models represented by a Kuala Lumpur-based modelling agency. Their tiresome journey as fashion models will eventually become a rewarding career as they work on improving themselves every day.


We asked the Yann Yap and Rowan Lee about their favourite shoes from Yoke & Theam.

Do you have a favourite shoe from Yoke & Theam?

Yann : Yes, Of course! My favourite pair of shoes is the Jules Unisex Sandal.

Rowan : For me, it’s the same pair of sandals but I really love the grey coloured option.

What do you look for in a shoe before purchasing?

Yann : I will always prioritize shoes that is comfortable because I tend to stand and walk for long hours during work. Style comes in second.

Rowan : Usually the shoes that attracts me at first glance will be it for me. Also, it is always a plus point when shoes makes me look taller.

What do you think about gender neutral type shoes?

Yann : I personally find it interesting and the concept of potentially wearing the same shoes as Rowan is one of our favourite things as a couple.

Rowan : It is amazing, but unfortunately some gender neutral shoes are not made for individuals with bigger feet like me.

As an individual who loves beauty and fashion, how would you style the Jules Unisex Sandal in your own way?

Yann : I would style it in a more casual way. I think my outfits is quite casual.

Rowan : A plain t-shirt with baggy shorts and maybe a pair of white long socks will do. The sock can help accessorise the sandals.

Text: Ang Xia Yi
Photography: Nicole Lim
Wardrobe & Styling: Saerah Ridzuan
Yoke & Theam Walk of Life
We celebrate strong and independent women of all age, race and sexuality. #ytwalkoflife is our very own initiative to showcase aspiring personalities to our consumers whom we consider our loyal friends. Our belief is that each individual possesses compelling stories that are unique and inspiring - from fashion darlings to expressive artists, to everyday people - let their life narratives play a part in filling the pages in your book of journey. Take a glance at what it's like to be in their shoes as we feature one personality each month.

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