INTERVIEW | CEO, Mod Management – TUYẾT LAN: I’m turning over a new leaf in life!

INTERVIEW | CEO, Mod Management – TUYẾT LAN: I’m turning over a new leaf in life!

Fame is ephemeral. The less you pursue it, the less pressure you feel. But for Tuyết Lan, the Vietnamese supermodel who has, on more than one occasion, made her graceful stride on some of the most fabulous fashion runways in the world, a budding business is the only thing worth pursuing right now.

Tuyết Lan has been a model for a long time, long enough to live through every up and down of her career. No longer desiring to emerge on the glamorous runways, Tuyết Lan now chooses to retreat to the backstage in her new role – founder and CEO of Mod Management, a company that, true to its name, manages models. With the recently published memoir marking the end of the first chapter of her career, she is beginning to write the next one with a more audacious and mature mentality of a businesswoman, ready to embrace changes and opportunities as they come.

phong van interview nu doanh nhan sieu mau Tuyet Lan


Greetings Tuyết Lan. How do you feel about the person you have become after everything you have been through?

It has been nearly 15 years since I started out as a rookie model, and 15 years of climbing up the career ladder has been a refining and strengthening journey that makes me who I am today. I have travelled far from where I was 15 years ago.

I see myself as a perfectionist and as such, believe it is best that everyone should strive for changes every day, in a positive way. If I’m not any different from who I was yesterday, isn’t it such a waste of life? Of course, change doesn’t necessarily mean disturbance. I seek a peaceful but purposeful life. And my purpose is to try and pursue my dream with each passing day, and in the process, become a better version of myself. That’s a meaningful life to me.

So, what exactly has changed in the way Tuyết Lan see and think about the world, now than before?

I used to see life through rose-tinted glasses. Every day is the same, getting all dressed up, hanging out with friends, wandering from café to another (Grinning). A rather simple-minded and naïve outlook on life.

But now I can say with much confidence that I have grown up – becoming a mature adult with concerns and worries, for my family, my business, and for love… My decisions are no longer made on whimsical thoughts, but with careful consideration. I believe that by now, I’ve been through enough ordeals to understand that life is never easy, and to always prepare myself for the challenges waiting around every corner. I have known pain and failure, but have also learned how to embrace and overcome them with a stronger mentality.


What are the gains and losses of the life and career of a model?

There has been no loss in my life and career of a model. The gains, on the other hand, have been plentiful, allowing me to live my passion to the fullest, showing me that I’ve chosen the right path and teaching me how to travel far on that chosen path.

I’m always grateful to life for what it brings me, and even the darkest of times, when I was alone in the US and going through my broken marriage, seems like a valuable experience in retrospect. If not for the hardships and failures in the past, how else do we learn to cherish what we have in the present? A pleasant, unobstructed and effortless life would not have shaped the Tuyet Lan you see today.

Then are you satisfied with the amount of fame you currently have?

I honestly don’t think that I’m too famous a person, even forgetting it at times. I also get carried away, from time to time, when hanging out with my friends that it would take some reminding for me to behave like a public figure (Grinning).

I believe that anyone working in the show business have at least once thought about  the matter of fame, one that I’ve found to be a great burden since the very first day of my career. Will I be able to shine like my predecessors did? What does it take for me to be as famous as them? Fame-seeking inquiries such as these were like boulders chained to my ankles. And once I’ve learned to let go of them, I was relieved and finally able to be myself. I love setting up goals and putting myself to the challenge, and consider success to be the recognition of my accomplishments, whereas fame, whether or not there is any, and no matter how much, is merely an illusion that I’ll never hinge myself on.

phong van interview nu doanh nhan sieu mau Tuyet Lan

“My purpose is to try and pursue my dream with each passing day, and in the process, become a better version of myself. That’s a meaningful life to me.”


If, like Tuyết Lan said, fame is not what you seek, then there must be more to the establishment of Mod Management than merely making a name of yourself, am I not mistaken?

At the end of the day, I don’t see myself as an extraordinary individual. There is still a long way to come between what I have achieved and what I seek. My ultimate goal at the moment is no longer to be more popular, but to contribute to the cause of modelling itself. I love modelling, my passion for it is still aflame, and I’m dying to do something meaningful for it. That is why I and another friend founded Mod Management. 

With this fresh start-up journey, I wish to mark a new milestone in my career in the role of a businesswoman. My goal from now on is to run a successful company, and in doing so, contribute to the fashion industry in Vietnam, by discovering new model talents, offering them professional guidance and training, and bringing them closer to the international standards.

But apart from such contributions, there must also be a financial aspect to your start-up decision, isn’t there?

I think that everyone works for the money in the end. Money takes away most of the problems and worries in life. So if someone tells me they’re not working for the money, I think they’re lying. That being said, for such a young and green company like Mod Management where there’s much to improve upon, I think we’re more in a money-investing than money-making stage. Profits is not our number one goal at the moment, instead we’re focusing on finding more “talents” and developing a standard operating procedure. This company is the foundation of my career and as such, I want it to be a strong and unshakable one. Even if it doesn’t make any profit, it will continue to serve my other goals in the longer term.

“With the fresh start-up journey in model management, I wish to mark a new milestone in my career in the role of a businesswoman.”


Have there been any changes in your way of thinking since you started doing business?

The most obvious difference when I’m doing business is the fact that I always have to calculate things in my head. Not just figures and numbers, but also plans and visions for our future development. In the past, I didn’t think that I would enjoy meeting and socializing with many people. But now there are partner meetings to attend, new and farther-reaching connections to make, and more events to show up at, all with a view to publicize my company, look out for more potential models and find a way to lead them to success. There are tons of plans and ideas that I have to think of for the company every day, and that’s what doing business supposed to be.

Do you think that being a businesswoman suits you well, having become one for a while now?

I’m not a dreamy artist who lets her head wander in the clouds, nor do I fancy appearing at crowded events or constantly updating my personal life on social networks. In short, I think that being a businesswoman suits me quite well at the moment.

One thing I only realize after becoming one, however, is how similar it is to being a model. I’ve always enjoyed talking and exchanging ideas with everyone, thereby learning from them, especially those who are successful or older than me. So, being a model with “photo-shoots” and fashion shows, or being a businesswoman with “networking” sessions and conferences, both give me valuable lessons and new inspirations in what I do. Each time I meet someone is another chance to read something more about the book of their life

5. THE AGE OF 30

Have you ever regretted letting go of your successful modelling career and retreating to the backstage?

Even now I’m still getting offers from many designers to become the vedette for their collection, which I am both excited about and grateful for. The modelling career will always have a special place in my heart, a vital foundation for everything I am today. But I believe that it’s time for me to take a step back and leave the spotlight to the new generation. If the world of fashion keeps revolving around the same old figures, when will the young and aspiring have the chance to shine? I’ve tried to resonate this notion to those designers who have kindly extended their invitation to me, and I believe that with time they will see it through. Being a model performing on the catwalk or being the launching pad for those who will, I’m all passionate about it. There’s nothing to regret.

People often write memoirs when they have been through the major parts of their life, but Tuyết Lan has written yours at the mere age of 30. What were your expectations with “From Phu Dien to New York”?

This is a milestone-marking book that is both a self-reflection for myself and a compilation of every career lesson I’ve learnt over the last decade, a sharing gift for those who wish to pursue a modelling career.

I didn’t have too happy a childhood, which taught me to be resilient from a very young age. Despite having no financial support, I’ve made a modelling career of my own, from the first waddling steps to the most graceful strides on the international stage. It was an uphill fight, especially for such a seemingly glamorous field as modelling, where there’s more to it than being tall, skinny and pretty. Life is never that simple. Through this book, I wish to underline the fact that modelling is a serious profession, one that has taken me very far, from my homeland Phu Dien, Dong Nai to the cosmopolitan city of New York, from simply a model to an author, a businesswoman, a coach, and many other unexplored career prospective.

This book is the hinge on which my life turns to new a page. The last 10 years has been a long career journey for me. And the age of 30 is the ripe time to begin pursuing my business endeavors with Mod Management.

phong van interview nu doanh nhan sieu mau Tuyet Lan

“The only thing I care about “happy ending” is being “happy”. I must be in a relationship where I can always be happy.”


Now more weathered than Tuyết Lan once was, how do you prepare yourself mentally in the face of hardship?

Before coming to the US, my head was filled with imaginations of a fleeting and luxurious life. But soon, the “American dream” was shattered within the first month, for nothing is ever easy as it seems. It was like falling into the abyss, without any relatives or friends around. And yet, I managed to get myself over it. I believe, therefore, that everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

This is the mentality that I carry over when starting my business career with Mod Management, which now the future vision, and the very meaning of my life. Every day I wake up thinking of how to run the company in the most effective, risk-minimizing way. Back when I was an independent model, any risk would implicate me and me alone, but now as the head of the company, an unmitigated risk could prove fatal to many others, which calls for a greater sense of responsibility. Life is a sea full of storms, and it takes great mental strength to weather it. As long as everyone still has faith in me, I’ll do everything in my power to get my feet back on the ground.

How did Tuyết Lan pick up the pieces from your broken marriage and get your life together?

For me, love is a kind of mental food that nurtures you day by day, giving you more energy and encouraging you to do more, be more. That’s why a spouse is a very important person in my life, and our love is like a flower that needs to be watered and cared for every day.

When realizing that the relationship will only hurt us both and will get to nowhere, I will be the first one to propose ending it. If it’s meant to be a mistake, what you should do is acknowledge it, stop making it and move on.

In regards to my past marriage, I’m just as comfortable with discussing it as with wiping it off my mind. Being a straightforward and pragmatic person, I understand that what has already happened is an integral part of my life, and had it not been for it, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So, stop thinking about yesterday and remember that you still have today and tomorrow to live and work, that’s how you find inner peace.

Once again you’ve found yourself in a happy relationship, but deep inside, do you still believe in a “happy ending”?

I don’t believe in “happy endings” in love. In fact, I think that in order for a couple to reach a fulfilling ending, they would need to accept and forgive a lot about each other. I, on the other hand, find it impossible to ignore the harm that someone has caused to me. I think that every woman needs to stop tolerating and start making a strong move. Those who truly love you will never want to see you suffer.

The only thing I care about “happy ending” is being “happy”. I must be in a relationship where I can always be happy. As for reaching an “ending” that is still “happy”, it’s a long and treacherous journey that no one has the confidence to put a warranty on.



What is your definition of a woman’s competence?

A competent woman is tough in her thoughts but soft with her words, in a way that earns the respect of those around her.



Three adjectives that describes your personality? Optimistic – Pragmatic – Goal-oriented

How long do you suppose you will continue working in the modelling industry? I shall like to keep my ties with the modelling career till the end of my life, be it a direct or indirect one. For this is my passion, the thing that brings most meaning to my life.

When it comes to cooking while being far from home, is there any go-to dish that you’re really confident about? Braised pork, bún bò (rice noodle soup with beef), and bún riêu (rice vermicelli soup with tomato and crab broth) are my go-to dishes. Being far away from home, be it the US or Singapore, has turned me from someone can do nothing into someone who can cook and do many things.

Published on BusinessWoman Magazine 144.2023 | Content Director: JENNI VÕ | Creative Director: HIEPLEDUC | Editor: J.V, HIDA | Translated by HÒA TÔN | Photo: TRÍ NGUYỄN| Stylist: THUẬN TỪ | Makeup: KHAI TU | Outfits: GIA STUDIOS, C.DAM

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