updated 14 Jul 2014, 21:30
Login password or
Thu, Apr 24, 2014
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Starting over at 51
by Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman

She is in her 50s but life is taking a new turn for former Singapore supermodel Pat Kraal.

After two decades as a housewife in Paris, France, she is getting back into the workforce again.

Kraal, 51, has been working as a model talent scout with Global Faces Management, a France-based company, for the last seven months. She has been mostly promoting Carrie Models International talents from Singapore, Hong Kong and China in Paris and pushing them for an international career.

This keeps her busy while she continues to juggle household chores like cooking, cleaning and driving her four children - Aurea, Anton, April and Ashley, aged between 13 and 22 - to school.

It might seem like a sudden decision. But for Kraal, it was a necessary move.

She is in the midst of divorce proceedings - an eight-year ordeal hampered by "complications" that she hopes will come to an end soon.

It will dissolve her 23-year marriage to a French businessman, now in his 50s.

According to her, a third party was involved. The alleged affair was a blow to her, resulting in her losing 7kg in a few days.

Kraal then filed for divorce.

She told The New Paper yesterday at Oasis Lounge in Jurong Point: "I have to learn to provide for myself and for the children.

"I did wonder what I would do - I'm 50-odd years old and looking for a job.

"But the opportunity to work as a booker came at the right time and I was very grateful for that."

The former Carrie Models talent was approached by its managing director Linda Teo last year and she gladly took up the offer.


Kraal is in Singapore to judge the finals of modelling competition Model Search which will take place on Saturday at Jurong Point from 2pm.

The winners of the three categories - Male, Female and Kids - stand to win $100,000 worth of regional modelling contracts from Carrie Models International and other prizes.

Kraal returns here every year with her family, wasting no time on each visit to savour chwee kueh, wonton mee and nasi padang from her favourite Ghim Moh market.

The exotic 1.78m-tall beauty of Thai, English, Portuguese and Dutch descent, who still maintains her slim figure, took off for Paris at the age of 20.

Soon after, she got her big break modelling for luxury French fashion house Givenchy.

At the height of her career in the 80s and 90s, Kraal travelled to fashion capitals like Milan, in Italy, and New York, in the US, and worked with big names like Chanel, Balmain and Dior.

She said the modelling scene here is no longer what it used to be.

"I've asked people in the business but none could give me names of models with the potential to make it big internationally.

"I think it's a shame. Maybe the modelling scene has just died here. My friends in the business told me we were the last batch and there was nobody after us," she said candidly, recalling a time when models of her era, like Hanis Hussey, were like "family".

Kraal, who said she cannot see herself returning to modelling, enjoys being part of the industry again.

When asked if the transition to the working world was tough, she said: "It was easier than working in an office, for sure. That's just not my thing.

"It was hard learning to write up contracts, figuring out what the industry is looking out for and so on, but this industry is familiar to me. Now I'm just on the opposite side of things."

Strangely, Kraal has her husband to thank for where she is now.

"I'm more mature now with lots of experience. When these things happen to you, you grow up really fast.

"It's been tough but it has given me a lot more confidence to stand on my own two feet. I'm more independent now," she said.

This article was published on April 22 in The New Paper.

Get The New Paper for more stories.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2014 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.