A struggling bus conductor became a real-life Cinderella after being spotted by a high-flying fashion designer – who made her his star model.
Natyada Homprayathon, 27, had been working on the humid crowded buses in Bangkok, Thailand, since she was 15.
She would spend her days walking back-and-fourth along the aisles collecting fares and sweeping the dirty ground.
But in a chance encounter, fashionista Eaggamon Attagamon was forced to use the bus after his sports car broke down near the Victory moment in the Thai capital a couple of years ago.
Eaggamon hopped on the route 539 service and was stunned by the unique-looking bus conductor when she came to charge him for the ride. He immediately thought that she would be a perfect model for his fashion brand, which also recruits models.
The designer introduced himself and asked her to join his business. Natyada politely gave him her number without thinking that he would call her because she did not think her shape or her looks would be in demand.
But 5ft 9 inch Natyada is now one of the successful in the company’s stable of models having featured in catalogues, magazines, ads and fashion shows.
She said: “He kept looking at me while I was working. When he asked me to be a model, I didn’t think that he was really interested in me. But I was totally wrong.
“I was very shocked but very happy when he called me the day after. I decided to try. I never thought that life would me give such a big opportunity.”
The owner of the Eaggamon fashion house trained his model-to-be in walking, make-up application, hairstyling, posing, and other basic tasks before eventually taking her to the world of fashion.
atyada said: “The more I work, the more experience I get and it also reminds me to never stop improving as long as I consider myself as a fashion model.”
Though she enjoys working under the flashlights, she never forgets to help her parents on the bus in the weekends, just as she did for ten years before the big change.
She added: “When I was working on the bus it was a family business that I grew up with. My parents told me that they always raised me on the bus since I was a baby. I started helping them when I was 15 years old.
“Most people look down on the bus drivers or bus conductors as they are the unskilled jobs but I am never ashamed of it. I’m glad to help my family and proud to be a bus conductress.”