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Ase Wang

The Swedish-Chinese model and entrepreneur on being a Nike ambassador, navigating social media and the one thing she wants people to know about her.

Ase Wang is the whole package. Beautiful, brainy and charming, she’s an international model, actress and entrepreneur all-in-one. She could have chosen a different route in life as the scion of Phoon Huat, the baking supplies empire, but she made a decision to strike it out on her own years ago — and she’s knocked it out of the park.

A graduate of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, Ase (pronounced “aw-suh”) has appeared in Hollywood and Thai films, as well as numerous TV commercials. She was also voted FHM’s Sexiest Woman in Asia for five years.

When she’s not acting, Ase is busy managing her own businesses. There’s Boxhiit by Ase Wang, her gym where classes combine boxing and HIIT training; Never Say Cutz, a chain of barber shops in Thailand, and 7 NIGHT STAND, a swimwear line that she’s launching this year.

As hectic as her life is, Ase makes time to prioritise the most important things in life including her family, friends and her health. An avid fitness enthusiast, she’s constantly in workout gear when she’s not dolled up in streetwear clothes, and can often be spotted slipping punches and kickboxing at her gym. But she also recognises the realities of living a conscious life when it comes to her diet and indulgences. “I live a balanced life. I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t follow all the rules — who does? You’d be miserable.”

In an exclusive interview with Après Avant, we ask Ase about balancing her entrepreneurial endeavours, how her family and friends keep her grounded and why working out gives her peace of mind.

Ase Wang in sports gear Après Avant

“Group teaming exercises are great because when you team up with other people, the pressure is on.” 

What inspired you to launch Boxhiit, and how have the workouts benefited you differently from other types of fitness classes and exercises?

I started Boxhiit by Ase Wang because of all the years I was shooting FHM covers. I spent a lot of time working out and keeping myself fit. People kept asking me for tips on how to keep fit. I soon realised that I could share my secrets by opening my own gym with good trainers who I myself have trained with and believe in.

Most of my workouts are HIIT-based. I find that they are the most effective for good results. They have helped many people get in shape because of our group teaming exercises, which are great because when you team up with other people, the pressure is on. We play good music and we create a very family vibe. No one wants to go to a gym that feels intimidating.

As a Nike ambassador, what has been the most rewarding part of the role and what do you hope to achieve as a spokesperson for the brand?

I have been with Nike for almost 10 years. They have motivated me to work out! They chose me, and that was a huge compliment. I realise I sort of have a title to uphold. Nike has helped me with my gym by hosting events there too and they always encourage my every move.

I hope that as a Nike spokesperson, I can encourage women around the world to understand that we are all fighters and fighting in life. We never give up and we keep moving. Nike has such a strong female influence and I love that. Nike pushes for female empowerment and I’ve always been about strong women.

How do you lead a holistic lifestyle, and why is it important for you to do so?

I live a balanced life. I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t follow all the rules — who does? You’d be miserable. Do I eat pizza and drink wine? Sure, I do! Do I crave potato chips and all that bad stuff? Hell yeah! But I balance it with the good stuff. If I’m eating pizza one night, I’m at the gym the next morning burning it off. If I’ve had a few too many glasses of wine, I’m burning that off too.

That being said, it’s also about surrounding yourself with good people. Healthy people for your soul. People that lift you and not bury you. That’s very important.

Tell us about your daily skincare and hair care regime.

I’m very big on taking care of your skin and finding the right products that work for you. Above all, always wash your makeup off! No matter how tired or drunk you are. Girls, please do it!

For the day, get a good serum. I’m currently using the Premium Regenerative Serum from LIERAC’s Black Orchid range, as well as the Premium La Crème Soyeuse Anti-age Absolu moisturiser; along with a strong sunblock.

At night, I use the range’s face oil, along with the moisturiser. I’m a huge fan of the face oil because I travel a lot on planes and generally have quite dry skin.

I also am a huge fan of the NeoGEN Plasma treatment at Cambridge Therapeutics. I suffer from melasma so this has helped a great deal!

For hair, I’m obsessed with the PHYTO supplement called PHYTOHANÈRE. I’ve been eating these supplements for years. They help strengthen your hair and nails. As such, my nails have completely transformed and my hair now grows really fast. I swear by this product and would highly recommend it!

Ase Wang makeup Après Avant

What is a typical day like for you?

It’s crazy. I’m either on a plane to Singapore or Bangkok, reading scripts, prepping for auditions and on the phone wheeling and dealing! I’m also either at the gym office working with my staff or busy working on my new swimwear line called 7 NIGHT STAND, which is launching this year in September. My brain doesn’t stop so my workout routine is very important for me so I can let out all the craziness.

What does beauty and body confidence mean to you?

It means owning it and feeling unique. You are the only one, there is no one like you and you’re making it work for you.

On social media, where people often try to seem rather than be who they are — how do you believe you’ve inspired others through your fitness and wellbeing practices through online platforms?

I hope I have inspired people to be relatable. I think that’s very important. I post photos of myself eating pizza, drinking wine and doing the same things everyone else does. I want people to know that fitness is about balance; it’s not about starving yourself. Your body will go through changes, so the balance will constantly change. Being healthy isn’t always easy but it’s worth it.

In the wake of this watershed moment, how do you think women should support and empower each other?

Female empowerment is something I’m very passionate about. I think it’s because of the way I was raised; I’m the only child and a daughter. I was raised to stand as an equal and stand up for what I believe in. I think we as women need to stand together and fight for each other. We lack the sense of supporting each other because of jealousy or other reasons. But as of today, we seem to have bonded more as women. Strong women. We are learning to pick each other up when we’re down.

Tell us one thing you want people to know about you.

I love with all my heart as a daughter, a friend and a partner. Once that is broken, I literally feel my heart break.

“Female empowerment is something I’m very passionate about. I think it’s because of the way I was raised; I’m the only child and a daughter. I was raised to stand as an equal and stand up for what I believe in.”

Ase Wang bw Après Avant

What does conscious living mean to you?

It means getting to know yourself, learning new things every day and not always taking the safe road in life. Explore outside your comfort zone, travel, learn new languages, ask questions… in life I have learnt that you need to feel every emotion to understand situations.

Images courtesy of Palawat Boon Hangcharoen; Santipong Choocharoen