Sunday, August 27, 2006

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.

ONE COUPLE,ONE BRAND - by Intan Maizura

They’re Malaysia’s answer to Posh and Becks and just
like the popular celebrity couple, it seems their fame also
comes with a price.

HE is a multi-talented producer, host, writer and the business brain behind their partnership. And just like footballer Beckham, Christien New, 36, with his exotic Indonesian and Hong Kong mix is also sinfully tasty.

His wife, a former beauty queen, is an accomplished actress of 12 years, not only in Malaysia but also in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.


These days, Lavin Seow Yee Thin, 30, is busy co-hosting, producing and writing with her husband as well as playing mum to their toddler son, Gabriel. She is also seven months pregnant and looks glowingly beautiful.

Together they are the brand ChristienLavin, and just like the Beckhams they hope to have their own empire too — one day.

Their similarities to the Beckhams don’t end there. Just like David who was, at one time, beset by all manner of sordid accusations regarding his extra marital affairs, Christien is presently doing damage control for supposedly having an affair with model Amber Chia.

And just like Victoria, Lavin is steadfastly standing by her man.

“My sixth sense tells me that nothing happened between my husband and Amber,” says Lavin, “and I believe that.

I haven’t just known Christien for a short time. Believe me, I’ll know when he’s lying.” Sighs Christien: “I don’t want to seem perasan or anything but I guess there must something that Amber sees in me that she likes. But I wasn’t expecting this.” Admiration in his voice, he adds: “I have to salute my wife for the way she has handled it all. Most women would have jumped, believing in the stories but she didn’t. Instead, she remained focused and has not once wavered from our vision for the family and our brand.” Their vision for the brand, according to the vivacious hosts and drivers behind Celebrities’ Secrets (ntv7, Fridays 6pm), a talk show based on the lifestyle, interests and current happenings of our local celebrities, is to have a wider reach than just the small screen. That’s why they have ventured into the fashion line, fragrance, cosmetics, skincare and it seems, bigger plans are in the pipelines.

“Yeah, we are a bit like Posh and Becks I guess but unfortunately Christien doesn’t play football!” giggles Lavin. He swiftly retorts: “Yeah, but I can play sepak takraw!” He adds: “The brand — of us together — was actually quite unintentional. But whenever one of us went out without the other, people would always ask for the other half. It became that we needed to be seen together. Even our names have been joined to become one — ChristienLavin. It has become our trademark.” Celebrities’ Secret is actually their first outing together in a show but it’s proving to be a synergy that’s working very well, says Lavin.

“We respect each other’s strength.

Christien handles the business side — he knows what he wants and how to get it. I’m more artistic, I go by feel.

When we shoot our programme, I will decide what colour we want to have, what concept we want to portray etc.” Christien used to run Konsortium Christien and Lavin want to build an empire based on family Logistik Bhd, a supply chain logistic company.

“We owned 17 listed companies.

I mastered international business.

I worked in California for Hewlett Packard before being promoted to run certain parts of HP in Asia Pacific, based in Singapore and then I came back here.” Work keeps the couple driven and to a certain extent, the component that cements them even closer together.

“We discuss work all the time.

Sometimes in the middle of the night we have to handle the director’s calls.

We make the calls to the celebrities, check the scripts and yes, work gets into dinner table conversations too,” admits Lavin.

Christien says: “A lot of people say that if you work together, the relationship will become stale. But for us it has proven otherwise.” Their son is also a huge cementing factor. “Despite our hectic schedules, we try and spend as much time as we can with our kid,” says Lavin. “We just have to sacrifice our personal time to make time for him. When we come home from work, we do things with him instead of reading the papers or doing our own things. We talk to him, tell stories, sing songs, and on Sundays we go to church together because religion plays an important role in our life.” When they are not busy working or spending time with their son, they love to watch films, so much so that Christien has decided that maybe he’d try the silver screen next.

“Yep, a film called My Life is in the pipeline and both of us are in it. We’ll be working with Yasmin Ahmad.” They were supposed to commence shooting last June but with their hectic schedules, things had to be put on the burner for a bit. “We had to focus on the talk show and now TV stations are chasing us for the second season. Then there’s our shop opening soon.

“With selling our skin products and our drama due in December... we just don’t have enough time in the day!” Going back to their brand, I ask them about the kind of image they want to portray.

“Oh, definitely that of a balanced individual, a balanced couple and a balanced family set up,” says Lavin, without hesitation.

“That’s also one of the things I love about her,” says Christien. “The fact that she puts family first. Every king needs a general. We can crack jokes about this domestic affairs minister thing but it’s really true because if the domestics are not taken care of, everything will be messed up. Lavin is very supportive when it comes to decisions I make.” She adds: “Even if I don’t agree, I still support him. If I don’t let him try, he’ll complain. So I just let him bang his head on the wall and figure it out!” The couple has noble visions for the brand.

“We want to do something for charity — on a big scale,” says Lavin.

“Hopefully one day our name will be big enough and we’ll be able to help other people, especially orphans.” Any other dreams? A short pause and Christien replies tongue-in-cheek: “Yeah, for me to play soccer and her to sing songs!”



DI:There are always 2 sides of the coin...Hmm..OY has given me an idea on my next article!

1 comment:

  1. I was reading through your blog, and salute you for being your true self. Keep it up Daphne!

    As for the article as in here, I assure that the "coin" has another hidden side.

    ReplyDelete