updated 12 Mar 2011, 18:47
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Thu, Mar 03, 2011
Daily Chili
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Ford Supermodel search unveils 12 finalists
by Jo Teh

The country's burgeoning supermodels have just been named.

After having auditioned hundreds of young women across the country over the last two months, the Ford Models Supermodel of the World Search Malaysia 2011 ended its highly successful nationwide search yesterday.

At a closed door selection, the search announced 12 brand new faces from its lists of 24 semifinalists, most meeting the international height requirement of 183cm.

The selection came after a series of tough auditions held across the country.

According to organising chairman Datuk Nancy Yeoh, the search had been an eventful exercise and had garnered genuine interest amongst members of the general public along the way.

"We took a gamble by investing so much time and effort into what is essentially viewed as a fledgling local modelling industry. In recent years, we have not been able to produce many new faces and have been relying on foreign talents to bring life to this business," said Yeoh who is also president and chief executive officer of Stylo International.

"These amazing results are most fulfilling as they suggest there are still many Malaysians waiting to be found and groomed as future supermodels," she added.

The finalists are Nur Atikah, 18, Chan Shin Yee, 23, Raja Alicia, 16, Renee Tan, 20, Gabrielle Ashley, 20, Jenilyn Lim, 21, Melissa Wong, 23, Loh Tze Shian, 18, Karen Lugun, 18, Cassandra Azman, 18, Zana Chin, 22, and Phoebe How, 23.

The girls consist of an eclectic collection of mixed backgrounds including, Bajau, Malay, French, Portugese, Chinese, Kelabit, English, and Punjabi.

One of these 12 girls will realise her dream on the evening of the Sepang F1 race and a chance to vie for global fame.

She will represent Malaysia at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Ford Models Search in New York.

At yesterday's selection, the girls were faced with a panel of judges consisting of former model Cilla Foong, Yeoh, supermodel Tengku Azura, and British fashion brand F&F Commercial Director Hem Patel.

Foong said she was impressed by the search and the discovery of new faces.

For most of the girls, this is their first foray into the modelling industry.

"I am in this to win and I will do my best," said Cassandra.

"I am always looking for knowledge and this is a learning curve for me. Being a model can also help build my self confidence and it gives me the chance to also work on my flaws as the challenges build up," said Lim.

Echoing her sentiment was Ashley who said she wanted to take the opportunity as she felt modelling was a career that one could only embark on at a young age.

From here on out, it will be a rigorous ride for the finalists. They will be judged over several sessions; a closed door judging with the Supermodel Advisory Board, at the upcoming Stylo Fashion Ball hosted by Tiffany & Co and British fashion brand F&F and a final round at the F1 concert.

The photography judging will include an SMS competition plus judging by top New York talent scouts. F&F, a major sponsor of this year's London Fashion Week is an international brand created by British retail giant, Tesco UK and will debut in Malaysia during Stylo. The Ford Models Supermodel of the World Search, Malaysia 2011 is organised by Stylo International as part of its Fashion GP presented by Mercedes Benz.


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