Chiara Voigt has been unveiled as Newcastle’s next top model.
The 16-year-old from Adamstown Heights won the modelling contest run by Newcastle-based fashion magazine Façon.
The magazine collaborated with international modelling agency Chic Management to run the competition.
Chiara, who has never modelled before, won a development contract with Chic and will now become the “face of Façon”.
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The winner was announced on Saturday at Westfield Kotara, after a runway event featuring the contest’s eight finalists.
Chiara was born in Chelmsford, near London. Her family moved to Sydney when she was three. A few years later, they made the move to Newcastle.
The Kotara High student has just finished year 11.
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Chiara: “I’m definitely going to finish my HSC first,” she said, with a giggle.
Mind you, she said working as a model in Milan “would be the dream”.
She has other passions, too.
“I do Aboriginal studies in school. So I’d really love to become an occupational therapist when I’m older and help disabled Aboriginal kids in the community,” she said.
“But also, since I was a young girl I wanted to be a model. I remember looking at photos of [‘60s icon] Twiggy and falling in love with fashion. I’d absolutely love to be a model, as well.”
She sees fashion as “a way to express yourself”.
“It’s not always just about what’s pretty. It’s like art, as well. I just love the way you can change your look,” she said.
She had considered sending photos to an agency. Then her mum Larissa came across the Façon competition on social media.
“I didn’t have the confidence to enter,” she said, adding that she entered on the day the competition was closing.
When she won, she gave her mum “a big hug”. “I’ve thanked her so much, she really made me believe in myself and to have the confidence to put myself out there,” she said.
Chic will also give a contract to contest runner-up Madyson Thomas, 17, of Fletcher.
“We were so impressed with all the girls and feel that both Chiara and Madyson have a very strong commercial look that our clients are looking for,” Chic general manager Paul Thomas said.
“A development contract will give the girls a good introduction into the industry and us the chance to work with them to develop their skills and confidence.”
Façon editor-in-chief Lara Lupish said both girls had a unique look.
She believes their careers will “blossom under the guidance of Chic”.
“Chiara impressed me on the runway and during her test-shoot in the studio,” she said.
“She really lit up the room and projected confidence and maturity beyond her years. On top of that, I love her positive attitude and humbleness – something she will need a lot of in this industry.”