By Chelsea Boyle
The search was on in Wairarapa for the next big name in modelling on the weekend.
Kirsty Bunny Management (KBM) and Michael Hooker International (MHI) were in Masterton on Saturday and in Greytown on Sunday scouting fresh faces to represent.
Both Kirsty Bunny and Michael Hooker are originally from Wairarapa and wanted to give back to the region.
“I remember growing up in the Wairarapa,” Mr Hooker said.
“It’s a wonderful place to grow up, but lots of things are so foreign.”
He wanted to bring an opportunity to an area that didn’t have the same access to the modelling industry as Auckland and Wellington.
“New Zealand has always had amazing talent.”
This was a sentiment echoed by his New York partner Hodi Poorsoltan who said New Zealand had a great international reputation in the modelling industry.
Candidates were sought from the 14-22 age group – ideally girls needed to be between 5’7” – 5’11” and
boys 5’11 – 6’2” in height.
About 40 hopefuls turned up on Saturday to take a crack at the competition in Masterton.
Winners would gain representation from KBM Wellington and MHI New York.
Kiana Lowe, from Feilding School, was among the candidates putting themselves forward for selection in Masterton.
She said she was nervous but “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”.
“I haven’t been to one of those things before.”
“I like modelling, I think it’s really fun.
“I like fashion and I like getting my hair done.”
She said the potential to travel was exciting because she had not been out of the country before.
Professional model Faye Nielsen was on hand to encourage the new talent.
If you are thinking about it, go for it, she said.
“You get the most amazing experiences, it’s an awesome opportunity to see the world.”
KBM model and marketing manager Georgia van den Eykel said the weekend was a great opportunity for model hopefuls in Wairarapa.
“Working with Michael has been fantastic.”
“He has the best contacts.”
He knows exactly which niche will suit each model – be it shampoo campaigns in Taiwan or the runway in New York, she said.
Michael Hooker gives the models great advice and one of his go to comments is ‘Your looks get you through the door but your personality gets you the job’, she said.
Professional model Tarsha Orsman also attended the casting after several months working in New York.
She said when she first put herself forward for New Zealand Fashion Week she booked two jobs, while last year she booked 14.
She said that you grow while working in the industry.