Located in the heart of the Metrocentre, Gateshead in Newcastle upon Tyne, a small group of people stood on the lookout for the next generation’s new face.
Scanning over the waves of people circulating the shopping mall, each model scout’s eye was ready to lock in on potential models within the crowd. “You have to look past the makeup, fake tan and hair and capture the naturally beautiful.” I was told and after a while, I found myself doing just that!
Elite Model Look UK are now touring the country’s biggest cities in partner with LOOK magazine and LOOK beauty to find a British English rose, to represent our nation in an international competition final. All entrants get to meet the Elite team, receive a makeover courtesy of Look beauty and then snapshots are taken to bring out the best model potential. Ten applicants are then chosen to take part in a catwalk alongside actual Elite models. Elite scouts will then narrow the search to 24 UK finalists consisting of 12 boys and 12 girls who will then be whisked off to model boot camp.
While I observed Saturdays event, it was eye opening that the model world is not what everyone assumes it to be. Every person involved on the day was approachable, friendly and encouraging to any girl who wished to take part, which is a refreshing response to notice especially after the modelling world can come under such scrutiny for being intimidating and unapproachable. Before running over to possibly pick out another beautiful fish in the sea of people, a scout told me: “It’s definitely about personality too, down to earth and friendly is always a plus.”
Speaking to director France Chiacchio, she told me that being healthy and feeling good about yourself is the most important part of becoming a model. “We are like a small family and we encourage every model to eat a healthy balanced diet, take care of their skin and become confident within themselves to be prepared for the industry.” She then went onto add: “We will always speak to parents first to make sure they are comfortable and the young girl or boy who we have scouted should want to model and not be pressured into it if they do not wish to take part.” France stated that she thinks the UK has a lot of potential within the industry and wanted to find a fresh English rose to represent the country on behalf of Elite.
Look magazine are helping Elite to target the younger audience and provide a national voice for the agency. When I approached a Look beauty makeup artist, she told me that the ‘natural’ look is the hottest trend for the upcoming months. Teaming gold and peach tones with a light foundation base and minimal mascara can create a fresh faced appearance, perfect for the spring/summer season. The ‘power brow’ is also a fearless fashion feature to watch, giving off a feminine and fierce vibe. Colour pop lips along with the power brow are said to give bursts of beauty left, right and centre to any budding fashionista.
Afterwards, I went on to ask one of the girls who had been asked to take part by an Elite scout. “I’m so flattered, I would not of had the confidence to go over if I wasn’t asked, I’ve never thought of myself as a model.” Just as I finished speaking to her, she was photographed and seemed to look at complete ease with the photographer shooting her snapshots.
Previous UK winner, Maddie Hooton, from Teeside, introduced herself, then proceeded to hug the rest of the team along with looking extremely excited to see them all again. This showed me that Elite did appear as one big family. Maddie told me: “I didn’t think I had a chance but I sent my photographs in and the next thing I know, I was casted. I’m so happy to be a part of Elite and represent them.” She then went on to add: “You have to be enthusiastic, Elite gave me an opportunity and the best part about it was being able to visit China!”
While I looked along the row of call backs, it was clear to see why every girl was chosen to take part in the final catwalk. Elite had definitely managed to choose perfect English roses embracing the ‘pale’ look and after realising the Newcastle event wasn’t as busy as the Manchester event, France told me: “Newcastle definitely has quality over quantity.”