Model start to fashion career

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 07:18 07/01/2014
Erin Hewetson
Emma Allen

Fashion focus: Marlborough teenager Erin Hewetson hopes to carve out a career in fashion after winning Canterbury Model of the Year. She has just two years’ modelling experience.

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Viewing yourself as a "clothes rack" can help to calm nerves while striding down the catwalk, says Wairau Valley teenager and model Erin Hewetson.

After completing a week-long DS Model Camp course run by fashionista and former Blenheim woman Denyse Saunders, the 16-year-old took out the title of Canterbury Model of the Year at the beginning of October.

Teenagers Brenna Wadsworth and Abigail Watson, also from Marlborough, were among 30 young women from around the country who competed for the title alongside Erin in the Canterbury Fashion & Beauty Week fashion shows.

Erin had competed in just one other show, in Blenheim, before winning her first modelling competition.

Although nerves had been a setback during the competition, it was useful to remember your purpose when going down the catwalk, she said.

"They're mostly looking at the clothes; I'm mainly just a clothes rack," Erin said.

She said modelling had helped boost her confidence, making her more comfortable with her appearance.

"It's really exciting. It's nice having people look at you and it's nice to be able to show off people's designs."

The fashion industry is beckoning for the year 13 Marlborough Girls' College student.

She hopes to study fashion and design at Massey University in Wellington next year.

Ms Saunders, who is also the Canterbury Fashion & Beauty Week director, said Erin won the title as she photographed well, had the charisma for the catwalk and the "X-factor".

"Often you'll find that models aren't necessarily the prettiest girl, but they will photograph well and have presence on the catwalk," she said.

As the winner of the competition, Erin and seven fellow contestants who displayed "international potential", including the two other Marlburians, flew to Sydney at the end of October to spend three days at an audition with top international model agency Vivien's.

"I'm always looking for that international look," Ms Saunders said.

Models needed to be over 170 centimetres tall and a size 8 to achieve this look, she said.

Ms Saunders is holding another DS Model Camp for potential young models in Blenheim from January 15-17 next week. For more information about the camp email dsmodelcamp@denysesaunders.com 

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- The Marlborough Express

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