Made in Belfast Stacey Haskins One of the top seven on this year's Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model
Nineteen year old Stacey Haskins from Belfast was one of hundreds, if not thousands of girls from across Britain and Ireland who entered Sky Living’s reality TV show, Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model, fronted by none other than Elle “The Body” Macpherson.
After undergoing a series of auditions in front of producers and show judges, Stacey made it into the final 13 in the model house and then into the top seven before being voted off.
Now home for a few weeks before heading back to appear alongside the rest of the girls at Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model Live 2011 in London this month IN! caught up with her to find out what the future holds for this up and coming young model.
Stacey, when did you start modelling? I always loved watching America’s Next Top Model and when I turned 18 I decided I was going to try and pursue by dream of being a model. My mum offered to pay for me to get some shots done, which I then sent around some Belfast agencies. I started doing some promotional bits and pieces with Pose Models in Belfast.
What made you enter for Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model? I saw that the format for Britain’s Next Top Model had changed this year, and for the first time was looking for Irish models and changing the programme to Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model. I decided to enter to see how I would do. To be honest, I’m pretty laid back and take things as they come. I knew I really wanted the experience of entering Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model and meeting the judges who included Elle Macpherson, Charlie Speed, Grace Woodward and Julien Macdonald. I hadn’t really planned for what might lie ahead.
Was it quite a lengthy process to get to the final 13 girls? There were hundreds of girls applying for the show. In the first instance we all had to meet the producers and they then whittled the numbers down to about 300 who then went on to meet Elle. I couldn’t believe it when I made it to the Boot Camp stage with the other 84 girls. At Boot Camp we got to meet the judges who wanted to assess our personalities and also see how we stood out in our group shots. There was a cull to 20 girls and then we did a watch shoot in pairs and from here the final 13 who would go to the house were selected. I was the only girl from Belfast to make the final 13, Hannah from Dublin also got through and the remainder came from across Britain.
Do you get on well with all of the other girls? I actually get on really well with all of the girls and Hannah and I are great friends. The show sets up certain senarios to make it look like we’re not getting along, but we’re all really close and keep in touch with each other. By the time IN! comes out there will be a winner, but at present it’s Jade and Juste in the final two and I wish both of them all the best.
Did you learn anything from your time on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model? Being on the programme did teach me a lot about myself and it helped my confidence. Modelling is hard work and it’s a tough industry to be in, so you have to be strong to deal with everything that is thrown at you and the judges want to see that you will be able to cope with what lies ahead. We did learn a lot from them too including how to dress and present ourselves for castings, how to walk down the catwalk - which we practised 50 feet in the air on a see-through walkway between two trees! Elle explained how everything matters when you are walking down the catwalk - even the shape and position of your hands. We also did so many pictures that you were taught more about relaxing and posing to get the best shot - so all of this advice is really helpful going forward.
How did you feel to be voted off? Unfortunately there can only be one winner, and I was disappointed to go, but at the same time proud I had come so far in the competition. Once you’re booted off you have to leave the model house and return home, so I’ve been back in Belfast for a few weeks and I will head back to London this month to take part in the Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model Live 2011, which takes place at ExCel, London from 28th to 30th October. This involves us all taking part in catwalk shows during the three days of the show and visitors also get a chance to browse the fashion and beauty exhibitors. Last year Jessie J performed so there will be guest performers as well I presume.
Are you looking forward to heading back over to London? Yes, I’m looking forward to going back and seeing all the girls again, it’ll be great fun. While I’m in London, and once my commitments to the show are over, I plan to contact a few of the London modelling agencies and see where things go from there. I’ve already contacted Morgan in Dublin and hope to hear back from them too.
So you do intend to keep modelling? Yes, I want to pursue a modelling career, appearing on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model doesn’t automatically mean you’ve made it - not even for the overall winner - but it is a good platform to start from as I begin to further myself in the industry. I’ve just finished college and even though I missed three months of my studies due to the programme I did pass my NVQ 3 in childcare and if the modelling doesn’t work out as I hope then this would be the career path I will follow. I love working with children and currently work on a voluntary basis with Fairview Primary School in Ballyclare.
Have you had more bookings since appearing on the show? I don’t think a lot of people know I’m back home and it won’t be until the show is over that I can really pursue a lot. I have just done a shoot for Belfast Fashionweek and will be modelling at the catwalk shows so I’m looking forward to this and I probably wouldn’t have had got the opportunity to be involved if I hadn’t been on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model.
What would be your modelling goals? I would be proud to get signed by a London agency and I suppose I would know I’d really made if I got to be the face of a high profile fashion or beauty campaign and a Vogue cover - what model wouldn’t want that accolade under her belt.
Would you be prepared to move and travel to pursue your modelling? I love travelling and I would be more than happy to move and travel for work. I’m in a relationship at the moment, but I know my boyfriend, Simon, would be understanding and supportive if I had to be away from Belfast to further my modelling career.
How long have you been in a relationship? I’ve only been going out with Simon for a short time, but I have known him as a friend for a lot longer. We both have the same passion for sport and know each other through this shared interest. While he’s supportive, the modelling and TV don’t really mean anything to him, he’s with me for me.
How important is being fit and healthy to you? I’ve always been extremely sporty and studied sports. As well as walking and running everyday I also enjoy playing football and on a voluntary basis I coach mini soccer every Saturday morning. I also like fishing and camping, so I’m a bit of a tomboy, but a real girl at the same time when it comes to my love of fashion, - I’m always buying clothes. I love Topshop, Firetrap and Guess, and I’m always in and out of Primark and H&M. My fashion icons would be Audrey Hepburn for her timeless, classic style and I also love the modern day quirkiness of Radio One DJ, Fearne Cotton.
How did you feel when the programme highlighted your weight? I was annoyed when I saw how the programme tried to portray me as underweight. I’m nine and a half stone and like all of the other girls I had all my medical checks before the programme to make sure I was a healthy weight for my height. I eat like a horse, but I love my sports and as I told them I have a lean, athletic build. I am very fit and couldn’t do all the sport I do if I didn’t eat. I think this was made an issue to spice things up. My waist is actually 25/26 inches and most of the girls on the books of London modelling agencies have 23/24 inch waists so I’m hardly the poster girl for overly skinny models.
As a model, do you have any last beauty tips you can share with us? I never straighten my hair. My hair has a bit of a wave so I leave it to dry naturally and luckily that undone look is very in right now. Also, in the model house we all used Sudocrem to dry out our spots! It sounds disgusting, but we all had clear skin! Wearing make-up on our faces everyday meant our skin was prone to breakouts and this was the miracle cure - just give it a go and you’ll see!
Interview: Margaret Connolly
Photography: Matt Mackay at Press Eye
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Styling: Catherine McKenna at Fashion Pharmacy
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Make-up: Karen Briscoe at Paddy McGurgan
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Hair: Ciaran at The Natural Hair Company
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