After month-long castings in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, 10 finalists were chosen to partake in the South African leg of the competition, with hopes of representing the country in the prestigious Elite Model Look World Final to be held in China. It was Elite Model’s first time in South Africa and has been recorded for Angolan television.
The finalists took part in a nine-day model boot camp, under the guidance of Tiffany Prior, where they were taught to strut their stuff for international runways. When asked about the purpose behind the criteria for the competition – 1.74 height requirement and small-waisted frame – Prior commented, “Garments are made to certain specs and the girls need to be able to wear them well. Models are just coat hangers. Like any other job they need to fulfil certain criteria. Models are only a small part of a very big picture.”
The purpose of Elite Model Look is to help build careers, teaching models the tricks of the trade. They need not only establish their careers but learn how to manage them going forward.
“This boot camp is not about starving the girls to fit the mould. We want to teach them life-long lessons about nutrition and exercise, so that they can make informed decisions. It will only benefit them in the long run. I have never once put any of these girls on a scale,” Prior says.
Finalist Rethabile Lethoko (18), noted that Elite Model has really helped her to build her self confidence. She says, “we have had a bit of pressure to lose weight but it’s not a bad pressure. We all want to stay in shape and look good for the catwalk.”