Is this the face of a (Victoria’s Secret) angel?
Melissa Fiddick hopes one day to be able to show the world that she has the face and body of an angel.
And, the aspiring model has moved one step closer to realising her dream after catching the eye of a high-end modelling agency in New York.
The 17-year-old travelled to the Big Apple recently to meet with the agency after Diane Whittaker sent photographs of the Warwick Academy student to several agents there.
Ms Whitaker, who runs the International Modeling Academy and Finishing School (IMA) on the Island, trained Bermuda’s Gina Swainson, who was Miss World 1979. Now she’s hoping to launch Miss Fiddick’s career.
“I send agents in New York photographs of my students every now and then and ask them what they think,” said Ms Whittaker. “I sent them Melissa’s photograph. One agency said, ‘oh, we like her, any chance she can come over to New York’.”
Ms Whittaker isn’t saying which New York Agency is interested, just that they are well known. “The panel loved her immediately,” said Ms Whittaker. “We will partner together to market her for the international fashion markets.”
Miss Fiddick needs tear sheets, or images of herself taken by reputable fashion photographers, to get her career going. Although no plans have been set in stone yet, the New York agency is hoping to send her to Asia to get these.
The teenager first became interested in modelling at the age of 12, when someone stopped her on the street and asked her to model for their jewellery line.
“It started from there,” she said. “I was in the Evolution Fashion Show last year and then Diane approached me. She asked if I would be one of her students and go deeper into modelling. I have been working with her for two months now.”
She found that she loved the camera, and modelling taught her a lot about herself.
“You learn a lot about movements,” she said. “It is not as easy as people think. I enjoy fashion. That is a big part of it for me. For the longest time I wanted to be either a fashion designer or fashion journalist and work for a magazine.
“I think I do still want to do that but I have had other ideas about what I want to be as well. My two favourite subjects in school are economics and business, but I am into journalism whether it be fashion or not. If I can get a career started I want to aim for the top. I would really like to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. That is something I have wanted for a long time.”
But she said her priority within the business was not to succumb to the pressures of the modelling industry by sacrificing her health and integrity.
“Any change that needs to be done to my appearance has to be done in a safe and healthy way,” she said. “I am definitely going to go to university. Hopefully, I will work around that. Maybe I will take a gap year after graduating from Warwick Academy and then continue to university.”
Miss Fiddick said she had a great admiration for fashion model Naomi Campbell because she is beautiful and has a great attitude.
“She has a good spirit and is an idol for a lot of girls,” she said. “It takes a lot in the modelling industry for people to admire you like that.”
She really enjoys modelling vintage clothing. She likes wearing crazy, fun stuff and loves hunting for bargains in thrift stores.
“I like sewing and drawing,” she said. “I get lots of clothes and alter them.”
Her teacher, Ms Whittaker lived in Bermuda back in the 1970s and was frequently involved in organising fashion shows on the Island, and also training models. She left Bermuda and continued working with models in Europe. She returned to Bermuda to set up the IMA recently. One of her students was Rochelle Minors who was the 2012 Miss Bermuda.
“When I lived in Europe I would try to find my clients work in the countries they lived in such as Portugal, Russia or Greece,” said Ms Whittaker. “Melissa is in Bermuda and she can get some experience here but the real nitty-gritty will come overseas. I want to make sure she is on a safe and secure path to the career she desires.
“We have been doing some runway work and doing a lot of talking about the business. It is important to remember it is a business, not a hobby. If you are serious about it you need to know about it and knowledge is power.”
She said Miss Fiddick was a natural at modelling and moved beautifully for the camera which was a real plus.
“Agents look at this,” said Ms Whittaker. “The fact that she moves well means money to them because photographers charge by the hour. If a model moves well, and photographs well, then the agent saves money on that shoot, and so does the customer. She has a great attitude, and is smart, and beautiful, and has the height.”
IMA is a division of Cranleigh International. Visit them on Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-International-Modeling-Academy-and-Finishing-School-of-Bermuda-A-Division-of-Cranleigh.