Former Miss Polokwane Observer Cover Girl Teen, Michelle Fox (15) from Polokwane is headed for the glitz, glamour and gruelling work of a supermodel when she showcases the latest fashions at this year’s Spring/Summer Milan Fashion Week in Italy set to take place in September.
Speaking to Polokwane Observer in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Michelle who is a Grade 10 learner at Hoërskool Pietersburg, explained how the opportunity of a lifetime opened up for her.
“I started doing modelling at Limpopo Beauty Modelling Academy in Polokwane when I was 12 years old. The owner, Katryn Celliers, is wonderful and has given me so much support. At the beginning I was very shy and withdrawn but with her training and encouragement, I soon became confident,” Michelle recalls.
Her mother, Jaquelien, agrees, and adds that Michelle worked very hard to get where she is today.
In 2016, Michelle won the titles of Miss Queen of the North Teen and Miss Polokwane Observer Cover Girl Teen.
Michelle was scouted by FanJam Model Management in Cape Town after she liked their Facebook page early last year. She was contacted by them and asked to meet with them when they were in Johannesburg in June. While there, she did a photo shoot and was also offered a contract with FanJam Model Management, which she signed. “It just shows the importance of posting professional modeling photos on social media as this played a massive role in Michelle being discovered,” Jaquelien adds.
Through the agency she was in turn scouted by Why Not Models of Milan – on the strength of just two photos. In December she was flown, all expenses paid, to Cape Town to do training and photo shoots so that she could gain experience.
Jaquelien says Michelle was given specifications by the agency regarding her size and weight, which she worked very hard to fulfil.
According to Michelle she learnt a lot while in Cape Town. “And the other girls were very spontaneous and friendly.”
She will be going to Cape Town again in June to prepare for Milan and says she is looking forward to it. Michelle prefers photographic modelling to ramp work but is keen to get as much experience in as possible.
Her role model is Rolene Strauss, Miss South Africa and Miss World 2014. She is also aiming to become Miss South Africa in future. She has an enormous love for animals and would like to study to become a veterinarian. “One of the reasons I would love to be Miss South Africa is that it would be an amazing platform for me to do as much as I can for animal conservation,” she says, mentioning rhinos as an example.
Michelle says life is wonderful even if there are a few clouds on the horizon. One of these clouds is in the form of being teased by other girls at school. “I have always been teased about being so tall and thin. The girls can get really personal and insulting. They ask me if I am anorexic and if I ever eat anything but I have an excellent appetite!” To stay in shape, she drinks a lot of water and exercises every day. Her mom confirms this, saying Michelle is not on a special diet and eats whatever she likes, when she likes.
All the attention Michelle is receiving is not going to her head and she remains a sparkling, intelligent and friendly 15-year-old. “Thank you very much to Katryn Celliers for everything she has done. Without her I wouldn’t have any of the opportunities that are opening up for me,” Michelle concludes.
To view Michelle’s profile go to www.limpopobeautymodeling.co.za/models
Storie en foto: KAREN VENTER