SO what does it take to be crowned our king or queen of the catwalk?
Well, if last year’s winners are anything to go by, you need looks, personality, bags of confidence and a passion for fashion.
But we’re not looking for a ready-made model. You don’t need catwalk experience or a portfolio, we’re calling all Wearsiders no matter what shape or size to strike a pose and send us your snapshot.
That’s what our 2011 winners did and they have had a whirlwind year of photoshoots, catwalk shows and front-page fame.
Danielle Hope took the female category by storm 12 months ago when she mesmerised our panel of judges as she strutted her stuff in a floor-length blue gown.
The 24-year-old dental nurse from South Hylton was catapulted into the glamorous world of modelling after her mum entered her into our annual contest. She said: “I’m really grateful my mam put me forward. Modelling has always been a secret dream of mine so I need to thank her the most for making it come true.
“I’ve enjoyed the whole experience, especially the photoshoots. Each one has been a different experience and I’ve learnt so much.”
She added: “Even though I’m giving up my Face Of crown I’ll still be pursuing modelling. I’ve got a few jobs with Glamrus Model Agency coming up which I’m looking forward to.
“I can’t encourage people enough to give this competition a go, you just never know and it’s definitely worth it as it’s a fantastic experience.”
St Aiden’s pupil Michael Stubbs took the crown for the boys, beating off stiff competition. His chiselled looks and love of fashion made him stand out from the crowd.
The 17-year-old from High Barnes, who is studying for his A-Levels, was speechless when he won. He has always been interested in modelling and winning the Echo’s Face Of was the push he needed to give it a go.
“I’ve had to put modelling on hold to concentrate on my A-Levels but at the start when I first won it was really exciting.
“I enjoyed it a lot, especially being on the front page of the paper. It really gets your face out there and it’s a claim to fame. If you’re looking to make it as a model it puts your name out there and it’s a great starting point as you get a portfolio and a modelling contract.
Because Michael won our competition, he was automatically entered into Mr Photogenic and Mr North East which took place at Rainton Meadows arena in front of hundreds of people.
He said: “It was a really daunting experience to get on stage in front of all those people, but once I got into it I really enjoyed it – it was a real thrill.
As well as his first photoshoot at David Lawson Studios, Michael has also had the opportunity to work with photographer Scott Spock and he modelled for the Sunderland Echo’s summer shoot. “I really like going out on location. It’s a new challenge and I found it really interesting.
He added: “I would encourage everyone to have a go, I never thought I would win but it’s a brilliant experience when you do.
Echo Editor Rob Lawson said: “I’m looking forward to this year’s competition. It’s always well supported by our readers and the standard keeps getting higher.
“Sunderland is full of beautiful people so don’t be shy, we want to encourage as many gorgeous girls and handsome hunks to enter as possible.”
This year’s winner could get their hands on a great selection of prizes from Collinson Jewellers and Harland Hair Extensions.
Face Of is sponsored by Reds Hair and Beauty. Harry Hall from Reds said: “I’m totally confident that the young people of Wearside will give us someone who will be a worthy winner this year.
“We want somebody with the looks but also with a lot of confidence and an outgoing personality – I think as the competition has evolved people know what we are looking for and it has become more and more popular every year.”
The winner of the 2012 title can look forward to a year’s free hairdressing at the Reds salon and David Lawson Studios will shoot a professional portfolio for the lucky winners to give them a head-start in the modelling world.
We’ve also teamed up with Zeebra Model Management to offer the successful contestant a year’s modelling contract. Once again our panel of judges are looking for male and female entries who can stand out and show them they’ve got the wow factor.
So get your entries in by April 9 – you’ve got nothing to lose!