MODEL student Italia Thompson is sitting pretty after scooping a national title at the first attempt.
The Monkwearmouth School pupil has won a modelling and casting contract with Sheffield-based DK Models, who sponsored the Miss Teen Model Girl UK 2013 competition.
Fifteen-year-old redhead Italia won the Miss Teen Lovely Hair Section before claiming the overall title in the final, organised by national company Model Search UK.
Mum Donna, 40, said the event, held at the Daresbury Park Hotel in Warrington, had been Italia’s first real shot at modelling glory.
“She has only been modelling for about the past year, and this was her first major competition,” she said.
The family put together a portfolio of Italia’s photos to qualify for the final, and she was chosen as Miss Teen Sunderland.
“We had to submit photographs and apply online and then, when she won the semi-final, we had to find a sponsor,” added Donna.
One of Italia’s previous contacts came to the rescue in the form of Gosforth-based bridalwear specialist MaoCouture.
“Italia was with Zeebra Models and had done some work with the lady who owns the shop,” said Donna.
The final saw Italia go up against 22 other girls, aged 13 to 19, from around the UK, who took to the catwalk in evening wear.
As well as her contract with DK models, she won more than £800-worth of prizes and was interviewed on Model Search UK’s online TV channel.
Italia admitted she thought she had blown her chance of winning the overall title after being named Miss Teen Lovely Hair, and she told host Jason Rowland she thought her classmates would be pleased with her win.
“I think they will be so happy for me,” she said.
“They know this is something I love to do.”
•To see Italia’s winning interview, visit www.missteenmodelgirluk.com.