Meet the nine hopefuls bidding to fly the flag for Sunderland on the national modelling stage.
The finalists so far for Top Model of Sunderland have been practising their poses at The Marriott in Seaburn, which will host the final on June 2.
The budding models are hoping to follow in the footsteps of current title holder Rachael Dawson, 21, who went on to win the national Supermodel England competition in which she scooped an all expenses paid trip to Vietnam to compete in the international World Supermodel finals in November.
As with previous years, the annual Sunderland contest is expected to raise thousands of pounds for the Foundation of Light.
Top Model of Sunderland director, Ailish Shaw, said: “Rachael has set the bar really high after winning the national contest and I’m really impressed with the standard so far.
“Rachael’s a prime example of the opportunities that can come your way from a competition. Now she’s off to Vietnam, which is a country she might never have visited otherwise. I think seeing her success has encouraged a lot of other girls to enter.”
Applications are still open for this year’s Top Model of Sunderland and Ailish says it’s more inclusive than other contests.
She explained: “With other competitions the girls can’t be married or have children, but I encourage all women to enter of all sizes, single or married. Just because you’re a single mum it shouldn’t stand in your way of following your dreams.
“It’s also not just about turning up and looking pretty, I want a girl to hopefully get a career out of this competition. A lot of these girls have never done anything like this before, but it’s a great experience for them and helps give them confidence.”
Last year’s winner Rachael, from Hebburn in South Tyneside, said: “I never thought I’d win this competition, let alone with the national title and be going to Vietnam.
“The advice I would give to this year’s finalists is to make friends with each other, as it’s so much easier when everyone gets along, and to just be themselves.”
On the night of the final, the finalists will compete in rounds wearing outfits from Brogan’s Closet. The prize will include a discount with The Dress Worx, as well as entry into Supermodel England national final, amongst other prizes.
Eligible applicants for Top Model of Sunderland should be aged 16-29 and live within a 30-mile radius of Sunderland. To apply visit http://www.topmodelofsunderland.co.uk/