Kiwi girls strut their stuff in fashion world

By Abby Gillies

A small town Kiwi model has been tipped for the top after a successful debut at New York Fashion Week.

Matamata's Emily Baker, 17, was named one of the top 10 newcomers of the season by online fashion bible models.com, which predicted she would take the fashion world by storm.

Since arriving in New York, she has worked the runway for some of the world's top designers, including Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs.

Her "impressive first season statement" had put her "on the watchlist of every major casting director, photographer and editor in the trade", said the website.

"And it is very inspiring to know Ms Baker has the personality to justify the buzz," it added.

She was joined in New York by Jessica Clarke, also 17, from Palmerston North, who modelled clothes by designers including Diane Von Furstenberg, Rebecca Taylor and Jacobs.

The girls' blossoming careers are taking them to the world's fashion capitals, including London, Paris and Milan.

Their hectic schedule, which often means working up to 19-hour days, was paying off, said manager Marama Nicholas from their New Zealand modelling agency, Clyne.

"The two of them have worked really hard and they've done extremely well overseas," he said.

The girls' mix of the "right ingredients" and down-to-earth attitudes were getting them noticed internationally, said Nicholas.

"They're lovely girls. It's their approach, mentality and look - not everyone can go overseas and do this," he said.

Emily had striking bone structure and Jessica had a more classic look with "amazing lips, eyes and smile", he said.

The girls have finished school and would be largely based in New York to pursue their modelling careers, said Nicholas.

Emily's mother, Sue, said being involved in New York Fashion Week was a huge accomplishment for her daughter, who is being chaperoned by her father, Glenn. Jessica is accompanied by her parents.

- Herald on Sunday

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