Hundreds of would-be models from across the province descended on Belfast yesterday for the chance to become the next Northern Irish supermodel.
Up to 400 hopefuls patiently queued, some for several hours, for the opportunity to become the new face of high street clothes giant DV8.
The trendy store, which has 26 shops across Northern Ireland and Scotland, launched its 2010 Face of DV8 competition five weeks ago. It is looking for a male and a female aged between 17 and 30 years old to represent the DV8 brand in Press campaigns and advertising for a year.
At this year’s casting call competitors eagerly queued from as early as 7.30am in the hope of impressing the judges — Belfast model agent Alison Campbell, celebrity hairdresser Paul Stafford and one of Ireland’s best known photographers, Khara Pringle.
Ms Campbell described the event as the “equivalent of X Factor for Northern Ireland models”.
In 2008, the competition helped launch the supermodel career of Downpatrick girl Carrie-Anne Burton.
Carrie-Anne now leads a successful modelling career in London and Dublin and has worked for such fashion icons as Chanel and John Rocha.
The 20-year-old is on the books of top model agency TESS Management in London along with supermodels Erin O’Connor, Elizabeth Hurley and Jerry Hall.
At yesterday’s casting call the judges described the standard as extremely high.
“We had so many great and diverse looks, it was very difficult to whittle it down to 10 females and 10 males for the next round,” said Ms Campbell.
Belfast haidresser Paul Stafford said: “When someone walks in here we know whether they are what we are looking for.
“Having a personality really helps, but ultimately we are looking for someone who can carry the cool brand of DV8. They have to have that edge.
He added: “After whittling it down to the next stage we will get up close and personal with the contestants.”