From Booval to New York
WHO would have thought Ipswich could launch an international modelling star?
Last year, Nikita Russ was just a big eyed Ipswich girl who thought her innocent looks may give her a chance of being noticed at The Young Model Discovery competition held at Booval Shopping Fair.
But Nikita was not just noticed, she ended up winning the Queensland-based competition which lead to modelling gigs in Asia.
Soon after that great job, the 16-year-old was strutting down New York catwalks.
And then three weeks ago the seemingly impossible happened.
Her wildest dreams became a reality when she signed a modelling contract with infamous New York agency Ford Models, home to such names as Christie Brinkley, Rachel Hunter, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Booval Fair marketing manager Jessica Davis saw Nikita shine last year and said she was the standout among the 200 aspiring Ipswich models who tried out for the competition.
“There were a lot of entrants and Nikita was easily the most striking,” she said.
“It's just great that a girl who auditioned here, in Booval, made it to the top in less than a year.”
Nikita's international stardom began to soar when she spent six weeks modelling in Singapore earlier this year.
After wowing the audiences with her cute but dramatic poses she then flew to New York to meet with five top model agents before eventually signing with Ford Models.
• The Young Model Discovery competition celebrates its 21st birthday in 2009 with several heats across Queensland, including one at Booval Fair, where organisers hope to find the next Nikita Russ. Heat one of the 2009 Tamblyn Young Model Discovery will be held on Thursday, July 2 with registrations starting at 5.30pm, heat two will be held on Friday, July 3 with registrations starting at 10.30am and the semi-final will be held on Saturday, July 4 from 10.30am.