MANILA, Philippines – A 17-year-old catwalk newbie from the Philippines won the 2011 Supermodel of the World contest in New York City, the first time that the country won the prestigious model search.
Danica Flores Magpantay, a student of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines (UP), won a US$250,000 contract from the Eileen Ford Modeling Agency. It is believed be the fashion industry’s biggest prize for a model search.
Magpantay stands 5’9” and weighs 109 lbs.
First runner-up was Lithuania, whose representative won a US$150,000 modeling contract while second runner-up, Poland, took home US$100,000. Representatives from Brazil and Poland rounded up the Top 5.
Observers said that modeling runs in the blood of Magpantay with her mother, Lala Flores, now a professional make-up artist, also representing the Philippines in the same modeling contest 20 years ago.
Last year, the Philippines figured prominently in the model search when Chat Almarvez was adjudged first-runner up.
The first Filipino to join the international modeling search was 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez who finished as one of the semi-finalists.
The contest, which started in the 1980s as “Face of the 80s,’’ discovers new talent for the fashion industry.
In an interview posted by Adventures of a Beauty Queen, after she won the local model search last Oct. 31, 2010, Magpantay said that it was only last August when she decided she wanted to give modeling a try.
Magpantay said she told about her plans to her mother who agreed to her decision.
The newest Ford model said that her mother enrolled her at the Masters School for Models where she took courses on walking and posing, among others.
After Magpantay graduated from the modeling school, her mentors urged her to join the Philippine search for the representative to the Supermodel of the World contest.
In the local search, Danica’s sister, Danielle, also joined the same contest. In the end, Danica won while her sister finished eighth.
Prior to the contest, their mother had advised them not to expect anything from the contest. She said that the two sisters should be thankful that they were given the chance to join the model search.
Pogs Magpantay, a registered nurse and dad of the model sisters, has encouraged his daughters to shine as models. His friends have labeled him as model makers with three models running in the family circle.
Danica said that she trains hard at the gym. Her biggest dream is to become one of the top models for Victoria’s Secret.