Ellie Smith dreams of a life in the clouds working for an airline.
Now she is walking on clouds after take-off of a different kind when she won Runway 2017, the Courier’s annual search for a model, in front of more than 120 people - the biggest audience since it began five years ago.
And it all happened just days before her 17th birthday!
Seven girls were joined by former winners Natasha Maude (2016) and Chloe Lockley-Middleton (2015) on the catwalk modelling a range of new Spring and Summer clothes in the newly refurbished women’s fashion department at Harveys department store in Halifax.
But it was student Ellie from Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, cheered on by her tearful mum Debbie who ran out winner with the judges, Bernadette Gledhill from model agency Morton-Gledhill - The Fashion team who also compered the night, Sue Harvey company director and Tony Murray, store director at Harveys and Tim Worsnop from the Courier.
“I was just overwhelmed when my name was read out, it was like I was dreaming. Completely mad,” said Ellie, a former pupil of Brighouse High School who is now studying travel and tourism at Huddersfield New College hoping for a career with an airline.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I put my name forward. Once we had done a couple of changes of clothes and the walkthrough I started to feel more relaxed,” she said.
Ellie’s prize, which was presented to her by Natasha and Chloe, includes a £250 voucher to spend at Harveys, an introduction to modelling course with the Morton Gledhill agency and a professional fashion photoshoot with the Courier to start that all important portfolio.
The girls - Liberty Walton, Jenna Smith, Stevie-Leigh Sanderson, Bethany Whitwell, Trinity Sykes, Orianna Dawson and Ellie - went through three changes of clothes in each half of the show wearing brands like Superdry, Joules, Masai, Phase Eight, Seasalt, White Stuff, Wallis, First Avenue, Taifun and Gerry Weber. Shoes were by Gabor, Van Dal, Rocket Dog and Sketchers.
“Every year these girls who have never worked a catwalk before put on a tremendous show with only a minimal amount of training the night before. It is amazing the transformation that takes place. On behalf of the judges I’d like to thank them all,” said Tony Murray.
The girls had professional make-up support from Harveys and a team from Monroe’s hair salon worked tirelessly to create new looks.
There was a special mention too for Chloe Lockley-Middleton, Runway’s 2015 winner who last night starred as one of 12 finalists from an entry of more than 2,000 hopefuls in the Lifetime Channel TV show Britain’s Next Top Model. She was taken from home in Huddersfield to a premiere at a secret venue last night to watch the first episode.
Runway is sponsored by Harveys, Morton Gledhill The Fashion team and the Courier.
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