Several large and curvy women, most of whom never thought of themselves as models, and none with traditional modelling experience, have won a modelling contest.
Earlier this year, Sonya Perkins launched a unique model search contest ,seeking out six full-figured women to be the face of national advertising campaigns for her two downtown Langley Cotu companies - Forever Yours Lingerie and LUCY Clothing.
The contest wrapped up May 15 with what she described as a flurry of eleventh hour submissions coming in.
In the end, there were more than 250 women between Vancouver Island and Hope who applied.
"There were so many great ladies, it was difficult to get the finalists down to 20; we ended up with 23 finalists in total," Perkins said, noting that seven of the finalists were from Langley.
With various fittings and test photo shoots now completed, Perkins announced today that six finalists have been picked - including two with ties to Langley, but ironically, none hail from the host city.
Danielle Keil now lives in New Westminster, but grew up in Langley until age nine.
The other contender with ties to Langley is Sarah Baarda of Surrey, who grew up in Langley but moved away as an adult, to be closer to work.
Those two women are joined by Chelsey Hibbs, Kaleigh McDonald, and Yogeeta Lai of Surrey, as well as Tiffany McFadyen of Coquitlam, three modelling for Forever Yours Lingerie and the other three for LUCY's.
"It is incredibly humbling to be selected to represent a brand like LUCY Clothing," said McFadyen. "I'm still in shock; the other finalists are all gorgeous."
Each of the winners receive a $500 wardrobe and a three-month paid modelling contract with the possibility for renewal, and all will become the faces of a national advertising campaign.
The model search was born out of a desire to find women who best represent the stores' customer base.
"We were looking for real women who could wear the bras and clothing lines that we sell in each of our locations," Perkins said.
With a modeling industry that profiles women sized 8 to 12 as plus size, Perkins was frustrated by the idea of having to fit fashions to models who would most likely never shop at one of her boutiques.