Former New Face winner Diya going places
As we head closer to The New Paper New Face 16's walk-in audition, DANELIA CHIM (firstname.lastname@example.org) catches up with 2014 winner Diya Prabhakar, who will also be on the judging panel this year
She may be a schoolgirl here, but The New Paper New Face 2014 winner Diya Prabhakar is a rising star in India, where she has graced magazine covers.
At just 17, she walked in the Lakme fashion week in India in March, as well as for international fashion brands such as Oscar De La Renta, Ashley Isham, Desigual and Topshop in Singapore.
She has also appeared in the pages of fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue in India as well as Her World and ZbBz here.
The 1.82m Jurong Junior College student credits New Face for boosting her career to the "next level" and making her more confident.
"I was already doing some modelling before, but joining New Face was a way for everyone to know me."
She added: "Previously, I was not very confident, but New Face opened me up a lot. I socialise more now and I know how to make small talk.
"I used to slouch and I never blended in. I was tall, extra skinny with big frizzy hair. I didn't think they were assets.
"But now, I know they are good things."
Diya described her New Face experience as "super duper fun".
She said: "Our batch really bonded.
"We would join (last year's) rehearsals to relive our memories. It's like visiting your alma mater with fellow graduates."
Her most memorable moments in New Face happened while she was at Bintan for a photoshoot with fellow contestants.
"It was like a vacation with a 30-minute photoshoot," she said.
When she was younger, she thought being a bank teller was "the coolest thing ever". Today, it's all about modelling.
"The minute I went on stage, I knew that this was what I wanted to do," she said.
'JUST BE YOU'
For New Face hopefuls, Diya advised: "Just be you. Just be confident.
"Don't worry about what will happen at the end. Whether it's a good or bad experience, you'll learn and you'll grow."
Diya, who plans to continue modelling, hopes to go international and walk in cities like New York, Milan, Paris and London.
But she stressed that an education is important, too.
She wants to earn a business degree in the future. She said: "It's important to get a degree. No matter what your interest is, it's good to have a backup."
HOW TO JOIN
For student Diya Prabhakar, 17, walking in fashion weeks and being on the covers of magazines is part and parcel of her part-time job.
On New Face, Diya said: "For a beginner, it's your way to enter the industry and for someone who's in it already, it's your way to get to the next step."
Other alumni have used New Face as a stepping stone in their careers. They include local actresses Julie Tan, Atikah Suhaime and Shine Koh, models Vivian Ong and Christabel Campbell, Night Owl Cinematics girl Aurelia Ng, and social media star Sophie Willocq.
Here are three steps you can take to join them:
On Instagram, tag @TNPNewFace to your photo (just one photo) and add the hashtag #TNPNewFace16. Ten girls will be picked to advance to Round 2. The hunt ends on Sunday.
On May 22, last year's top 20 contestants will be at Bugis Junction or Bugis+ to spot girls to put through to Round 2.
The walk-in audition on May 29 will be the final chance for you to be in New Face 16. Register at Bugis+ Level 2 atrium between 1pm and 2pm.
For updates, go to TNPNewFace on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.