Back in 1990, I was obsessed with George Michael’s music video for “Freedom.” Full of gorgeous supermodels striking their fiercest poses, I was blown away by how “super” the supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell seemed to my nine year old self.
I pored over my mom’s W Magazines and covered my walls from season to season with the latest straight-from-the-runway looks. I obsessively watched documentaries like “Unzipped” and films like “Ready to Wear” to learn a bit more about the fashion industry. Quickly, I realized that beyond the runways, galas and photo shoots, it’s not all glitz. Fabulosity isn’t an easy gig, and as with anything, to become great, you have to start somewhere and work your way up to greatness.
Given my seemingly unquenching appetite for fabulosity and all the greatness it inspires, you can imagine how thrilled I am to present “Elite New Face,” a Hulu Exclusive Series that goes behind the scenes of Elite World’s most prestigious global model search, Elite Model Look (“EML”). Responsible for launching the careers of the aforementioned supermodels, Elite World’s global competition introduced other top models, including Stephanie Seymour, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. This 10-episode documentary series gives viewers a glimpse of what it takes to become a top international model.
“Elite New Face” journeys from local castings in all around the world — from Paris, Rome, and Hong Kong to London and Milan — to model boot camp, where the world’s best photographers, stylists, judges, models and agents come together to evaluate and educate the aspiring new models. In each episode, Elite’s influential key players challenge the world’s most beautiful and confident young women to rise to the top, including Elite CEO Michaelangelo Chiacchi, Head Stylist Jerry Ng, Director of Elite France Victoria Da Silva and one of the most powerful women in modeling, Elite President Michaela Goddard-Quesada. (Michaela discovered Shalom Harlow and Caroline Murphy,among others, and travels the world in search of future Elite top models.) The series culminates at the biggest casting event on the global fashion calendar: the World Final in Shanghai. Expect exciting guest appearances from pop superstar Kylie Minogue, singer Jessie J, supermodels Ming Xi, Sigrid Agren, Michaela Kocianova and others.
In the midst of the final stages of the “Elite New Face” competition, Michaela took some time to answer a few questions what we can expect throughout the series.
Hulu: After years of discovering new fashion icons, “Elite New Face” brings viewers inside the Elite Model Look competition. Why now? How do you feel the structure of “Elite New Face” depicts “Elite Model Look” compared to its reality?
Michaela Goddard-Quesada: First of all, the EML contest is our primary way of discovering future top models for the agency. That’s why it is so important for us to show the hidden facets of our contest. The EML contest is the first of many steps where the contestants get their first taste of the modeling universe. Even if the final aim is professional, it is an amazing experience, intensely emotional for the contestants and the Elite staff as well. “Elite New Face” is the best way to get a sneak peak at behind the scenes and experience the contest through the eyes of the contestants and some of the fashion industry’s most talented professionals.
What makes today’s “Elite Model Look” competition different than its beginnings?
The aim of the contest has not changed from its beginnings but, each year, all of the EML organizers try to improve the quality of their scouting and organize beautiful national finals. Since 1983, the Elite team has the same objective of discovering THE girl who will be the next future international top model.
What should Hulu viewers be most excited about in “Elite New Face?” Any major surprises?
Viewers will be surprised and will experience a whirlwind of emotions throughout every episode, from a glimpse of the first professional shooting, the stage rehearsals at the Shanghai Culture Plaza, and the interviews with the Elite top models, to the visit of the Chinese temple, the dinners in famous places like M1nt, and the incredible show with the international star Jessie J. Participating contestants from all over the world including Australia, Nigeria, Romania, USA, and Iceland will each get to live out their dream throughout these weeks. Every single former contestant shares the same point of view: the EML contest is a unique experience that will be engraved in their memories forever.
What do you believe to be the most challenging part of model boot camp?
Every moment can be challenging for the contestants. But, the most memorable moments are, without a doubt, their first shooting with a professional photographer and their first rehearsal on stage.
Watch Michaela and her Elite colleagues in the premiere episode of “Elite New Face,” highlighting the 28th Elite Model Look World Final of 2011 and giving us a look at what’s to come throughout the season.