HOW THIS SCHOOLGIRL BECAME A GLOBAL MODELLING SENSATION
She’s too young to legally order a glass of champagne to toast her amazing success but that hasn’t stopped 17-year-old Aleyna FitzGerald from pursuing an international modelling career with full force.
Last year’s winner of Foxtel’s hugely successful Australia’s Next Top Model franchise has been walking runways across the world since being crowned the show’s winner by just half a point last November.
And she could just be the most successful Australia’s Next Top Model contestant.
The stunning teen, who quit school and her part-time job as a receptionist at a forklift factory in rural NSW to chase her dream, has come a long way since she first appeared on the reality series.
She’s worked for major designers such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino. In July she replaced Kendall Jenner (who she’d love to meet one day) as the face of fashion house Balmain’s autumn/winter 2017 ad campaign. This week she has again been walking the catwalk at New York Fashion week for the world’s biggest brands.
“It’s been a crazy year for me,” FitzGerald tells BW during a rare trip home to Sydney to spend time with her family and promote her association with Forever New’s Ever After collection.
“I’ve gone international. I’ve been to Paris, New York and all around the world wherever work takes me. It’s just so exciting.”
FitzGerald, who travels the world on her own (in economy) and often bunks in at hotel rooms with other models, says it isn’t all glitz and glamour in the fashion industry and insists it requires hard work and perseverance to make it.
“If you really want to do it, you will find the enjoyment out of it,” she advises anyone considering the work. “I really enjoy doing it, but it is a lot of hard work.”
Among the difficulties of the job is the absence of family and friends but FaceTime and regular phone calls and texts help her get through that isolation.
“It is emotional,” FitzGerald says. “It’s scary being away from home and on the other side of the world without my parents and my family to support me.
“I didn’t think it would be so difficult because you see the glamour, you see all the fun. All of those things