"I had zero clue"

Jen­nifer Hawkins and Alessan­dra Am­bro­sio re­call be­ing rook­ies as they team up for Australia’s Next Top Model

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

SHE is one the world’s big­gest su­per­mod­els, but Alessan­dra Am­bro­sio vividly re­mem­bers her first ever mod­el­ling photo as a determined but shy teen.

Be­ing guest judge in the first episode of the new sea­son of Australia’s Next

Top Model gave the Brazil­ian beauty and Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret star cause to re­flect on her own hum­ble be­gin­nings.

“It takes me back,” Am­bro­sio, 33, said of meet­ing the 12 com­peti­tors on the hit Fox­tel re­al­ity se­ries.

“I re­mem­ber be­ing a young model, a be­gin­ner – you don’t even know what you’re do­ing out there un­til one day it just clicks.

“I had zero clue. In my first shoots, peo­ple would tell me to have at­ti­tude. I didn’t know what that meant!”

Am­bro­sio, whose par­ents ran a petrol sta­tion in a small city in the coun­try’s south, signed up for mod­el­ling classes at 12 and was a fi­nal­ist in a tal­ent search two years later.

By 15, she had bagged the cover of Elle mag­a­zine in Brazil and landed her first ma­jor job for iconic fash­ion brand Guess. She has since fronted for cam­paigns for Ralph Lau­ren and Chris­tian Dior, graced the cat­walk for the likes of Prada and Chanel, and ap­peared in vir­tu­ally ev­ery ma­jor fash­ion mag­a­zine in the world.

Her role on ANTM sees Am­bro­sio help the dozen rookie mod­els with their first photo shoot. Some strug­gled, which is some­thing she sym­pa­thised with.

“The first time I was in front of the cam­era was a test shot when I was 14. I was very in­no­cent. The pho­tog­ra­pher was telling me what to do. Pos­ing was a big thing at the time. I feel like it’s more sub­tle now.”

She still has that first pho­to­graph and stum­bles across it from time to time. It’s a solid re­minder of where she came from. Since then, the mod­el­ling in­dus­try has evolved rapidly – par­tic­u­larly with the grow­ing dom­i­nance of so­cial me­dia, which means it’s eas­ier for new faces to break in.

“But I think in a way it’s harder to stay longer,” Am­bro­sio says. “Girls are in and out very quickly. It’s prob­a­bly harder to find a sta­ble place.”

ANTM acts as a kind of model boot camp, and Am­bro­sio says this year’s use of a string of big-name in­dus­try and fash­ion iden­ti­ties – along­side ANTM reg­u­lars Jen Hawkins, Alex Perry, Cheyenne Tozzi and Di­dier Co­hen – of­fers the contestants an un­beat­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

“They get to meet some amaz­ing peo­ple and ex­pe­ri­ence what it means to be a good model,” she says.

The keys to suc­cess are ob­vi­ously beauty and body, but also at­ti­tude, Am­bro­sio says.

“You need per­son­al­ity. That’s what makes you.

“I think it’s def­i­nitely the most im­por­tant thing and what’s unique about each per­son.”

She adds a grounded per­sona is also im­por­tant.

It’s ad­vice a few of the wannabes on the new sea­son should take – men­tor Co­hen said a few came in with big egos from day one.

“A few are in there straight away think­ing they’re the best, they know ev­ery­thing,” he laughed. “They have some ’tude. It’s kind of funny.”



An­gel: Australia’sNex­tTopModel guest judge Alessan­dra Am­bro­sio is best known for her work with Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret.

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