Pageantry magazine logo

Search the Web Search Pageantry magazine

  Pageantry on Facebook   Pageantry RSS Feed   Pageantry and Promtime YouTube channel
 Fashion Showcase with Prom, Pageant, and Social Occasion Gowns
Fiona Hefti went from modeling to the Miss Universe Pageant
By Eve Matheson
Pageants encompass glamour, image, sophistication, talent, poise, personality, success, and opportunity—and more. Fashion modeling does the same. The business of acting, film, and television embraces all of these aspects as well. It is little wonder, then, that in the last few years there has been a very significant crossover between these career-launching platforms. Models who have competed in pageants now enjoy acting careers, while pageant winners model on international runways. Some actresses have done both pageants and modeling.
After the last Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss USA extravaganzas, I received many questions from parents, children, teenagers, and adults who had either been involved in fashion modeling and were interested in pageant competitions or vice versa. They wanted to know if it is possible to make this transition or crossover, and if so, what the key differences and ingredients are for a successful career.
For answers, I interviewed experts from all over the world who are involved in various aspects of modeling, acting, and pageants. Here is what they told me.
Zenata Blank, a former model who owns the visage agency in Zurich, Switzerland, acknowledges that it is possible to make the crossover, but there are certain things to remember. “In the modeling business,” she says, “we are looking for a very natural look with hair and makeup. A model must have height, good proportions, excellent bone structure, and know how to project in front of the camera. She must walk well on a runway and be photogenic. She doesn’t necessarily have to be very intelligent.
“If she wants to be involved in pageants, however, she does need to be intelligent because she will be interviewed on a wide variety of subjects. It is not enough for her to be photogenic. A pageant girl who wants to become a fashion model needs to be at least 5'9" tall, know how to move and walk well, and trade the big hair style and heavier makeup for a more natural look. I think it is easier for a model to make the crossover to pageants.”
Zenata speaks from experience. She advised one of her models, beautiful Fiona Hefti, who had been with VISAGE for seven years, to compete for the title of Miss Switzerland instead of pursuing a modeling career in New York as planned. Fiona was crowned Miss Switzerland and was one of the Top 10 finalists of Miss Universe 2005! Fiona is now a fashion journalist.
My research for this article led me to meet an amazing trio of school directors from Japan. (By sheer coincidence, we met in a taxi in New York on the way to a reception at the famous Elite Model Agency for school directors attending the International Model and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention in that city.) They are Akiko Shimizu, Mitsuka (Mika) Hyoguchi, and Tokiko Fujimoto, and they are exceptional because they own the only modeling school in their respective cities of Tokyo, Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu, and Osaka — all three are John Robert Powers franchises. Akiko was bubbling over with excitement, because one of her students, Kurara Chibana, Miss Japan 2006, had just been voted 1st Runner-up in the Miss Universe Pageant. She told me that her office in Tokyo was being mobbed by the media wanting to report this great achievement for Japan. Say Akiko, “We collaborate with the Miss Universe office in Japan which organizes the Miss Japan Pageant. They send us contestants for more training in poise, sophistication, good manners, confidence, conversation, and participation. Kurara is tall and beautiful. She also has a very good attitude, speaks well, and can answer questions on any topic. This combination is essential for the pageant participant. Many models have the looks but are not trained to participate in all of the pageant events.”
Valerie Trott, a renowned model agent who judged the Miss California 2006 pageant, believes that the crossover from modeling to pageants and vice versa is a recent phenomenon. “Fifteen years ago,” she says, “it couldn’t have happened, but today it can, because there is not that much difference between the two. The most significant difference is height. A pageant girl who has the height can model, but you don’t have to be 5'9" to be in a pageant. You can be 5'5" or 5'6".
“Pageant judges look at how you present yourself and the way you handle yourself in front of people,” she continues. “The better you put that together, the more charming you become, the more people take to you. In the pageant world, they say you have to be red-carpet ready. Today, the celebrities can be models or actresses because they all blend. We see more and more actresses on the covers of fashion magazines and more and more models on television and in the movies. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Diane Sawyer have all been Miss Somebody. It is all show business. I would strongly advise anyone going into modeling to learn how to speak, and act, and compete. If models and pageant girls can make the crossover, there can be amazing career opportunities.”
The highly-respected family that owns the Barbizon-Avanti School and Agency in Raleigh, North Carolina, is deeply involved in the development and careers of girls interested in pageants, modeling and acting. Co-owner Nell Renfrew-Sutton agrees that the crossover between pageants and modeling happens more frequently than ever. “We have girls who go into modeling to prepare for pageants,” says Nell, “and sometimes when they have made that crossover, they decide that modeling is what they want. They are all beautiful girls, and while the walk and height is very important for models, pageant girls are sometimes more outgoing and not afraid to talk to people, which helps when they sit with a model agent.”
Two examples from Barbizon-Avanti are Sam Holby, Miss North Carolina USA 2006, who is trained for a modeling career, and Kristen Hansen, who was Miss Congeniality and winner of the People’s Choice Award in the same pageant and attended classes for modeling and acting. “We brought her to the IMTA competition in New York,” says Nell, “and she won the Actress of the Year award for Barbizon International as well as for IMTA. She was also awarded a scholarship from prestigious acting coach Adam Hill.”
For the complete behind-the-scenes story and all the details on this and other exciting competitive events from across America, as well as a wealth of advice to improve your chances of victory, be sure to Order Pageantry today.
Modeling articles archive

Read More Modeling Articles


Summer 2016

Factors For Success

To guide you on your road to success, Eve Matheson goes to the pros for answers to essential industry questions.

By Eve Matheson


Spring 2016

Making it in the Midwest

While it has never seemed possible in the past, America’s heartland has become a great launching pad for young models to make it big.

By Eve Matheson


Winter 2015

Starting from Scratch

Former international model Raquel Ann Repka went from runway to representation, and offers her advice for chasing dreams in this fast-paced glamour industry.

By Eve Matheson


Fall 2015

Follow in Legendary Footsteps

If you want to become a superstar in the modeling industry, look no further than Gisele Bündchen for inspiration, motivation, and the guts to keep trying.

By Eve Matheson


Summer 2015

The Value of Hard Work

Breaking into the modeling industry isn’t simply about having a beautiful face, as much as it’s about working to prove you’re worth it.

By Eve Matheson


Spring 2015

Turning the Modeling World Upside Down

Australia’s Greg Tyshing is creating runway-ready models by using the lessons that he has learned from the industry since childhood.

By Eve Matheson


Winter 2014

Cutting to the Chase

The 2014 European Model Showcase stole the spotlight from some huge events in Paris, while featuring the next models to walk the international runways.

By Eve Matheson


Fall 2014

Your Perfect Portfolio

While there’s no specific style set in stone for your modeling photo album, there are things that you can do to definitely catch a scout’s eye.

By Eve Matheson


Summer 2014

Following Your Dreams

Nobody is going to deny you the opportunity to follow your dream of becoming a model, but that doesn’t mean the journey will be easy.

By Eve Matheson


Spring 2014

Clicking at the Right Time

Endurance and a universally respected name have made CLICK one of the most important and successful names in the world of modeling.

By Eve Matheson


Winter 2013

Opportunity Knocks

Thanks to the blossoming eCommerce industry, modeling agencies like Leni’s Model Management have been able to succeed despite the economy.

By Eve Matheson


Fall 2013

Breaking Barriers

Models from countries that have never been synonymous with fashion are suddenly finding success as the industry opens more doors.

By Eve Matheson


Summer 2013

Broadening Your Horizons

Industry experts Tony Perkins and Anna Lewkowska encourage models to reach beyond the runways of Paris and NYC.

By Eve Matheson


Spring 2013

Think Before you Ink

From tattoos to tanning, aspiring models should put considerable thought into decisions that could possibly affect their long-term appearances.

By Eve Matheson


Winter 2012


From London to Las Vegas, success knows no bounds for some of the biggest up-and coming names in modeling and entertainment representation.

By Eve Matheson


Fall 2012

Calling for More Support

Inspirational organizations like Models For Christ are becoming more valuable to the careers of aspiring models in need of direction.

By Eve Matheson


Summer 2012

Words of Wisdom

Between the expertise of scouts at IMTA and the ever-changing methods of industry geniuses, there is plenty of advice out there for aspiring models.

By Eve Matheson


Spring 2012

Passport to Discovery

For most people, a cruise is just a relaxing vacation, but this special cruise is packed with the modeling opportunities of a lifetime.

By Eve Matheson


Winter 2011

Time Honored Traditions

New York City and Washington D.C. played host to two historical events for the modeling and entertainment industries.

By Eve Matheson


Fall 2011

Thinking About Japan

After dealing with consecutive tragedies, Japan’s modeling industry is ready to resume being a major international influence.

By Eve Matheson


Summer 2011

What's Your Shelf Life?

Your modeling career can be a short one if you don’t take advantage of the right opportunities when they are presented to you.

By Eve Matheson


Greene with Envy

Hollywood hopefuls packed the house at IMTA with the desire to become the next Ashley Greene.

By Angel Anthony Mendez


Starlight Star Bright

The talented stars of Nickelodeon, Twilight and iPOP! once again raised money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.


Spring 2011

Making it in Milan

Some of the modeling industry’s experts weigh in on what it takes for young talent to get to Italy.

By Eve Matheson


Winter 2010

Uncover Your Inner Celebrity

Hard work and dedication are your tickets to achieving your goals, and even being on the front of Pageantry.

By Eve Matheson


On Top of the World

The International Modeling and Talent Association provides some insight as to what makes their convention an amazing tool for aspiring models and actors.


Picturing Your Success

Ryan Lionberger and Nicole Geiger were named this year’s Mr. and Ms. Barbizon at the International Modeling and Talent Association convention in New York City.


Next in Demand

The International Presentation of Performers [iPOP!] once again helped guide aspiring young models and actors to achieving their dreams of fame and stardom.


Head of the Class

Christina Alvarez and Justin Luz walked away winners with the titles of Miss and Mr. iPOP!.



Fall 2010

Creating New Opportunities

Karen Lee has used her extensive background to develop a new series of modeling and acting workshops.

By Eve Matheson


Summer 2010

On the Upswing

The modeling and entertainment industries show enthusiasm about a rebounding economy and more jobs.

By Eve Matheson


They’re in the Zone

By earning the titles of Ms. and Mr. Barbizon, Meredith Masteller and Joey Rodriguez are staring at a wide open future.


Wish Upon a Star

iPOP! celebrates with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation at the bi-annual convention in Los Angeles.


“It’s” all up to You

The only person who can truly define the X-Factor known as “It” is you.

By Angel Anthony Mendez



Spring 2010

Only the week survives

Fashion Week invades new cities and proves that even a slow economy can’t stop the power of creative designers.

By Eve Matheson

Winter 2009
iPOP! Convention
Coming together for a cause
The 2009 iPOP! convention in Las Vegas gave participants a chance to get noticed and give back.
IMTA 2009
Something for Everyone
IMTA returns to New York for this year’s convention, featuring a priceless schedule of lessons for aspiring talent.
Limerick to Broadway
Irish eyes have a knack for spotting top talent at the IMTA convention in New York City.
By Eve Matheson
Showcase International
Showtime in the Big Apple
Year after year, Showcase International brings together the top entertainment, modeling, and acting talent with the people who make stars.
Spring 2009

Defining Normal

Maria Serrao has overcome doubt with determination, en route to establshing a career in a field that some told her she couldn't.
By Eve Matheson
Fall 2008

Pack Your Bags

Modeling isn't about where you have to live anymore, it's about where you want to live.
By Eve Matheson
Summer 2008

One is Done

Success can still be had in modeling's new era.
By Eve Matheson
Fall 2007

How To Walk the Walk

Great runway models aren't born, they're made with a combinations of strong natural gifts, instinctive moves, and plenty of tough love from a coach like Michael Maddox.
By Eve Matheson
Summer 2007

The New Color Spectrum

Many opportunities are opening up for women of color to leave a strong impression.
By Eve Matheson
Winter 2006

Modeling- Crossovers

Occasional strolls down a runway may spark an interest in expanding into full-time modeling, acting or pageant competition. Whatever the case, here are some expert tips to help you take the next steps toward achieving your goals.
By Eve Matheson
Fall 2006

MAAI 2006 Convention

It Happens Every Spring - it can happen to you: Modeling and talent agents convene each year at the Waldorf=Astoria on the lookout for the stars of tomorrow. With any luck, you too can be discovered.
Fall 2006


Made in Japan: One of America's hottest exports in the Far East may be its fashion models. Here's why girls who cross the Pacific are practically guaranteed to profit from the trip.
By Eve Matheson
Summer 2006

IMTA 2006 Convention

Star pupil, star maker: The lifeblood of the entertainment industry is people like Charlie Pasarel and his PMTS International, where so many benefit from his IMTA success as a performer, producer and mentor.
Summer 2006

iPOP! 2006 Convention

face-to-face with stardom: The 2006 iPOP! convention brings bright and promising John Robert Powers students up close to Hollywood's legendary siren's call.
Summer 2006

Barbizon 2006 Convention

Beautiful dreamers: Ms. and Mr. Barbizon winners discover the training and cool confidence required to reap Pageantry's rewards at their modeling convention.
Summer 2006

Enquiring Minds, Essential Answers

Our expert's radio call-in show appearances have elicited a number of common questions from prospective young models. Here's the version of her advice that you can conveniently tear out and keep.
By Eve Matheson
Spring 2006

Modeling: Behavior Tips All Teens Can Learn From

In any competitive field rife with rejection, a young person's success often depends upon her ability to handle these challenges with maturity.
By Eve Matheson
Winter 2005

Barbizon 2005: Feeding The Beast

Meet the two models whose convention success landed them in the 2006 Pageantry Fashion Showcase.
Winter 2005

IMTA 2005 in NYC: Major League Tryouts

Members of a small Tennessee-based talent firm compete in front of some of the biggest hitters in the modeling and acting agency-management professions.
By Ethel Smawley
Winter 2005

 iPOP! - Convention Remix

The inaugural iPOP! show sought to infuse the fashion and modeling convention with a music-and-entertainment-industry twist.
Winter 2005

Off-Runway Spotlight

How to stay in the fashion modeling field, through jobs that make the fashion industry tick.
By Eve Matheson
Fall 2005

Size Counts Even For Plus and Petite Models

When you don't fill the bill as a perfect couture specimen, there's still a chance for success — if you have what it takes.
By Eve Matheson


Summer 2005

Modeling: Five Pros Share Their Photographic Memories

These top fashion photographers reveal the characteristics they look for in new models. Find out if you have what it takes.
By Eve Matheson


Spring 2005

Modeling Schools: Do They Walk The Walk?

Althought the media spotlights the bad apples, the reputable training centers know how to deliver on their promises.
By Eve Matheson
Winter 2004

The Born Supermodel Supremacy

What qualities are needed to send a working girl into the modeling stratosphere? Let this expert explain.
Fall 2004

Cashing in on Your Best 'Bits'

How to boost your modeling career strategy by becoming a ‘Parts model.
Summer 2004

Five Secrets of a Pageant Queen From John Roberts Powers

How JRP took a diamond in the rough and shaped her into Miss Teen California.
Summer 2004

Diary of a ‘MADE’ Makeover

We take you behind the scenes as Miss Galaxy ’04 Gina Ferrer turns an unpolished Texas teen into an “overnight” pageant success for MTV
By Gina Ferrer
Summer 2004

Commercial Print Modeling: Representing “Plain Folks”

Commercial print assignments open up numerous opportunities even if you don’t make it in high fashion.
By Cristina DeHart
Summer 2004

IMTA: Where the Roads to Hollywood Dreams Begin

Hollywood, the epicenter of the entertainment world, welcomes the USA’s bright new talents.
By Carl Dunn
Summer 2004

Barbizon International: So Close to Success They Can Feel It

Acting and modeling contestants give it their all in NYC for agents and casting directors.
Winter 2003

IMTA/Barbizon: Roads to Discovery

With its proximity to a plethora of dream makers, IMTA/Barbizon in New York City offers an alluring combination - a chance to be seen, heard, and discovered by those in the modeling and entertainment industry's inner circles.
Winter 2000

MAAI: A Close Look at Modeling

The modeling industry is a business just like any other. You must understand how it works and what is expected.
By Eve Matheson
Fall 1999

How One Parent Started Her Children

My goal is to help parents and their children benefit from my family's years of experience and success in the field. Here are a few words of advice.
by Susan M. Halter


BOOK: The New York Model's Black Book


BOOK: Model Scoop & Acting Info


VIDEO: Working The Runway


Pageantry Magazine - NOW IN DIGITAL FORMAT!

Digital Pageantry magazine

Pageantry & PromTime Online Fashion Boutique

  Click and see for yourself!

Pageantry and PromTime Promotion

© Pageantry magazine 2017 contact & copyright information.