Modelling pageant for mainland

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 May, 2004, 12:00am

The Elite modelling agency will bring its global model competition to Shanghai in October to help develop local talent, organisers said yesterday.

It will be the first time the event has been staged on the mainland and media interest is already evident.

At yesterday's press conference to announce the event, photographers and TV cameramen argued with security guards and jostled for position to shoot model Svenja Paratot who was sporting a black and white dress.

'We are very confident that this event in Shanghai will help to elevate the modelling industry standards in the east,' said Alan Attia, president of Elite Model Look International.

Singapore hosted the competition last year. Mr Attia said the mainland was starting to produce fashion designers and models for the world, so the time was right to hold the competition in Shanghai.

The head of domestic industry giant Shanghai Media Group, the main organiser, said the event would help put Shanghai on the fashion map. 'This demonstrates Shanghai's increasing recognition worldwide,' said the group's president Li Ruigang.

The agency has held a regional competition on the mainland since 1995, helping to launch the careers of local models. For the international finals, 80 models from 50 countries will take part, selected from a total field of 400,000.

The mainland has recently embraced modelling competitions and beauty contests after years of ambivalence, and hosted the Miss World competition in Hainan at the end of last year.