Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Best of Both Worlds

Australian model Shanina Shaik was thrust into the public eye in 2008 via a short-lived modelling reality television show called "Make me a Supermodel." When Shaik placed second behind the eventual winner male model Rhys Uhlich, I was certain that it would only be a matter of time before she would make her mark internationally. Blessed with gorgeously dimpled cheeks, hazel green eyes flecked with gold, and the sweetest of smiles, Shaik is no ordinary beauty. In 2009, Shaik relocated to New York signing with New York Model Management and made her runway debut that year at New York Fashion Week walking for Trovata, Mara Hoffman and Shipley & Halmos. Following a promising start, Shaik found herself hastily pigeon-holed as a commercial model more suited to swimwear and lingerie jobs, due in part to her exotic, sultry looks and her 175 cm frame which purportedly limited her high fashion runway stakes.

Shanina Shaik
Polaroid courtesy of Next Model Management
Source - models.com

More than Meets the Eye
Polaroid courtesy of Next Model Management
Source - models.com


In 2011, with the intention of extending her modelling options Shaik switched representation to Next Model Management where she is managed by fellow expat agent Stephen Lee. Shaik's gamble paid off with her first major break presenting in the guise of a coveted spot in the line-up of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. The exposure generated by Shaik's Victoria's Secret appearance led to an avalanche of interest with casting directors, photographers and designers suddenly requesting her for castings and go-sees. Industry veteran James Scully who casts for Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu, Derek Lam and Carolina Herrera joined in the buzz surrounding Shaik revealing to the Cut during castings for New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012, "This is the go-see I've been waiting for all week."

Checking in at Next Models London
Image courtesy of Next Model Management
Source - thefashionspot.com


Go-Sees
Photographer - Terry Richardson
Source - terrysdiary.com


Shaik's unique blend of Lithuanian, Saudi Arabian and Pakistani heritage made her a natural choice for Karl Lagerfeld's "Paris meets Bombay" inspired Chanel Pre-Fall 2012 collection. Shaik demonstrated her versatility and high fashion capabilities at Chanel, donning a gold silk tunic over white leggings which concealed her va-va-voom physique. Designer Jason Wu requested Shaik to model for his Pre-Fall Look book alongside Erjona Ala and Meghan Collison. Shaik clearly impressed Wu, with the designer selecting Shaik to open for his Fall/Winter 2012 show. 

Chanel - Pre-Fall 2012
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Jason Wu - Fall/Winter 2012
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Stella McCartney - F/W 2012
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Shaik's appearances during the Fall/Winter 2012 season at Jason Wu, Charlotte Ronson, Oscar de la Renta, Ruffian, Tom Ford, Blumarine, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood amongst others, point towards a definitive narrowing of the divide between commercial and high fashion modelling. Australian Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Kirstie Clements who recently featured Shaik in an editorial for the publication's May 2012 issue, gives a good enough reason for this shift in industry attitudes in a recent tweet, "Shanina came in, part Lithuanian, Australian, Saudi and Pakistani and one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen."

Australian Vogue - May 2012
Photographer - Nicole Bentley
Source - thefashionspot.com

Australian Vogue - May 2012
Photographer - Nicole Bentley
Source - thefashionspot.com

Australian Vogue - May 2012
Photographer - Nicole Bentley
Source - thefashionspot.com

2 comments:

  1. I so tipped her to do amazing things after that show, and look at her now!

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  2. I watched that show and tipped her to win, when she didn't I got why, the winner very rarely goes on to achieve amazing things (except for Alice Burdeu, winner of ANTM cycle 3), which this lady certainly has done.

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