In the Hot Seat with Rebecca York

In the Hot Seat with Rebecca York

In this week’s Hot Seat, the Out N About chats with Rebecca York, who hopes to put St. Maarten on the map in the modelling industry by competing in the prestigious Top Model Europe contest. Read all about her journey, the contest and her passion for the industry.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Rebecca York. I’m a 22-year-old Leisure and Events student in Leeuwarden, Netherlands and am proud to have been born and raised in St. Maarten. I’ve always been a creative, self-disciplined, forward thinker.

How did you get into modelling?

I’ve always had an interest in doing makeup and getting dressed up. I first started modelling at the age of 13 or 14. This was mainly encouraged by my family. They always reminded me of how beautiful I was and suggested to try modelling. Being the open-minded individual I always was, I gave it a try and fell in love with the idea of making creative content.

After I graduated from high school, I joined Teen Times as a writer and model. Eventually, I would also collaborate with photographers. I did a prom collaboration with Inglot as well to display their wonderful products and talented artists. I didn’t stop there. I also was a Promo model for several brands like Heineken and Coors Light.

After moving to Leeuwarden, I participated in another modelling competition on a smaller scale in my city and won. This encouraged me to push even further and see how far I can take modelling. Hence, I applied for Top Model Europe.

Can you tell us more about the Top Model Europe contest?

I first heard of the Top Model Europe contest on an ad on Instagram. I did some research on them and found that they are quite a prestigious organization representing top brands including Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. From there, I signed up on their website, and was selected based on my profile, to participate in this year’s competition.

The first phase of the competition was the casting for the jury’s vote, which I attended in Amsterdam along with about 24 other beautiful ladies from around The Netherlands. There, we each gave a preview of how we walk in heels and answered why we attended the casting. It was also an educational experience for me, because I learned more about designers and having to work with different people in the industry.

After the public voting phase, the jury decides who gets to move on to the third phase, modelling training. In the last phase, finalists get the opportunity to participate in the grand finale in Paris or Brussels.

What is your favourite thing about modelling?

Modelling for me is an outlet where I get to showcase my creativity. It’s just a dream I’ve always had that never died. Overall, I gain a sense of self-expression and fulfilment. Throughout this journey, I’ve learned so much about myself. Where my strengths and weaknesses lie, but also much about the people in the industry.

Does your Caribbean background influence your approach/style?

Being from a Caribbean background, there are definitely some influencing factors. I would have to speak proper English so that other nationalities will understand me clearly. My St. Maarten accent will slip out here and there, but that’s all part of who I am. There are certain things about being from St. Maarten that aren’t the most ideal, like being on time, that I’ve had to train myself to be more time. On the other hand, there’s a uniqueness that comes with being from the Caribbean. I feel like I immediately stand out when I enter a room and I’m proud of it too.

What is your favourite modelling sector?

The sector in the modelling industry that I prefer is commercial modelling, because I want to work with brands. From my experience so far, I’ve really enjoyed it. Looking back, I’m happy I made the move to The Netherlands, because the opportunities for modelling are very limited back home. With every step of the way I get in this endeavour, I always keep in mind that there are other young girls and ladies that look to me for guidance. I try my best to set a good example and ultimately make my island proud and put us on the map.

What would you advise your younger self, or other people looking to get into modelling?

My advice to my younger self or anyone interested in pursuing modelling would be to go outside your comfort zone. Push your limits. Find out how skilled you are in each area. That way, you know where to improve. I’ve always been shy, but now, because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I really enjoy working with other creative people to bring a vision to life. If it’s something that you really want, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Help a fellow St. Maartener pursue her dreams by voting for Rebecca York in the Top Model Europe contest. To vote, just open the following link – Rebecca’s picture and candidate number, E1030, should appear. Then all that’s left to do is click “Vote Now”. Here’s the link:

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