NSW schoolgirl and fan favourite Aleyna FitzGerald (17) has been crowned the winner of Australia’s Next Top Model.
In front of a packed runway event at Carriageworks, Sydney, the stunning brunette from Newcastle, fought off fierce competition from fellow contestant, highschool student Sabine Jamieson, also 17 from Byron Bay.
2016 winner Aleyna said: “I am so thrilled to have won Australia’s Next Top Model. I grew up watching the show and I’ve wanted to be a model since I was a little girl. It’s been amazing to be mentored and critiqued by some of the industry’s most respected figures each week.
“Having never modelled before, I intend to take everything I’ve learnt from the show and head overseas as soon as possible. I loved working with all the other girls on the show and I’ve made some great friendships from the series. It’s a period of my life I will never forget. I just feel so grateful,” she said.
The final announcement was made by fellow Newcastle born host and judge Jennifer Hawkins, alongside judges Alex Perry and Megan Gale, and series mentors Cheyenne Tozzi and Jordan and Zac Stenmark, all of whom sang Aleyna’s praises from the very first time they met her.
Aleyna will feature in an eight-page editorial spread for Elle Australia magazine which will hit stands this Thursday November 24.
Editor Justine Cullen said: “Choosing which of the girls was better on the ELLE shoot truly was like splitting hairs – they both gave it their all and each brought something very different to the story.
“In the end, Aleyna’s cool, classic beauty took out the prize. Her determination to nail the brief was impressive and she infused every look with a timeless elegance.”
As part of her prize, Aleyna will be signed to iconic Australian modelling agency, Priscillas.
“We are very excited about Aleyna’s future. The competition was tough but she was a front runner from the start,” said Priscilla Leighton Clark.
“Not only is she beautiful, she is also incredibly professional and that, along with her beauty, will propel her to stardom.”
The prize also includes a $20,000 trip to New York during Fashion Week, thanks to Colgate Optic White, and a stylish Mazda 2 hatch