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Elite Model Look Angola: Discovering the next Top Model

What do Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Stephanie Seymour have in common?

They are all top models that began their careers through Elite Model Look, the world’s most prestigious international modelling contest. Elite Model Look (EML) is a contest that offers young girls of all nationalities, from all over the world, the opportunity to become top fashion models. EML sets up national competitions in over 60 countries, in which over 350,000 candidates participate.

This year´s EML Angola was once again held in Luanda and was I the presenter. Let me tell you a little about it and, why this contest continues to inspire me.

Elite Model Look Angola was first held in 2010. In this first event castings were held in the provinces of Benguela, Cabinda, Cunene and Luanda. The winner of EML Angola 2010 was Roberta Narciso, who went on to represent Angola at the 27th edition of Elite Model Look Internacional in Shangai.

After this initial exposure her career really took off.

In 2011 she walked for Valentino SpA, the Valentino Fashion Group. In the same year she worked with Prada, becoming the 4th African model to work for the Italian brand. She was also named one of the Top 10 new faces in fashion by New York Magazine. In Milan and Paris she walked creations by Jil Sander, Elie Saab, Dries Van Noten and Louis Vuitton. A very busy year for her indeed!

In 2012 the pace continued. It was off to New York and continued work with top brands such as Marc Jacobs, Ana Sui, Thakon, Bottega Veneta, Óscar de La Renta and Carolina Herrera. Returning to Paris, she walked for Miu Miu and, again for Louis Viutton, in the display of their Autumn / Winter Collections. She also appeared in Italian Vogue editorial, wearing Valentino creations. Furthermore she participated in the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Nigéria. She was chosen again as the subject of an editorial.

Similarly the second EML Angola winner, Elsa Baldaia, participated in the 28th edition of Elite Model Look Internacional in Shangai. She went on to walk for Vivianne Westwood and the Etam clothing label. Participation in an editorial for Elle Magazine (France) soon followed, as well as participation in the Arise Magazine Fashion Week.

Other names that benefitted from participating in Elite Model Look, by being introduced to the fashion world, include Maria Borges, Mauza António , Maura Sebastião, Kalumueziko Pedro, Cecilia Sapalo and Adélia Cachimano.

Being the presenter at such a prestigious event as EML is always a great challenge. It is also always an opportunity that I welcome and enjoy.

As a presenter each show that I do has its own challenges and flavour. Presenting such a prestigious Gala means that there is little room for error. Presenting in front a live audience requires much more attention to the reactions of the audience. Audience reaction is immediate and naturally my responses must also be. Furthermore, since I had no teleprompter to rely on for this event, I had to constantly anticipate the reactions of the audience. These conditions made for a very interesting evening´s work!

I welcome the fact that I could be there when the winner of this year´s EML Angola was announced. I hope that Verónica Bartolomeu, this year’s winner has the same success and projection that her predecessors had. I have no doubt that she will, since Paulo Macedo, director of the fashion magazine Vogue Portugal, Paul Farnham, photographer for Arise Magazine (a magazine covering fashion trends, culture, lifestyles and African success stories), were at the event.

I will be following her progress and those of the participants at the upcoming EML Mozambique and EML Cape Verde, scheduled for later this year.

Check back here for the news!

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