Introducing Zoe Waters: Alternative Model of the Year

She looks like the little mermaid

A Newcastle philosophy student has won a national  fashion contest wearing alternative vintage clothing.

Second-year Zoe Waters was amongst 300 other entrants, but managed to stave off the competition to be named “Alternative Model of the Year 2015” on Saturday.

She told the Tab: “The competition is all about finding alternative models and giving anyone a chance in the modelling world.”

“It’s people of any shape and size – you’re judged on how unique you are.”

Zoe beat over 300 entrants to the kooky crown.

She’s been modelling for a while: “I’ve done photo shoots for local, aspiring photographers in the past. I was told to go for it because I had enjoyed them so much.
“I tend to dress a bit differently too, I love vintage, retro and the pin-up style. So, I thought I’d apply just to try it out really.”

5 ft 3in Zoe wears clothes that she’d picked up in all sorts of different places in order to snatch the title.

She said: “I’m a bit of a bargain shopper. I wear a lot of vintage clothes, hunt around in charity shops, on eBay and hammer the sales when they’re on.”

She described her win as “such a shock” as she hadn’t planned to be wearing the alternative clothes that won her the accolade.

“My outfits I was originally planned to be wearing on the catwalk didn’t arrive, so both outfits I won the competition with were £30 – shoes included!

“I think that may have annoyed a few contestants, some girls had costumes custom made for the day.

Her winning outfits costed under £30.

“Everyone was crazily unique, so I just thought it was impossible. But here I am!”

As part of her prize, Zoe will travel to Manchester to get a professional portfolio made for her, worth £1000.

It also includes signing for an agency, which has encouraged her to continue modelling.

Peter Reed photography

She’s also had photographers from all over the globe asking for her services, including one from the USA.

“I’ve had photographers from London and America asking me to shoot with them, and I was on the radio today, so I might get noticed now.”

She also said that some ex-winners of the prestigious prize have gone on to international fame. Zoe will be on the judging panel for next year’s competition due to her success.

Friends had always been supportive of her alternative dress, and had been very encouraging for zany Zoe to enter.

Zoe’s friends have been really encouraging

“They’re super proud and encourage me loads.”

And she’s not all about the party lifestyle: “I would prefer a cute cup of tea to a big night out.

“I’m not a big fan of the club scene. I feel boring saying that I’d rather go somewhere like Tea Sutra in Newcastle or walk around an art gallery. But I do like somewhere that I can freely dance like World HQ.

“The thing I like doing most is clothes shopping though. I’m always hunting down bargains.”

She’d rather a cup of tea, thanks

Her future plans have also been thrown a curveball due to her modelling success last Saturday.

“My original plan for uni was quite a safe one, just study until I’ve gained a PhD and perhaps become an academic writer.

“I guess I’m a bit of an intellectual, which is vastly different from modelling.”

But, Zoe says she’ll probably continue modelling alongside studying, with two agencies offering her deals already.

“I would love to fully go for modelling and I’m definitely going to go for it part time, but it’s a harsh industry.

“I can’t guarantee that it’ll provide for me when I wrinkle and age!”