Stunning second year running for UK Top Model

‘I’ve always told myself I can have the best of both worlds’

Gorgeous Gifty Philip, 21, is probably the only engineering student in York to have been offered modelling work by Gucci and Victoria’s Secret. 

The striking Electrical Engineer had to turn down offers to model in New York because she was in the middle of her exams. Now she’s jetting off to Egypt to compete in an international modelling competition against contestants from 99 other countries.

Ask me about Engineering

No stranger to pageanting, this will be Gifty’s fifth competition. She said: “I’ve won the photogenic category and I’ve been a finalist of three. I also won the UK Fashion Dash. In pageants, everyone’s favourite is the evening wear round, because it’s so elegant. There are a lot of nerves in that round, but I’ve never seen anyone fall over.”

She said that, unlike a graduation ceremony: “You can’t look down: you have to keep smiling and looking at the crowd. People trip and slip a lot, so there’s a lot of trying not to fall over.”

Basketball for Constantine keeps her nimble

Gifty is originally from India, but she moved to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk when she was nine. She said: “I found I stood out when I first came here, but I quickly made lots of new friends – I’ve always been good at socialising. People always seem to think that pageant girls are catty and competitive, but so far it’s not been like that and I still talk to loads of the girls from previous competitions.”

Although not a fan of the late Willow, Gifty still enjoys nights out in York with “an older crowd.” The enchantment of Willow was lost on her, as she said “I felt like people were going to throw up on me.” Well, at least there’s Koh Samui.

Top Model line up?

At 5’5″, the Electrical Engineering stunner is much shorter than the average catwalk model, but was still approached by a big time modelling agency. “I had a big offer from the agency which deals with Victoria’s Secret and Gucci, but I was in the middle of my exams and they wanted to fly me to New York. I’ve always valued education, so I said no. My main priority is to get a degree.”

When we asked her why she started modelling, Gifty told us how she “wanted to break the stereotype that only a certain type of girl goes into pageants. People think that they don’t have a degree or that they’re not very clever.”

Beauty and brains

“It’s looked down on, but I’ve always told myself I can have the best of both worlds.”

Constantine’s very own Hannah Montana.