Photo: All Aflutter 

What do you think makes a good model? Being photogenic? Having beautiful features? How about, having 'personality'? It certainly takes more than a pretty face for a model to have a long career and not just be a flash in the pan in the fashion world.

That being said, even if you've got both the looks and the charm, it isn't that easy to just walk into a modelling contract. The first step, of course, is to get noticed. Being photogenic doesn't deliver a headstart if you never put yourself on the map. This is where Project M comes in. 

Project M is a nationwide model search aimed at helping young aspiring models between the ages 18 to 28 get a head start in the modelling industry.

Hundreds of hopefuls showed up at Project M 2018’s on-site recruitment held at Bugis Junction over the course of three days from the Feb 23-25 to prove that they have what it takes to be a model.

In addition to the registration booth, there was a hair and makeup booth by official sponsors Jeric Salon and Cyber Colours, where the aspiring models could get glammed up before they had their pictures taken. On top of the on-site talent hunt, there was also an on-going online registration. As of now, there are over 1,300 signups. 

A first time for everything

Most of the talents who were spotted at the street hunt at Bugis Junction had little to no modelling experience.

“I’ve always been interested to be a model but I don’t think I’m pretty enough,”said National University of Singapore undergrad Audrey (@chubbyingz), pictured below. 



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The 21-year-old who stands at 170cm tall told us that her biggest strength in this competition is her height and her sunny disposition. “I’m a positive person. I enjoy bringing joy and happiness to others.”

Carmen (@cxrmzn), a Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, was another first-timer scouted at the talent hunt. The 20-year-old said, “I’ve always liked posing in front of the camera, so it’s something I always wanted to do."



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The engineering major added that she was hesitant to join because she “was afraid of what other people would think” of her. Participating in Project M is a step out of her comfort zone, but she's glad she did it. 

Zac (@pengfunsiah), a 23-year-old Sales Consultant, who was also discovered during the street hunt at Bugis Junction was just as excited to be a part of a modelling competition for the first time. He said, “This is my first modelling competition. I’ve always been interested in the world of fashion. I hope that through this competition I’ll be able to kick-start my career in the fashion industry and start my own clothing line.”



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Apart from gaining more experience, these bright-eyed aspiring models also hope to expand the definition of beauty and what it means to be a model.

“A model doesn’t have to be a perfect ten. It is more important for her to stay true to herself and her values. Even though the industry might tell you that you have to be of a certain size. A good model will be comfortable in her own skin and will not resort to self-harm or skipping meals to conform to industry standards,” said Carmen.

26-year-old Nanyang Technological University undergrad Johnston (@kazueeee) who was a finalist in the CLEO Campus Model Search 2017 echoed the same view and said, “My look is very niche. The Singapore market has a preference for tanned and muscular guys and I’m not like that. I might be different but I don’t see a need to change who I am. I’m versatile and have experience on the runway and on photoshoots.”



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It’s anyone’s game

Out of the pool of talent, the competition will then be whittled down to the final 20 who will compete in a fashion show that will take place in the end of April. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up at the on-site recruitment, there’s still time as online registrations are still open. Closing date for sign ups is Mar 5, 2018.

The winners of the contest will walk away with $1 million STAR$®  ($1,000 worth of CapitaVouchers), $2,500 worth of hair services from Jeric Salon, a one-year modelling contract with NOW Models, prestigious fashion spread features in Her World, Female and Nuyou and other attractive prizes (more in detail here).