ABOVE: STEFANIA VALENTI
2013 is, as CEO of Pacific Global Management Stefania Valenti notes, a “special year” for Elite. Today, the modeling agency will hold its 30th Elite Model World Look competition in Shenzhen, China—a location chosen in honor of Elite’s three offices in China. Beginning with hundreds of thousands of hopefuls, only 12 girls from each of 60 competing countries will compete for a highly-coveted opportunity to represent their country in the Elite Model World Look Final. At the end of the show, 15 girls will be awarded contracts with Elite, while the top three are guaranteed incomes of 50,000, 100,000, and 150,000 euros, respectively. The winner’s name will join a list of alumna dating back to 1983 that includes the likes of Constance Jablonski, Fei Fei Sun, Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford, Ming Xi, and Sigrid Agren. Not too shabby.
The contestants are supplied mentorship and encouragement by professional top models in preparation for a whirlwind fortnight that features a 12-day boot camp on the subjects of hair and makeup, photo shoots, walking catwalks, and individual interviews with agents from Elite—official proof that personality really does count for something. May the best woman win.