July 30 2014 Latest news:
Friday, March 7, 2014
Drama student Hannah Dodd is accustomed to being in the spotlight, taking many a starring role in school productions.
But the 18-year-old admits seeing a 20ft version of herself on a billboard in the middle of a London shopping centre was “a little confronting”.
The former Ormiston Sudbury Academy pupil has just landed a top modelling assignment as one of the faces of major fashion retailer Primark’s spring/summer lingerie campaign.
Overnight, the teenager from Leavenheath has gone from appearing in school musicals to seeing images of herself in the company’s online catalogue and on huge posters in shop windows.
Hannah said: “I don’t live near any Primark stores so at first it was other people who started contacting me to tell me about the pictures.
“When I heard about the big poster in Westfield Shopping Centre in London, I went to look for it and was shocked because it was absolutely huge – I just scuttled past it!”
Hannah’s modelling career began after a local photographer sent images of her to a number of model agencies.
At 16, she was signed up by London’s prestigious Select Model Management and did occasional jobs for the Boden clothing catalogue, Nivea hair care and fashion retailer Monsoon.
She continued: “I was emailed a casting through for Primark’s main campaign and then got called back to try out for the lingerie campaign. I didn’t think I stood a chance of getting it so I was really surprised and chuffed to be chosen. Most of the work I have done so far has been for look-books so the public don’t get to see those images. This will be great for my portfolio.”
Although she undoubtedly cuts the mustard as a model, Hannah is not just a pretty face.
After taking BTEC qualifications in performing arts and acting, as well as A-levels in dance and PE, she scooped the overall award for commitment to performing arts at Ormiston Sudbury Academy’s annual “Oscars” last year.
Currently taking a course at Evolution Foundation College in Colchester, Hannah hopes to study for a degree in dance and theatre studies and is committed to a career in performing arts.
Despite her big break, she still has her feet firmly on the ground.
She added: “Dance has been my first love since I was two years old but now I have modelling I really enjoy it, and dance and modelling go quite well together.
“Everyone at Ormiston Sudbury Academy was so supportive and I still go back to see the performances and wish I was in them.”
Leo Cox, Hannah’s former school drama teacher, said everyone at the academy was thrilled for her.
He added: “It is great for the students to see somebody they recognise from being in so many productions at OSA already reaching such heights. Because she left so recently, everyone remembers her. She was a very popular and talented student and we are all extremely proud.”