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Model career for Suffolk girl Sophie

PUBLISHED: 05:35 01 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

SOPHIE Jayne-Barber is proving as comfortable on the catwalk as she is in the classroom.

The 16-year-old schoolgirl from Ipswich won a major modelling competition in November, securing a top contract and becoming the face of hair and beauty group Saks for 2003.

SOPHIE Jayne-Barber is proving as comfortable on the catwalk as she is in the classroom.

The 16-year-old schoolgirl from Ipswich won a major modelling competition in November, securing a top contract and becoming the face of hair and beauty group Saks for 2003.

She has enjoyed her first taste of fashion shows and says the experience has convinced her to pursue a career in modelling.

Her stunning new look is paraded in the pages of the celebrity magazine Now this week – and Sophie-Jayne is thrilled at the transformation.

"I can't really believe it's me," she said. "I look really different – so glamorous. It's quite surreal and my friends and family find it strange to see me like that."

Sophie-Jayne, who is studying A-levels at Copleston High School, beat off the challenge of more than 2,000 hopefuls to become one of the six competition winners.

She secured a spot promoting Saks nationwide for a year and also a one-year modelling contract with Premier Model Management – which launched the career of supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

"I did a fashion show for Saks at the Hilton in Birmingham, with 800 people there. I was quite nervous but it went really well. It was a good experience," said Sophie-Jayne, of Henslow Road.

"It has not put me off at all and has encouraged me to do more shows. I will be speaking to the agency soon about what's next. It should be good fun."

Sophie-Jayne was persuaded to enter the competition by her step-sister, Louise, after she read about it in a magazine.

The teenager was one of 12 hopefuls invited to the finals at the Saks salon in Covent Garden, London, and was "amazed" to make it to the final six.

She was then given a hair cut and faced a photo shoot with international fashion photographer Sheila Rock.

"I like what they did with my hair, although it looks so different. They changed the colour and it was much longer before," said Sophie-Jayne.

The sixth-former was focussed on a career as a primary school teacher before winning the modelling contest and is determined to keep studying for her A-levels.

"I've only had a couple of days out to London and Birmingham so I haven't got far behind. That's still going really well too," she added.


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