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September 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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By Cherisse Moe
THESE DAYS, NAOMI CHIN WING has been getting the red carpet
treatment everywhere she goes --- after all, it's not every day that the
15-year-old wins a competition like Top Model T&T. Chin Wing was cho-
sen as the winner by a panel of local and international judges at
Queen's Hall on August 27. In addition to bragging rights, Chin Wing
also walked away with a trophy, a three-year management contract
with Cocoa Velvet International (CVI) and a three-year modelling con-
tract with Elite Latin and South America.
The Top Model event was the culmination of a three-month long fash-
ion workshop, hosted by CVI, titled Dare to Dream. The workshop of-
fered training in visual merchandising, fashion styling, fashion event
management and professional fashion modelling. But the high that the
aspiring model is experiencing now almost didn't happen. Just three
weeks before the competition, her bag was stolen during a rehearsal
at the National Library and Information System (NALIS), Port-of-Spain.
She lost all her makeup needed to go on photo shoots, her glasses, wal-
let and cell phone. Chin Wing's father, who was hesitant about her par-
ticipating in the competition in the first place, thought she should
probably call it quits.
"My dad said I should stop at this point, but my mom thought didn't
make sense to drop out now. She said I had everything going for me,
and the competition would be a good opportunity for me to get a little
confidence," she shared. "I had to go to all the photo shoots plain, with-
out makeup. It was very hard for me, but I made up my mind to con-
tinue and go all the way." Chin-Wing evidently made the right choice.
The Providence Girls' Catholic School student confesses, though, she
did not think she would win. She had entered the competition late and
she knew she was not as popular as some of her competitors.
"I really didn't think I was going to win. I was in real shock. I thought
that one of the other girls would get it. The funny thing is, when I en-
tered the workshop, I didn't even know there was a Top Model com-
petition. I thought it was a modelling workshop, so when I found out
about it, I was so nervous. I couldn't imagine being on stage in front of
so many people."
But Chin Wing faced her fears. She now credits the workshop for in-
creasing her self-confidence. And while her mother, Natalie Chin Wing,
has made it abundantly clear that school comes before modelling, Chin
Wing, who says her favourite part about modelling is wearing new
clothes and her least favourite is giving the clothes back, is excited to
launch her career internationally. CVI founder Christopher Nathan has
said that after she graduates, she will be presented to agencies in Eu-
rope and New York.
"It will be so exciting to visit those places. The furthest I have ever trav-
elled to is Tobago, and that doesn't really count as travelling, so it will
be a great experience for me," she says, laughing. Chin Wing always
knew she wanted to be a model. With her slender, 5'10" frame, she defi-
nitely looks the part. But she still has a lot to learn, like walking confi-
dently in heels and learning to apply makeup flawlessly.
"Ughh, I really don't like makeup. If I can go without it I will, but I know
it's part of the job so I have to get it right. So far, I can put on blush, eye
shadow and lipstick. I still have to learn how to apply foundation and
eyeliner for myself. I'm also a bit unsteady when I walk, so I have to try
to get balance, especially when wearing high heels," she explains. Chin
Wing also hopes to pursue graphic designing or architecture and en-
courages young women to go after their dreams, as conventional or
unconventional as they may be. "If there's something that you like or
something new you want to try, do it. Never let fear stop you," she says.
Chin Wing is taking her own advice. She has triumphed over her inse-
curities and setbacks to claim victory. Now, she has her eyes set on ac-
complishing another feat -- walking some of the world's most popular
catwalks and making her name in the international modelling industry.
However, this top model says she's taking it one step at a time.
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