New Irish model Grace Healy has turned spectacle-wearing to her advantage. The big breakthrough for the 20-year old Mayo girl came this week when she was snapped up the same top London modelling agency that signed Posh Spice and Geri Halliwell in their early careers.
Trinity college student Grace beat thousands of models to come second in the Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011 Awards last month, run by Specsavers at London’s Battersea PowerStation. In a surprise move, MOT Models, one of the largest agencies in the UK, offered her an additional prize of representation, side-by-side with the contract awarded to the overall winner.
“We’re going to invest in her and we’ve planned a lot of castings for her”, said Mike Illes, Director of MOT Models. “Grace has a really nice mix between the fashion look and the girl next door look. She’s of the moment and I think she has great potential”. He sees her as a perfect fit for some of his big retail brands across the UK.
“The minute I saw her I knew that she had an incredible face”, said Derek Daniels of Assets Model Agency, who represents her in Ireland , since she became the Irish winner of the Specsavers competition recently. “It’s a phenomenal result to get where she did in the awards, with faces from across the UK. Her look will suit the Irish market. She’s curvy and we plan on focusing on her for next season – spring / summer of next year.”
Blonde haired blue eyed Grace, who is in second year of Drama and Theatre Studies in Trinity College ‘couldn’t bear’ wearing glasses as a child. “I was diagnosed with short-sightedness when I was 5 and I found it really tough as a child as I was one of the first in my class at school in Westport to get glasses. I used to sometimes hide them.”
In the past few years, she turned it to her advantage and now really enjoys wearing glasses and they have become her trademark look. “I can’t see very far. As time went on though, I realised that it was something a bit different and something that was part of me.”
Grace is not alone in a family of glasses wearers. “One of my current fashion influences is from old photographs of my Dad and the way he used to wear his glasses as a kid. The ones that he wore around the time of his Leaving Cert have come back into fashion and are now very trendy again”. Her mother and brother Luke (19) also enjoy their glasses and he has customized his pair of vintage Ray Bans with prescription lenses.
Grace plans to concentrate on her Trinity course, focusing on set and costume design, before deciding on a full-time move to London. “The agency is eager to get me over and I’m really nervous and excited about the castings that start in the next few weeks.”
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Woody Allen, Buddy Holly and my Dad!
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