MS. & MR. BARBIZON 2006: Emily Aberson and Justin Beale stop off for a winners’ portrait with the LA skyline directly behind them.
Ms. and Mr. Barbizon winners discover the alchemy of training and
cool confidence required to reap Pageantry’s rewards at this national
MR. BARBIZON 2006
HEIGHT 6’1” SUIT 40-42
INSEAM 34 WAIST 30
SHIRT 16-36 SHOE 10-1/2
HAIR Brown EYES Brown
MS. BARBIZON 2006
SIZE 3 BUST 31 WAIST 22
HIPS 32 SHOE 9-1/2
HAIR Brown EYES Green
2006 SHOWCASE VETERAN: Barbizon/IMTA 2005 New York model Jacquelyn Mountel gained valuable experience as a Pageantry and PromTime Fashion Showcase cover model (below).
This year’s Ms. and Mr. Barbizon award winners may have hit on a strategic new attitude for winning: determined nonchalance. Indeed, both modeling success stories might never have happened in the first place were it not for Barbizon’s laser-focused marketing toward teenagers.
In the young woman’s case, she discovered her interest in models training while still in high school, when one day, as she was casually flipping through the pages in the back of a teen magazine, a Barbizon School of Modeling ad caught her attention. In the young man’s situation, he never thought seriously about modeling at all, until one day, while he was going through the mail, he saw a bright yellow postcard from Barbizon’s Tampa modeling school addressed to his sister and decided it was an offer he could not refuse.
A year later, both students were attending Barbizon classes when they decided to try their luck at the national Barbizon Modeling and Talent Competition, held in Los Angeles last January in conjunction with the 2006 International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) convention].
Yet even while in Los Angeles with their Barbizon school directors to point the way, neither had lofty expectations of success. That is why Emily Aberson and Justin Beale can be excused for sounding, well, almost in disbelief after they were chosen as the recipients of the coveted Ms. and Mr. Barbizon Awards for 2006. “It was surreal,” says Emily, who, now that she’s back home in Schaumberg, Illinois, admits she had to pause and pinch herself when her name was called in Los Angeles as Ms. Barbizon 2006. No less surprised was Justin, who, having returned to earth and his home base of Melbourne, Florida, concedes the Mr. Barbizon 2006 award and his other experiences at Barbizon/IMTA were, in his humble estimation, “pretty crazy.”
Each year, Barbizon and Pageantry magazine partner in the selection of Ms. and Mr. Barbizon, which earns one female and one male Barbizon-affiliated model the right to claim a coveted spot in the upcoming Pageantry and PromTime Fashion Showcase [visit pageantrymagazine.com or promtime.info]. The special annual publishing venture — professionally styled and photographed on-location in lush tropical paradise settings — debuts the world’s newest social occasion dress designs on the Internet and in two full-color special editions. The fashion showcase has become must reading for prom, pageant, and social occasion retail store buyers as well as savvy shoppers themselves, who are searching for a preview of the latest social-occasion fashions before they hit the showrooms and boutiques.
Of course, Barbizon Modeling and Talent schools located throughout the U.S. make Pageantry’s annual model search assignments a bit easier by having already recruited, qualified, trained, and polished the performances of their top models.
To fill the role of a Pageantry showcase model, Barbizon executives and Pageantry CEO and National Marketing Director Carl Dunn look for a definite combination of qualities: a certain physical look and stature (female models need to be at least 5 ft. 8 in. tall, and males at least 5-ft.-10-in. in height), with a photogenic face, hair with styling flexibility, perhaps an ethnic look, and a personality that combines relaxed confidence, youthful energy, and an adaptability to get along with people. Reviewing hundreds of top students from Barbizon schools across the country who were competing at IMTA/Barbizon last January, talent scouts and modeling agency managers gave each of them scores within the numerous modeling competition categories. From that group of high-scoring models, the field is winnowed further to smaller groups of females and male models for personal one-on-one interviews, in which Pageantry is seeking the answer to this question: Who would exhibit the looks, the flexible and upbeat attitude, the skills, and the stamina for the magazine’s intense five-day fashion showcase assignment?
Of course, Barbizon Modeling and Talent schools located throughout the U.S. make Pageantry’s annual model search assignments a bit easier (a fall Barbizon/ IMTA convention in New York City also leads to the choice of a pair of photo shoot winners as well) by having already recruited, qualified, trained, and polished the performances of their top models who enter the showcases at the IMTA/Barbizon conventions.
As this year’s Ms. Barbizon Emily Aberson discovered in Los Angeles, her months of Barbizon-Schaumberg training made the difference in her success. “I was so shy when I first walked into Barbizon. Now I’m much more outgoing,” she said. “I followed my director’s advice and made sure to introduce myself to kids in callback lines and agents, and I showed a whole new confidence in myself.” Emily’s results in individual competitions and cache of trophies reflect that newfound attitude: a third place in Swimsuit, a sixth place in High Fashion, and honorable mentions in several other categories. But her Ms. Barbizon Award was, in her own words, “definitely the highlight of my trip.”
Up until a year ago, Justin Beale was taking life one day at a time, and had no idea what he was about to get himself into. “I never really walked out in front of that many people before, with so much going on,” he said, describing his first appearance on a Los Angeles runway. After he was accepted at Barbizon of Tampa (FL), Justin made the most of his opportunity, hitting the road nights and weekends from his home on Florida’s Atlantic Coast to attend classes on the Gulf Coast under Barbizon-Tampa Director Jamie Joyce, who monitored his progress over six months and kept Justin after school for extra practice that paid dividends on the runway and in front of the judges and agents in LA. “When I got to the convention, there was no pressure at all,” said Justin, “because I was ready to do my thing.”
Fed by their success as Ms. and Mr. Barbizon, both Emily and Justin were dreaming big as they pondered their potential offers. Said Emily, who had taken a semester off from attending college to pursue modeling, “One agency wants to send me to Japan, but nothing’s for sure yet.... I’ll see where it goes.” Justin told of recognizing one of the convention awards presenters from an Old Navy sweater commercial, and learned the model/actor had earned $100,000 for that work and was still receiving residuals from it. Said Justin, “That’s crazy!”
PHOTOS BY ROBERT ROSAMILIO/DIGITAL EVENTS PRODUCTIONS
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