National model competion winner takes the Next step

A WAREHOUSE worker who dreams of being a model was given the chance to pose for the pros after beating thousands of people in an online competition.

Yuri Gibson was flown to Paris as part of his prize and his photo will be appearing in Next stores around the country.

The 22-year-old, from Stevenage, entered the high street store’s “Make Me The Next Model Too” contest beating 7,846 entrants to make it to the top ten.

Mr Gibson, currently working nights in an Ocado warehouse, said: “I was in the pub when I found out and I was really excited.

“I was walking down the road in Stevenage Old Town screaming and shouting.”


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After beating the odds for the first time he then had to strut his stuff on a catwalk in London under the watchful eyes of fashion industry insiders.

Mr Gibson said: “It was nerve racking but I was so excited, I have always wanted to be a model and now I was walking up and down the catwalk.

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“Although all I could think of when I was on the catwalk was I hope I don’t fall over!”

Originally only two entrants were meant to travel to France but the judges found it so difficult to decide they sent the top ten.

Mr Gibson was sent for free to the city of love and was even put up in an expensive Parisian hotel.

While in Paris he took part in a professional photo-shoot and modelled the companies range from next season.

He said: “The photographer wanted me right in front of the shot and said he wanted a group of girls next to me, I was really pleased with that.”

The photos will be used in Next stores around the U.K and Mr Gibson hopes it will be the start of a long career.

He said: “It’s going to be brilliant, this is what I have always dreamed of.”

A spokesperson for Next said: “I think he’s definitely got presence without a shadow of a doubt

“It was commented on in Paris that he definitely made an impact, he’s got real potential.

“He’s a really genuine guy and I really do wish him well.”

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