SEPANG: Malaysia has uncovered a new supermodel — Dayang Nur Atikah.
Better known as Atikah, the 18-year-old was crowned winner of the prestigious Ford Models Supermodel of the World Search Malaysia 2011 at the Sepang International Circuit.
Hailing from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Atikah, who is of Bajau and Brunei parentage, was lost for words when her name was announced.
“I am truly excited and shocked. The other girls in the competition are all so talented and I never thought I would win,” she told The Star.
Atikah is the third of four siblings.
She credited her parents for giving her the necessary support and guidance.
“I am very grateful and thankful to my parents who have supported and guided me since the start of this competition. It is their support that has brought me here today,” she said, adding that during the course of the competition, she had to be separated from her parents for almost a month.
The 12 finalists were required to stay at the official Ford Models residence over the past one month.
Gabrielle Boudville, 20, from Kuala Lumpur, was picked as the first runner-up while Karen Lugun, 18, of Kelabit and Punjabi parentage, the second runner-up. Lugun is from Kuching, Sarawak.
Atikah said she was nervous about participating and felt she would not go far.
“But I realised that I needed to pull myself together. I needed to be strong to face the competition,” she said.
The young lass said her idol was supermodel Chanel Iman, citing Iman’s personality and catwalk as her inspiration.
Atikah will represent Malaysia at the Ford Models Supermodel of the World international finals in New York City in August, which also marks the 30th anniversary of the renowned event.
She also took home the limited edition Heidi Klum four-leaf clover pendant from Mouawad valued at RM100,000 and a modelling contract worth RM100,000 from international fashion brand F&F.
The final judging yesterday saw a panel of judges comprising STYLO International president and chief executive officer Datuk Nancy Yeoh, Ford Models licensee for Asia Pacific Calvin Cheng, and national director of Ford Models Supermodel of the World Singapore 2011 and former Miss Singapore Colleen Pereira.