18-year old Hills local Kiri Olsen is headed to Melbourne this weekend to compete in Top Model Australia’s 2023 National Final as one of NSW’s most promising young models.
The final will see Kiri and nine other finalists from New South Wales compete for the chance to head to London for the Worldwide Top Model competition, where the winner will be able to walk in London Fashion Week.
Despite the high stakes, Kiri is really excited for the weekend: “It’s pretty stiff competition, but it’s okay. You meet lots of amazing people and everyone’s unique in their own different way. It’s gonna be a fun and exciting time.”
While Kiri is down in Melbourne for the National Final, she’ll be wearing the clothes of Kyah Halitta, a Sydney-based fashion designer who puts emphasis on sustainability in the clothing that she designs.
Kiri connects with Kyah’s mission to make the fashion industry more sustainable, putting more thought into the clothes that everyone wears. “I’ve been working with her for a couple of years,” Kiri says, “and being able to work with her and advocate her clothes is very important to me.”
Kiri began modelling in 2020 as a form of self-expression: “Whenever I see myself in photos, I feel a lot more confident in everyday life. Having the ability to say ‘That’s who I am’, it really helps to build character.”
In 2021, Kiri participated in the debut Teen Miss Runway event in Sydney, where she was able to make a lot of connections with makeup artists and other models that connected her to the modelling industry: “I’m still very close to lots of those people, I still do collaborations and work with them to get our image across the industry,” she says.
Not only was the experience invaluable, Kiri took home first place in the Teen Miss Runway event. She found it hard to believe: “It was surreal, just to think that the judges loved me, loved my work and the organic photos. It gave me a lot of confidence to continue and pursue modelling after that,” she says.
Although the whole modelling process is enjoyable to her, it’s the feeling of walking the runway that really invigorates Kiri. “I don’t know how to explain it. During the runway, it’s a whole different experience, it’s surreal. You walk down it and see the professional photos later, and it’s amazing. Every single time I look at it, I’m still gobsmacked – it’s an incredible feeling.”