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Oonagh to shine as the Face of Fashion Fest

28 September 2017

Many teenagers dream of the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Kate Moss by signing up with a modelling agency while they’re still at school, but for 17-year-old Oonagh Canning, that dream is about to become a reality

The St Cecilia’s pupil has just been announced as the Face of Fashion Fest, the North West’s biggest showcase of the local fashion industry, taking place on October 14.

The competition was organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, working in conjunction with local agency Style Academy, and avid fashion fan Oonagh will now have the opportunity to pursue a career in modelling with a year’s contract with the agency.

She hopes the competition will act as a springboard in achieving her ambitions to become a professional model, as the delighted teen revealed after the announcement. “I hope that with this opportunity I will gain more experience and knowledge of the fashion world, which will hopefully bring more exciting opportunities for my potential modelling career,” she explained.

“I first became interested in modelling when I was given the chance to take part in Fashion Fest 2014 when I was just 14. I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement and experience and ever since I’ve been keen on modelling and I’ve been watching the Victoria Secret Fashion show and the Angels.

“I hope to do modelling professionally while studying sociology, as my education is really important to me. But I aspire to reach my full potential as a model and I hope to meet new people and have the opportunity to travel. A professional career in modelling would be ideal and my friends are delighted for me and are very supportive.”

Mum Louise is also thrilled at her daughter’s achievements in the fashion world to date but is keeping her right in terms of putting her school work first.

“Yes, my mammy is exceedingly proud of me,” Oonagh admits. “She has supported me entirely and I am so grateful. My mammy is very keen on the idea of me pursuing a career in the modelling industry – but providing I have my A-levels in my pocket as she says it’s the key to a bright future. She believes that I am young and beautiful and that the world is my oyster.”

Business Development Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Breslin, said she was delighted to provide a platform for young up and coming models through Fashion Fest.

“The Fashion Fest event is very much about supporting the local fashion industry, and this year we thought it would be a good idea to team up with Style Academy and see how we could provide an opportunity for some of our young models as well as local designers.

“We had some fantastic entries, but Oonagh really stood out and we really hope this opportunity will act as a catalyst in realising her goal to become a professional model. We hope that it will be a rewarding experience for her and I know she will be an excellent ambassador for local young people and for the fashion industry.”

Tracey Hall from Style Academy, said she was confident that Oonagh will have a bright future ahead of her. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Oonagh, and the chance to really boost her profile over the next year by getting involved in Fashion Fest and other local events. We are delighted that Fashion Fest continues to celebrate the exciting things that are going on in the fashion industry here in the North West, and provide a showcase for talented young people – we look forward to providing Oonagh with the support she needs to take her career to the next level.”

As well as enhancing her profile as the Face of Fashion Fest, already appearing in online promotion for the event, Oonagh will be on the Style Academy Books for a year, and will also have the opportunity to build a stylish photography portfolio courtesy of Catherine Mackenzie photography. She will also receive Rosemary Wright professional make up brushes and will attend Fashion Fest as her first dedicated event.   

For more information on Fashion Fest 2017 and to purchase tickets for the main event taking place on October 14, priced at £15 + booking fee (Concessions £12.50) go to www.derrystrabane.com/fashionfest

Tickets can also be purchased from the Guildhall Reception, Derry and Alley Theatre, Strabane.