I was very fond of participating in pageants since a very young age. My mom always reminds me that I could walk in her high heels before I could talk properly! – One could say I was born for this!
In 2009, I participated in my first big pageant, Miss Winelands teen and to my surprise, I won! Ever since then my dreams became bigger and so many doors opened for me. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and still work with today!
Opening my own modeling school has always been a dream of mine and I’m still in disbelief that I’ve actually accomplished one of my life long goals. It just shows you that with determination and perseverance you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
I want to teach people to be comfortable and confident in their own bodies, skin colour, height and dress size. If you are reading this right now I want you to know, that you are perfect just the way you are and it’s OK if you are a size 10 instead of a size 6.
In the modeling industry sometimes there can be absurd expectations of what ‘perfect’ should look like. I’ve been crazy enough to try to fulfill the ‘perfect’ image.
On 2 June 2018 I opened my doors in Paarl breaking the stigma about the ‘perfect image’ and allowed models to ‘be different’.
At A.R models we are more than just a finishing school, we are a moulding school, a support system, a team, a family.
I would like to leave you with the motto I live by, :
“Work hard, stay humble. No matter how successful you’ll become in life never, ever forget your roots ”.
Ilke Alicia Fortuin,
Owner & Founder