A former Claremont high school student turned jetsetting model is a contestant on a fashion reality-TV show.
Jocelyn Chew, 20, is one of 24 aspiring models on The Face, which premièred this week on MuchMusic. In the show, models vie over seven episodes for the grand prize of becoming brand ambassador for U.S. beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty, a major contract.
In a telephone interview from New York City, Chew said she has been modelling since she was 16 or 17, but has never done TV before, so the reality-show format has been an eye-opener.
“[TV] is more structured, more time-lined,” she said this week. “All shoots have to be finished on some day, but TV is like a million shoots, back to back to back.”
The Face is similar to the popular reality fashion show America’s Next Top Model, hosted by American supermodel Tyra Banks.
But producers say The Face has a key difference. The Face contestants are split into teams, each coached and mentored by established supermodels Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha and Naomi Campbell.
Chew is on the team coached by the famously feisty Campbell. But Chew said Campbell is only intimidating because she is so good at what she does.
“She’s iconic,” Chew said. “It’s working with the best of the best, so it can be a little intimidating. But she is also very genuine and very caring and also very nurturing.
“Having her as a mentor, you soon realize how professional she is, how much she cares and how much she wants us to do well.”
Chew is half-Chinese and half-Icelandic and was born and raised in Victoria.
She said she spent a short time at Claremont, but once her modelling career was underway, she largely schooled herself at home.
Chew said she splits her time between New York and Los Angeles. She loves most of the travel involved with the fashion world, counting Hong Kong and Singapore as the most interesting places she has visited.
And while she misses her friends and family — her dad in Victoria and mom in Vancouver — she loves the fast pace of the fashion world.
“I just want to keep modelling as long as I can and hope to stay in the fashion industry, maybe designing or working with a magazine or something,” Chew said.
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