Canada's Next Top Model
Rebecca in Milan
Rebecca was living in Milan, experiencing her first international travels as a professional model. Then Sutherland Models placed her in London England where she continued with her modeling adventures!!
Rebecca - inspires students!
Hardy inspires students with model behaviour
Record Staff - Kitchener
Rebecca Hardy from Mannheim, winner of Canada's Top Model, television show, visited students at Country Hills Public School to talk to girls about self-esteem and believing in yourself. Hardy displayed pictures of herself, from her portfolio. Record Staff
By Brent Davis, Record staff
KITCHENER — It was the kind of advice these young girls have probably heard before.
Believe in yourself. Have confidence. Follow your dreams.
But to a group of students at a Kitchener public school, the lessons they heard today meant the world.
They came from a bona fide celebrity, after all, someone these children had only ever seen on television or gracing the pages of fashion magazines. And as five-foot-11 model Rebecca Hardy towered over the cross-legged kids, they hung on every word.
The former Schneiders worker, who traded in her job making hot dogs after being crowned Canada’s Next Top Model last year, regaled the Country Hills Public School students with stories about the reality television show and her new life in front of the cameras.
“I learned confidence is a huge thing in my business,” said Hardy, who lives in nearby Mannheim. “If you have the confidence, you’re going to move forward and do amazing things.”
Hardy’s visit came as a result of a chance encounter days ago with teacher Darlene St. John at a local hair salon. St. John asked for an autograph for her daughter — and then asked if Hardy would come to the school to speak to the girls’ club that St. John and colleague Tara Roden lead.
The club is made up of about 10 hand-picked students, who meet weekly to build confidence and esteem and discuss the pressures facing young girls in society.
Hardy didn’t hesitate, spending some private time with club members in the school library before talking to all of the girls in grades 4 to 6.
“What an inspiration,” said Principal Evelyn Giannopoulos. “A local girl staying true to her desires and life goals and making that dream happen.”
Hardy showed the girls photos from her portfolio, told them about meeting Justin Timberlake and Bono, and confided that her first goal was to play professional soccer.
“I kind of switched what I wanted to do,” she said, and began modeling locally about five years ago at the age of 17. “You never know where life is going to take you.”
A tomboy growing up, Hardy said she was teased for her tall, lanky build, her crooked teeth and the subsequent braces. “The same people who were really rude to me in high school are now asking me for my autograph.”
She praised the club for its efforts in raising more than $200 for the children’s unit at Grand River Hospital through the sale of bookmarks and lollipops the girls spent hours preparing.
“You guys are really doing an amazing thing,” Hardy said. “You’re helping people you don’t even know.”
An excited Faith Webber, 11, said it was the first time she’d ever met a real television star. “I learned you should not worry about what people say, you should not worry about people calling you names,” she said.
Emily Campbell, 10, said she’d remember what Hardy told the group.
“Just believe in yourself, and no matter what happens, just follow what you want to do.”
Procter & Gamble has kept Rebecca busy with shoots and appearances for CoverGirl this fall (watch for her ads in current magazines!) Rebecca has also shot with some of the top photographers in Canada, has walked the runway in shows for clients such as Aritzia and Calvin Klein, will be appearing in fashion shows for L'Oreal Fashion Week, and can be seen in Fashion, Wedluxe and Hello Magazines. Rebecca has travelled to Milan and London! Check out Rebecca's stunning new pictures...
Rebecca, 22-Year-Old From Ontario, Named Canada's Next Top Model
She used to handle raw meat on the graveyard shift at an Ontario factory, not exactly glamourous. But Rebecca Hardy's next job could take her anywhere in the world. The 22-year-old from Mannheim was named Canada's Next Top Model in the show's finale Wednesday night.
The slim brunette took the title after a final challenge that saw her and runner-up Sinead strutting on the catwalk in a Lucian Matis runway show. Though both impressed the judges, they agreed Rebecca had what it took to make it big in the fashion world.
"Rebecca is the total package. She's got the looks, the smarts and the passion to be a bonafide success in this business, said the show's host Jay Manuel. "I will continue to mentor her beyond the realm of the show. Expect to see her make a splash on the international modelling scene."
Hardy beat out nine other contestants to win the contest.
"You have got to do what you got to do to get where you want to go," she said. "This has been a dream for me and taking the steps and taking the constructive criticism and moving forward is probably the hardest part of the competition."
Hardy receives a $100,000 contract from Proctor and Gamble, a contract with Sutherland Models and a spread in Fashion magazine.
ABOUT THE SHOW
Hosted by Jay Manuel ("America's Next Top Model", "Style Her Famous", "Fashion Police"), each one-hour episode on Citytv is built around an important aspect of the modelling profession. Participants must demonstrate both inner and outer beauty as they learn to master the catwalk, fashion photo shoots and deal with the glare of the media, all under the watchful eye of surveillance cameras that chronicle every move. One cast member is eliminated each week and the last model standing will win the coveted title of Canada's Next Top Model.
Well, I'm happy to say that I'm officially home. After spending what seemed like an extremely long time in Milan. All in all, I'd have to say that it was a positive journey, that I will remember for the rest of my life. Man oh man, pounding that pavement in the rain, running to castings, with a hole in my shoe. Needless to say, I survived, and I bought one hell of a nice pair of boots!
I lived with roommates, most of whom were very, very young. I guess you could say I was the mom in the apartment. Cleaning up, cooking...geez, I'm only 22! I didn't mind though, they were a good group of girls.
Most were from Russia, so sometimes we would have language barriers, but we figured it out. Being Canadian we use (or maybe just I use) a lot of slang. Sometimes they would ask me what something meant, and it was hard to match a word to explain it. Kind of funny, I felt like Websters!
My roommates and I met some amazing Italian friends, and we would go for dinners, and enjoy some nights out. Man, do they know how to party there.
It wasn't all dinners and parties though, we worked our little butts off! Like I said running to sometimes 12 castings a day, working, travelling to other cities for shows! It was worth it for sure though.
I must say at the end of my trip I started to get bitter. I don't know if I was home sick, or just really tired. Two months is a long time in a place that's half way across the world. Hell, I'd call home on a fax machine using calling cards because I had no phone. Me, no phone....that's insanity!
Even trying to change my plane ticket was a hassle. The travel agent said to call the airline, the airline said go to the airport. After an hour ride on a stinky bus, I'm at the airport. Apparently, the airport didn't have that airline, so I had to take another bus to the other airport. So at this point to be straight up, I'm pissed off!
I'm running through this other airport, and I see a familiar face. Well, no doubt, it was James Blunt. I run up and say "Hi James, I'm Rebecca Hardy, I worked with you for the Same Mistake video!"
He says, "Oh yeah, you're the girl that licked my face!"
It was pretty funny, and after standing and chatting for awhile I headed off and changed my ticket. FINALLY!!!!
I worked in Milan, but it's a tough market. Especially being my age and having gone through puberty! Just kidding! Anyway, all I wanted to do was work, work, work! But I found myself more or less running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Sometimes it's hard to stay positive in a place that is so tough, but I did. I'm so stoked to be home and more stoked to be heading on my trip to England. I've made some great friends, and can say I've been shot, and walked in shows in Milan. Now that's amazing! Now, on to my next adventure!
Another day, another week. The time is flying by.
Today I had an editorial (hair) and it went really well. The photographer had so much energy and the vibe in the studio was great. Shot with a few other girls and they were all really cool.
I must say being here is definitely different but it's going really well so far. Although I feel that every model on the planet is here in Milan right now.
The castings take a lot longer and the competition is higher. You never know what the client wants, and sometimes I don't think they know.
I'm stoked for fashion week, it's all I'm thinking about lately. I love fashion shows and can't wait to hit the runway.
I think next week will be crazy with castings. Somtimes I literally run to make it on time. I've always been punctual, but sometimes you run only to find a line of 30 girls waiting. What can you do though?
I'm looking forward to the upcoming weeks, and it's good now because I'm getting to know my way around. Most places you go smell of fabulous pastries, pizza and pasta from these cute restaurants.
My roomates and I say that after fashion week we will treat ourselves to a big pasta dinner. We've all been really watching to look our best for the week.
I really miss home, but everday here is always something new.
I went out the other night to the famous Armani club and had a wicked time. A bunch of models went out, which is cool because you get to meet people, make friends.
Everytime I go out I see models wearing such cool outfits as well. Great style. I definitely enjoying seeing the style here. Ladies wearing big hats and coats. Oh, and the shoes... I wont get started on that.
Well gotta run.
I must say that I have been busier then ever since arriving in Milan. Due to not being able to sleep on the plane I had been up for 24 hours when I arrived. It was late at night (I think) and I was brought to the agency, which is a very nice place.
Right away I was sent to my first casting. Due to my lack of sleep I can honestly say I've looked better, but I got the job! First fashion show in Milan! Very exciting. The show turned out to be in Florence so all the models met up and we took a coach bus, so I was able to meet a lot of cool people.
My apartment is really nice, but things are definitely a lot different than in Canada. It's funny because my one room mate talks in her sleep, but in Russian. Lol!
The city is full of models and you can always tell one because we all have our maps out trying to find where we're going. Italian people are very friendly, they really help you if you're lost.
It's nice and sunny here so I love being able to be outside going from casting to casting. I go to at least eight a day for names like Valentino and Armani. I'm looking forward to fashion week but I think it will be insanity with maybe twelve castings a day. Although busy is good... it means you're doing something right.
Looking forward to the upcoming weeks and landing something big.
Rebecca Hardy is a Sutherland model, with Why Not in Milan.
Rebecca made a splash at L'Oreal Fashion Week, where she walked the runway for top Canadian designer Evan Biddell. And she made an appearance at Fashion SCares, Toronto's biggest fashion extravaganza!