Red-headed 15-year-old South Australian schoolgirl Karri Pledger has beaten out five other beauties to win the Girlfriend Rimmel 2009 Model Search, the competition which launched the careers of Abbey Lee Kershaw, Catherine McNeil, Pania Rose, Alyssa Sutherland, Sarah Stephens, Ruby Rose (who lost out to McNeil in 2002) and Samantha Harris.
Pledger, whose look has drawn comparisons with fellow Perth model Gemma Ward but more closely resembles successful Brazilian model Cintia Dicker, has won a two-year contract with Chic Model Management, a meeting with next Model Management in New York and will also feature in a fashion spread in the December issue of Girlfriend, on sale next week.
Editor Sarah Cornish says Pledger was a stand-out thanks to her red hair and "fresh, healthy Australian look."
Ursula Hufnagl of Chic Model Management (the Australian super-agency which currently represents Victoria's Secret girls Elyse Taylor, Miranda Kerr, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Sarah Stephens) said the quality of entrants this year was "sensational". Rebecca Downes, a fellow Barossa Valley girl, also made the list of six finalists.
More than 2500 girls entered the nation-wide competition, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010 and each year garners the magazine more than a few column inches. Congratulations, Karri – your parents must be super-chuffed.
Girl With a Satchel