Written by Zoë Holloway, November 23, 2016

After months of photo shoots and challenges, 17-year-old Aleyna Fitzgerald has officially been crowned Australia’s Next Top Model!

Winning a 12-month modelling contract with Priscillas, an eight-page spread in ELLE and a trip to New York for Fashion Week, the NSW native claimed the title last night over runner-up Sabine Jamieson, who also landed a modelling contract following the finale.

OK! chatted to the beautiful Aleyna fresh off her win to talk how she’s feeling and what’s to come…

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Congrats!

Thank you. It’s all very surreal still… I was really nervous, I think that I was more prepared to come second than to come first to be honest. I still can’t believe that I’ve won.

Have you spoken to Sabine?

We messaged each other this morning. I love Sabine so much. She’s such a beautiful person. She’s so supportive and I’m so proud of her.

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Your life has now changed forever, are you looking forward to what’s to come?

Definitely. I’m in the process of moving down to Sydney with my family. We will be there in a month and then next February, as part of the prize, I head over to New York for Fashion Week. I can take one other family member, so they are going to have to fight it out. I’m expecting lots of Christmas gifts [laughs]. I think that I’m ready to go out there and do what I want to do and there are opportunities for me.

Have you got anything locked in yet?

No, we weren’t allowed to so I’m still in the process.

How are you finding being recognised out and about?
It is still the weirdest thing ever, you just forget and people come up and ask for a selfie. But all of the fans are so amazing, and it’s been so nice to speak to them.

So you’ve officially left school to pursue your modelling career?

Yes, and I don’t think that I’m going to go back. I really just want to model, and I think that now is the best time to do that.

My parents are supportive of my decision; they are the ones who said to me not to stress about it [juggling school and the show], because I really did want to do well at school. But if it doesn’t work out I can do it all again.

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You had a panic attack on the show, was that a scary moment for you?

It was a down point. When you break that wall, it’s hard to turn it back around. Once I had that panic attack I did find it hard to hold it together all the time. It’s a really stressful environment and I put a lot of pressure on myself.

Have you learnt how to manage the attacks?

It’s all good now. When Miranda Kerr came onto the show, she gave us a box of cards, like personal mantras, and I read those every morning to keep me calm and motivated for the day. That helped, but since the attack on the show I haven’t had one and I’m going to try to keep it that way.

Is Miranda a huge inspiration to you? Do you have any plans to become a Victoria’s Secret angel?

Miranda has always been an inspiration, and I have been looking into becoming a VS model. I’ve been admiring their bodies… I think that it’s important to be healthy and fit. I think that you have to fit a criteria, you have to be around certain measurements and achieve certain things. But you never know, maybe one day I could be a Victoria’s Secret model. But modelling anywhere overseas – London, Paris, New York, Milan – would be the dream.

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What was it like working with the judges? Who were you the closest to?

Megan [Gale] was really great to work with. It was her first season as a judge and she was just incredible. She rung me yesterday and she’s sending flowers over. She’s just beautiful. Jen is also amazing.

As for Alex, he really wanted the best for us. He was hard on us, but that’s the industry we are getting into and we can’t expect to walk in and for everyone to be happy and for it not to be hard work. He really did push us, but I’m so happy that he did.

There’s been a lot of comparisons between you and 2010 winner Amanda Ware, do you think you look similar?

I’ve had a lot of people be compared to me; it’s strange. I’ve had Montana Cox, Amanda Ware and even Audrey Hepburn… I’m like, “Come on guys!”.

When we met Amanda, I can hands-down say she’s the most beautiful person that I’ve ever met. Her personality… she’s so humble, she’s so amazing, so I’ll take that comparison [laughs].

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You and your boyfriend broke up after the show, was that a difficult time?

I think, coming off the show, I’d been away for such a long time and after doing the show my motivation to work in the industry was so much stronger.

I just think that our relationship… it wasn’t practical and we wouldn’t be able to see each other that much. It wasn’t anything dramatic; it was for the best for the both of us.

 

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