, , , , ,

Are You Utah’s Next Top Model? NIYA Model Search This Saturday

We chat with local CEO Niya Suddarth about the May 9th event, tips for striking a pose, and her favorite off-duty finds in SLC


Calling all Giselle, Naomi, and Tyson hopefuls: This weekend, Salt Lake’s NIYA Model Management and New York’s NEXT Model Management are teaming up to host a statewide model search. If you’ve dreamed of seeing your mug splashed across a billboard, in the glossy pages of a magazine, or on a catwalk, here’s your chance to make all your model dreams come true.

It all goes down this Saturday, May 9 at Jordan High School from 1-4 p.m. Local gals and guys ages 4 to 40 can strut their stuff for a panel of judges (including yours truly); the winner lands a contract with NIYA, a photo shoot for their portfolio, a fresh new ‘do courtesy of Phillip William Salon, and a $300 gift card to Kingdom & State. To register, hop on over to sixripped.com.

We chatted with former model and NIYA CEO Niya Suddarth to get the scoop on the event, plus her non-model tips for looking good in front of the camera (we’re talking to you, future brides and grooms) and her favorite SLC finds, from the best place to get herbal tea lattes to the best blow-dry bar. Read our Q&A below.

Q | Tell us about the model search on May 9th: What can attendees expect and how will the selection process take place?
A | It’s going to be a very fun event. Attendees will be asked to individually walk down a stage in front of a panel of judges. Before they do this they will be given time to practice; I will be giving mini workshops on confidence and walking to help them prepare and calm nerves. We are looking for various types of models to be a part of our agency: Lifestyle, Curve (plus size), Kids, Teens, etc. One model will be chosen as an overall winner as voted by all of the judges.

Q | What can model hopefuls do to prepare for the event?
A | Watch YouTube videos on runway walking and practice at home. Also, take care of your skin and moisturize a lot leading up to Saturday. Using a humidifier in this dry weather always helps the skin look super fresh.

Q | Tell us a little bit of yourself: What is your background and where are you from?
A| I modeled on and off for over a decade. I’m originally from Seattle, but I lived in New Zealand, Singapore, France, Germany, LA, and NYC while modeling. I moved to Utah to attend the U of U, where I graduated with a degree in communications. I love Utah!

Q | Tell us a little bit about NIYA Model Management: What inspired you to launch the company and how is it different from other local modeling agencies? 
A | The main thing that is different about us compared to other “agencies” in Utah is that we are not a school and do not charge for classes. We only sign people we think have real potential to earn money modeling. We do not have contract fees, but we don’t just give contracts away. We are structured like all of the top modeling agencies globally and we pride ourselves on working with those agencies. Bascially, we don’t offer false hopes to anyone. This industry can be tough, but it can also be very rewarding.

Q | Tell us a few of your favorite things in SLC… Favorite coffee shop?
A | I love the variety of toasts at Publik Coffee Roasters and the herbal tea lattes at The Rose Establishment.

Q | Favorite restaurant or food?
A | I love Indian food and for that Star of India has very authentic family-style Indian food (the Paneer Masala is my fave). I also like The Copper Onion for farm-to-table food; I take clients from out of town there.

Q | Favorite spa?
A | I need to try more! I don’t treat myself as much as I should, but I have been to the Kura Door in the Avenues and LOVED every minute of it!

Q | Favorite salon?
A | I have been getting my cut and color by Phil at Phillip William Salon in Sugar House for over a year now. Love that place! They have a blow-dry bar, which is awesome if you just need a refresher to look fab before an important meeting or event. You walk in and they have a ton of magazines and fresh cucumber water—love those perks! They also give the best scalp massages!

Q | Favorite off-duty activity?
A | I love to paint! I went to art school for a couple semesters in San Francisco years ago. I also like going to movies and trying new restaurants with my boyfriend.

Q | Can you offer any advice to brides and grooms who will be striking a pose in front of a camera on their wedding day?
A | I would say to just be playful, try to relax, and have fun. Maybe even pretend the photographer isn’t there  and just interact with your bride or groom. A great photographer will capture the moment and also pose you if needed. Don’t be afraid to try things. Getting engagement photos can be great practice so it isn’t awkward on the big day. Also, research is always a great thing! Look at different types of photos that you like to make sure you get what you want on your wedding day. It can be crazy hectic, so research photos or even create a story board beforehand—print off or email images to your wedding photographer a couple weeks in advance to help them achieve the look and vibe you are going for.