Word on the street is that former Pavement Magazine Fashion Editor Robert Niwa is days away from being signed up as the shoot stylist for New Zealand’s Next Top Model. A reliable source told me yesterday that Niwa has been in talks with TV3 for several weeks and is “almost definitely going to get the job.”
UPDATE: 03/11 10pm – Click to continue for Rob Niwa’s comment.
Niwa has been a key figure in the New Zealand industry for over eight years as a freelance stylist, Crane Brothers/Gubb and Mackie tailor and go-to guy for any media outlet wanting an expert opinion on sartorial matters. In my opinion, Niwa is an excellent choice for NZ’s Next Top Model – he’s camera friendly, has impeccable taste, and is well known for being the ‘nice guy’ of the New Zealand fashion industry – the latter a trait the contestants will no doubt appreciate, considering the nasty nature of reality TV.
Update 03/11 – Rob Niwa called me this morning with the following comment:
“Nothing’s been confirmed yet, I spoke to them last week and that’s about as far as it got. A man named John McDonald – a producer from TV3 came and spoke with me last week. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, they’re talking to a lot of people in the industry. They don’t have too much experience in the fashion industry so they’re going around and talking to quite a few people. They’re still looking for photographers and make up artists. I’m not sure if they’re just looking to get one stylist or have special guest star stylists. I think they’re going to film it in February, they were considering doing it earlier, maybe January, but things are taking longer to go through than expected. They’re still trying to decide whether to only allow over-18 year old girls to enter like in the American series, or to open up the competition to girls under-18 too, in which case their parents will need to come on board. Most successful girls in New Zealand are under 18. I think they’re still looking for international modelling agencies to come on board. They’re still at quite an early stage, they’re still looking for sponsors to come on board. But it’s definitely going to go ahead, it’s in the woodwork, they’re just working through all the details. It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like, especially if they get under-18 year old girls in. The great part about the American show is that the girls are bitchy, they get drunk, they sleep around, I love it! New Zealand girls aren’t that bitchy, they’re a lot nicer, so it’ll be interesting to see the personalities that get in there. It might be more like a documentary than reality TV. The great thing about New Zealand is that we have so many cultures here so hopefully they can find some amazing girls out there.”
New Zealand’s Next Top Model has been in the news a lot lately (for a TV show that hasn’t even begun filming) with the Sunday Star Times reporting that Charlotte Dawson was a shoe-in for the hosting job but pulled out after a nasty piece of women’s magazine press. 62 Models and Talent’s owner Sara Tetro has also been pegged as the show’s host but as I speculated recently, the likelihood of that happening is slim – presumably Tetro’s name has come up because 62 Models will be the modelling agency alligned with the show. The possibility of Tetro being a judge or an expert opinion-giver on the show is not one to be ruled out however.
Speaking of judges, I would be surprised if former international model cum stylist Atip Wananuruks (pictured above with his wife) was not brought into the show. In my personal experience with Wananuruks, the English born stylist does not beat around the bush in speaking his opinion, so perhaps he could be New Zealand’s Next Top Model’s Simon Cowell equivalent.
When asked recently if he had been contacted by TV3, Wananuruks denied any involvement, saying that the first he had heard of the show had been on this blog.