Sunderland teen, Italia-Mari Thompson, plans to host a charity fashion show as she continues on her journey towards the finals of the UK Galaxy Pageants.
The 17-year-old, who was crowned Miss Teen Model UK in 2013 and is the current holder of Miss Teen Sunderland Galaxy 2015/16, has teamed up with some amazing charities and local brands to host a fun fashion filled night on Friday November 27, at The Basement, Sunderland, to raise awareness and money of the Christie Cancer Charity.
Italia told us: “After entering [the pageant], hearing the wonderful news that I had reached the finals and that I would be representing my home city of Sunderland, I had an idea to bring both of my passion for fashion, four years experience of modelling and charity roles within my title together”.
UK Galaxy pageants have been raising money for the Christie Cancer Charity for the last two years. So far they have raised over £49,000 and are continuing to support the charity for the upcoming 2016 competition.
Italia said: “Entering gave me lots of confidence and opportunities in the modelling industry, with the ability to also help others and pass on my experiences and tips!
“After hearing about Holly (the pageant director) and her team at Pageant Girl, also owners of The Dress Studio and the pageants that they hold, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity and experience to be a part of.
This year the finalists raised £30,000 and Italia feels “honoured” to be a part of the 2016 competition. The Christie Cancer Charity is the largest single site cancer centre in Europe, treating more than 44,000 patients a year. As a Centre of Excellence, they focus solely on improving outcomes for oncology patients. They are able to provide services based on expert staff and a specialised infrastructure dedicated to the delivery of cancer treatment, care, research and education.
Proceeds raised from the evenings raffle will be donated to Battersea Dogs and Cats home. Established in 1860, the animal charity aims to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help, caring for them until owners or loving new homes can be found and determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.
After attending summer school at Central Saint Martins in London, Italia’s dream is to hopefully be down in London next September to pursue a career and studies in fashion textile design.
“I like the freedom of design and how I can express different feelings and my own personality”, Italia explains. “I have a strong style of hand embellishment and embroidery which I try to include in every project I complete. My favourite thing to design is dresses, as I feel strongly influenced by all of the glitz and glam from dancing as a child, to modelling bridal and now sparkling pageant dresses! My final first year BTEC dress will also be showcased on the evening”.
The teen, who has worked with some of the best photographers, makeup artists and brands, such as Mao Couture, Lovely Little Me, Bozena Carter and M-Sew, in the North East, will include local fashion from Newcastle College, Kathryn Russell and Lovely Little Me, with also a performance by Olivia Devine.
“I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to bring family, friends and people from industry who I have met over the years together for a great night”, Italia told us. “I look forward to continuing to raise awareness and money for charity through the rest of my journey.
“It has been a huge challenge so far but definitely worth it! It also feels great to have given many opportunities to others by being part of my event.
“I look forward to also attending the finals in February of Miss Teen Galaxy England 2016 and to share the experience with the other girls too!”
Doors open 6.30pm with the night starting at 7pm.
Purchase tickets here.