After coming third in America's Next Top Model: British Invasion, Annaliese Dayes is advising aspiring young models "grow a thick skin" before attempting to break into the fashion industry.
Speaking exclusively to IBTimes UK, the 24-year-old beauty and former gymnast said the fashion world was often a lonely place that can destroy self-esteem.
"The rejection is on a constant basis and it's very easy for that to tear you down," she said. "The industry is so superficial that you have to make sure you are happy with yourself first. Grow a thick skin.
"When you are getting critiqued about something you have been doing for years [modelling] it's hard because you know that anything negative that they saw could potentially damage your career."
In 2009, Dayes lined up as one of the 13 contestants on Living TV's Britain's Next Top Model, where she came seventh. She returned to our screens to compete on the US version of the show in 2012.
"I was really impressed that I was able to redeem myself on ANTM. My goal was always to try and do better," she explained.
Clashes with Kelly Cutrone
Standing at 5ft 7in, Dayes is considered short for a model but what she lacks in height, she makes up in character.
The Camden-raised model believes that it was her energetic personality that caused her to constantly clash with ANTM judge Kelly Cutrone.
Although she failed to take the crown, Dayes admitted that just being able to finally earn the approval of Cutrone, who had accused her of being phoney, was enough.
"Kelly Cutrone really hated me on the season and I think the reason why she didn't like me is because she thought that I was trying to bamboozle her with my personality. [I think she thought] I was trying to make up for the fact that I could not model or something," she said.
"I think in the end she realised that I can't turn it off even if I wanted to."
Dubbed Miss "Excite-to-Buy" on ANTM because of her ability to sell anything, Dayes claimed that it was because of her boundless energy she would never walk for high-fashion brands including Dior and Karl Lagerfeld.
"I would love to work for PPQ because their style is very similar to mine. Very fun, very quirky with a bit of spunk," she says.
"I don't think I'm clothes hanger enough for designers like Dior."
Dayes, also a host at Bang Radio, counts Eva Marcille, also 5ft 7in, who won the third cycle of ANTM, as her biggest inspiration.
"Eva is one of the reasons why I was obsessed with Top Model and those kind of shows," she said.
Collaboration with Vanessa Blake
"I felt connected to her because of the height definitely. Generally in the modelling industry the models are a lot taller so it's nice to have a fellow short model do so well."
Despite making amazing progress in her modelling career, Dayes is now focusing on other ventures including her sock range, Frills by AD, and a collaboration with cosmetics company Vanessa Blake to create her own line of lip-glosses.
"I am a firm believer in that if you didn't get one thing then something else was destined for you. I love modelling and I will do it until I can't do it any more but my real passion is talking to and meeting people.
"I know it sounds a little far-fetched but I think I could host the X Factor. I don't see why not - anything's possible."
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