Ivy Watson used to work as a hotel receptionist at her hometown in Lincoln, struggled to take criticism and was a self-confessed perfectionist. Today she is the current crowned winner of Britain’s Next Top Model and gained the chance to be featured in Cosmopolitan and campaigns with Missguided and Show Beauty. The popular television series features 13 beauties battling it out for the title and is judged by various industry names including the former winner, Abbey Clancy. The hit series follows the models living together in a model house in London, competing for the photo of the week, battling it out on the runway and other various tests as the models seek to sign a contract with Models 1 and begin their modelling careers.
MV Babe Ivy Watson shares her show experience, modelling advice and photoshoot tips during this exclusive interview and how she uses social media to promote her identity, curating bespoke makeup videos and providing insight into her world now the filming has finished and is determined to embrace everything that makes her unique.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I am 24
WHERE IS YOUR HOMETOWN?
I was born in a small town called Lincoln in the East Midlands area
WHO IS YOUR MOTHER AGENCY?
WHAT IS ONE FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am quite the collector of coats and jackets, they’re my favourite fashion pieces and I use them to style up every outfit.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MODEL AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEING CROWNED WINNER OF BRITAIN’S NEXT TOP MODEL
It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind really, as after I won the show I moved up to London (originally planning to stay 3 months) and I haven’t left since. It’s hard to put into words how it felt when I won, it was the most surreal moment of my life. When I got into the show I remember saying I just want to make it into the model house, never ever did I imagine I could have won the show!
On the final night, my boyfriend, family and friends all came to watch the show. So they were all still together after I found out I had won. I rang my boyfriend who was with everyone in kings cross station and told them I had won and everyone was screaming and shouting down the phone, I was crying. It was really emotional. After that, I called my dad. I remember I was staying in London that night and I spent the whole night awake. I was so excited and in shock. It didn’t wear off for a good few weeks!
WHAT WAS THE CASTING PROCESS FOR THE SHOW?
It was quite lengthy, I think it took about a year in total, you apply online and then send in a video, after that, it’s numerous amounts of paperwork and telephone calls. I think I was only given a week or so notice when I found out I was in, so you have to be organised.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO JOIN THE SHOW AND WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH OTHER MODELS WHO ARE CONSIDERING APPLYING FOR NEXT YEAR?
For me I had already tried my hand at modelling, I’d been signed to a Manchester agency for a couple of years, I had big goals and I just felt like I was getting nowhere. I was also 23 and I knew that within modelling, the older you get the harder it is to get signed, so it was sort of the last stitch attempt at pursuing my modelling career.
However, I had a lot of doubts, I actually applied the year before, did the audition, and after getting the call back I chickened out! I then watched that season back on tv and I just felt sick with regret for not pursuing it. So when the auditions opened for the following season I just knew I had to give it a go. I would say to anyone who’s thinking of applying, just go for it. It was the best experience of my entire life and even the hard times throughout the show I’m grateful for because I learnt so much about myself and it really showed me how much I wanted to do this career.
My skin care saviour! Often with all the travelling I do and my job, my skin can get very dry that's why I always carry round my Glamglow Waterbust moisturiser, it has 72hr hydration and doesn't leave your skin feeling weighed down or greasy. Whenever I'm in an airport I always make sure to stock up, I couldn't fly without it.💘😌 My perfect travel companion. #travelbeauty @Glamglow #ad
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CATWALK EXPERIENCE LIKE?
I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous as I was before my first show. But in saying that, I was also the most chilled I had been throughout the whole series. I think this is because there was a gap between filming the show and then the finale catwalk, so I had a lot of time to reflect and listen to what the judges had told me about confidence etc. I also never thought I would win, so I just kept saying to myself it’s an experience, it doesn’t matter where you come and I knew it was such an achievement in itself to make it to the finale so I just tried to enjoy the day and not overthink it.
HOW DID IT FEEL WHEN YOU WON PICTURE OF THE WEEK AND WHAT PHOTOSHOOT TIPS WOULD YOU ADVISE TO OTHER MODELS?
Winning picture of the week was a HUGE confidence boost for me, up until that point I felt like every week I had made it through by the skin of my teeth. It really helped me in believing in myself.
I think it’s all about practice. Learn your angles and expressions, and generally being polite and listening on set helps so much!
Aaaaah so happy😭😱😱. Can't believe I got picture of the week. Thankyou so much to the judges @abbeyclancyofficial @maxrogersuk @nickyjohnston @iamkb . I'm back in the game 😏 bring on next week…🙌🏼 . . #bntmivy #bntm #bntmuk #ntm
HOW DID YOU PREPARE YOURSELF FOR YOUR SHOOT WITH COSMPOLITAN?
Lots of pampering and prep talking myself haha but it was actually the best day! The whole team was so lovely and really made me feel at ease.
DESCRIBE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE…
I love using the Clinique makeup remove after shoots as it really does work and is really soft on your skin! I also use a grapefruit scrub in the shower and exfoliate with St.Ives every few days to help keep my skin feeling fresh and clean. Then at night, I use eye cream and Vitamin E oil, so my face is refuelled for the next day and helps me achieve that magical glow.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE MANTRA?
If you believe you can achieve and If you want something enough you’ll make it happen.
I’m a huge believer in the power of the mind and that our fate is in our own hands. So if you set goals, work hard and believe in yourself, as you can make it happen. I’ve lived my life with these quotes and it’s helped me hugely.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT THE MODELLING INDUSTRY AND WHAT WOULD BE ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE ABOUT IT?
That it’s easy. I think a lot of people think we just have our picture taken all day and that’s the end of it. But modelling is actually more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Part of our job is to maintain ourselves which means eating healthy and working out regularly. You can’t just make plans when you please as your schedule and your diary lies in the hands of your booker and clients. We work very long hours and do a lot of travelling. It’s a lot harder than it seems, but is also one of the best jobs ever!
Something I would change… I think the modelling industry needs to be more inclusive. No one person on this earth is the same, we are all different heights, body shapes, skin colours etc. So I think this could be more reflected in the variation of models who advertise to the customer. In saying that, I do think this is a movement which is already happening and I’m here for it, I think it’s a great thing.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I’m inspired by different people every day. But some of my biggest inspirations are self-made models like Jourdan Dunn. Also, my dad is one of the biggest role models in my life, he’s the strongest person I’ve ever met and I hope one day I can have the strength and resilience he has, he’s a huge inspiration to me.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON INSTAGRAM AND WHAT ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA TOP TIPS?
Instagram is a great platform and a huge tool for us models. I think my Instagram has been a little bit neglected more recently because I’ve been so busy with work but I’m making it my goal to start posting regularly again. I think the great thing about Instagram is that there are no rules, it’s great to be unique and show your personality.
In saying that, I am also very aware of the negative effects of social media and so I try to make sure I don’t spend too much time on it… and remind myself that no one’s life is perfect, so we don’t need to compare ourselves to everyone else.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MODEL VILLAGE AND WHY WOULD YOU SUGGEST OTHER MODELS JOIN OUR COMMUNITY?
Model Village is a great support network for models. They offer perks which allow us to discover new venues and try delicious food. It’s also an opportunity to make money through your Instagram and is a must-have app for all models!