TNP New Face 2014: Winner Diya Prabhakar head and shoulders above

At 15, she towers over the other girls at 1.82m and after yesterday, Diya Prabhakar has even more reason to stand tall.

The panel of six judges picked her as the The New Paper New Face 2014 winner.

Her prize includes $10,000 in cash and an exclusive feature in Her World magazine.

Diya said: "I'm not sure yet what I will do with the money. Maybe I'll give it to charity but I will give it to my parents first.

"I might also give the money to my older brother and save some."

Her brother, an International Baccalaureate student at St. Joseph's Institution, is even taller than her, at 1.92m.

Her parents - Mr A. Prabhakar, a 48-year-old director of a restaurant, and Mrs Asha Prabhakar, a 46-year-old housewife - were at Takashimaya Square to cheer their daughter on.

"We're so proud of her. She really worked hard for this and had to juggle her O levels as well," said Mrs Prabhakar.

Diya, a Tampines Secondary School student, will be taking her O levels this year.

She said: "Sometimes I had to leave school early just to make it in time for the photo shoots. The school had to accommodate."

What next after the exams?

Diya, who has two years of modelling experience, wants to be a model when she is done with her studies.

"My dream is to become a model, so I want to try the international scene," she said.

"However, if that doesn't work out, I want to go junior college and see what I want to do.

"I'm more to the analytical side, so I want to do something in mathematics or finance."


Craning my neck, this 1.52m tall reporter asked her who she would like to thank.

She excitedly rattled off the names of a number of people she said she needed to thank, but reserved special mention for her grandparents.

"I'll call my grandparents because they're in India. I want to tell them that I won and they would be so happy for me," she said.

One of the judges, executive director Glenn Tan of Tan Chong International, said Diya stood out because she had poise, charisma and confidence.

The New Paper editor Dominic Nathan agreed with Mr Tan on Diya's winning characteristic.

Mr Nathan said: "Aside from her height? Poise."

The second place went to Jasmine Sim, 21. The Business Management student at Singapore Management University was surprised to have done that well.

She said: "It was scary, because I thought I screwed up my walk. I didn't follow the choreography closely because I was too nervous and it was very rushed backstage as well.

" So I really didn't expect to win anything. And when I did, it was just unexpected."

Second runner-up was 29-year-old Syiqah Marican, a coordinator at I-Science.

Mr Nathan said: "It was a great event. And year on year, we build on it.

"This year, yet another star is born, and I think, looking at how she stood out from the competition, she certainly has a promising career ahead of her in modelling,"

Many past winners have gone on to become full-time models and television personalities.

For statuesque Diya, scaling such heights is unlikely to be a problem.

Head and shoulders above

Winner: Diya Prabhakar

First runner-up: Jasmine Sim

Second runner-up: Syiqah Marican

Subaru Miss Vivacious: Jasmine Sim

Miss Levi's: Diya Prabhakar

New Look Miss Fashionista: Iman Fandi

The New Paper Best Catwalk: Diya Prabhakar

The New Paper Miss Popularity: Iman Fandi

Panel of judges

Mr Addy Lee, celebrity hairstylist, chairman and founder, Monsoon Group Holdings

Mr Glenn Tan, executive director, Tan Chong International

Ms Joyce Teh, brand manager, M.A.C.

Ms Natalie Soh, editor, The New Paper on Sunday

Ms Pearlyn Tham, editor, Her World

Ms Sara Chan, New Face 2008 finalist

'Happy but shocked to win two titles'

Iman Fandi won two awards last night - Miss Popularity, with 29 per cent of the 10,000 votes, and New Look Miss Fashionista.

The daughter of Lions XII coach Fandi Ahmad and former model Wendy Jacobs said: "I was so happy but shocked that I won two titles. It feels great.

"I didn't really expect to win Miss Fashionista, so it was a great achievement for me."

"I want to thank all those who had been voting for the past few days. I couldn't have done it without them."

Ms Jacobs, too, found it amazing that Iman had won the two titles.

She said: "It's great. If you meet her in person, she's a wonderful, bubbly person, so that (Miss Popularity) was a lovely thing for her to win."

"For Miss Fashionista, we were a bit surprised, but she's quite the fashionista. She loves to dress up."

"It's a stepping stone for her. She's only 14 years old, but I think she stood heads above the other girls."

This article was first published on Oct 3, 2014.
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