Nice to see one Schoolies story with a happy ending. Meet Corey Micari. The 17 year-old from Dandenong, Victoria is the 2012 winner of the MMS ['Mr and Miss Schoolies'] Model Search. Although he has no modelling experience beyond the competition and is as yet unsigned by an Australian agency, Micari has just been signed to IMG Models New York. But modelling isn't the only arena in which he has been a competitor.
For the past three years Micari has been playing TAC Cup level Australian rules football with Victorian club the Dandenong Stingrays. An elite under-18 Australian rules representative football competition, the TAC Cup is considered a feeder program for talented young players to graduate into the AFL. According to a Dandenong Stingrays representative Micari, a back line player, would have been eligible for the AFL draft at the end of this year.
Modelling has since intervened and he is putting his AFL dream on the back burner for now.
Last September, Micari entered - and won - the MMS Model Search Victorian state final at the BoomBox Indoor Music Festival in Melbourne (the MMS competition is open to all current students between the ages of 16-21, not just school leavers).
Then in November, on the Gold Coast, Micari caught the attention of IMG Models senior executive manager Greg Chan, who has been a guest judge at the MMS Model Search finals for the past two years.
Crowned the competition's overall 2012 winner, Micari won a trip to New York as part of his prize package. He flew over in January and met again with Chan, who finally signed him to IMG Models last week.
Micari is fashion's latest Australian sporting recruit. Jordan and Zac Stenmark reportedly gave up AFL scholarships to Sydney University to pursue modelling. Joel Meacock - another Chan protégé, who was signed to Chan's previous New York agency Wilhelmina in 2011 - is currently juggling modelling with his soccer scholarship at Pennsylvania University in the US.
Interestingly, like Meacock, Micari was also initially advised to lose weight; his jock frame considered a tad too bulky for the runways. Last year, Meacock told frockwriter that he lost seven kilos over the Christmas 2011 period before heading to the European runways in January last year. Ironically, upon arrival, he was subsequently told that he was too thin and was given protein bars to put some weight back on.
Although Micari has the unusual honour of being signed to the world's biggest model agency before he even has representation in his home market, things appear to be moving along quite quickly for him.
MMS Model Search director Leigh Metzeling - who is also a director of the Brisbane talent agency Sass Management - is about to launch a brand new model agency in Brisbane called Brothers Model Management. No it won't just be for men - the name is a reference to Metzeling and his business partner brother Mark. According to Leigh Metzeling, Brothers Model Management will be Micari's mother agency in Australia and he is looking to place him with other agencies in Sydney and Melbourne.
Nicola Walsh, another new Queensland face recently spotted not only by the Metzelings, but also Australia's Next Top Model and David Jones, will also be joining Brothers Model Management.
all images: supplied exclusively to frockwriter by sass management