Young pretenders of England's new model army storm New York

From TAMSIN BLANCHARD

in New York

Two young British models have been causing a stir at New York's autumn- winter collections this week.

Jade Parfitt, 16, from Totnes, in Devon, and Jodie Kidd, a 17-year-old from Gloucester, have been booked solidly for shows all week and will be modelling for top designer Calvin Klein.

Jade's booker at Models One, Tori Edwards, said: "She's the hottest girl I've ever come across. She epitomises the look for the Nineties, which is not, it would seem, conventionally beautiful. Jade has a strong angular face that can look stark and uncompromising."

Make-up artist Lee Piecroft, frosting the model's eye-lids with aubergine glitter before Oscar-dresser Richard Tyler's show, said the key to Jade's success was that: "She is extremely individual and unique-looking, which is what fashion is about at the moment."

Already the model has appeared in the pages of American fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar, photographed by David Sims.

Both Jade and Jodie have been modelling for less than a year; it is unusual to be in such great demand with so little catwalk experience. Jodie Kidd's debut was only last month at the New Generation Show in London. Even then she had not imagined that she would soon be striding down the catwalks of New York.

The New York shows have been dominated by British models this week. Nevertheless, Jade and Jodie, with their off-beat English beauty, are not the most likely contenders for the "super-model" league and they have their feet as firmly on the ground as jetting between London, Mexico, New York and Toyko will allow.

Jade is still at school studying for her A-levels between modelling assignments - she has taken some essays to write in New York - and Jodie hopes to follow in her polo-playing brother's footsteps and become a professional show jumper.

Jade was taken on by Models One after winning a modelling competition on the television programme This Morning. Her mother sent in a picture without her knowledge.

Jodie was spotted by photographer Terry O'Neill on holiday in Barbados and has not looked back since joining IMG Models five months ago and being booked by the American fashion photographer, Pamela Hanson.

"I thought it was such a glamorous thing to do," she said. "But it is seriously hard work. It drains you and takes all your energy. The glamour lasts for as long as it takes to walk to the end of the cat walk and back again and then it is backstage again for another round of hair and make- up."

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