There's more to Minki

2003-09-30 08:16

Cape Town - Minki van der Westhuizen, the 19-year-old model who bowled over Protea captain Graeme Smith, is not aspiring to be "just a buxom bombshell, as she is now portrayed by some."

So says Van der Westhuizen's adamant manager Lyn Maxwell, of Max Models in Cape Town, in reference to various pictures of a scantily clothed Minki appearing in media since news connecting Smith and her.

"Some media has run with her as if she's a pin-up, and she is not," Maxwell said.

"Her biggest claim to fame is Guess (the clothing brand contract), which is a serious campaign.

"Yes, she has done swimwear shoots for SA Sports Illustrated and has appeared on the cover of GQ, but she is a serious model. One would really like to see more balance of what her modelling career is all about," said Maxwell.

Pictures of Van der Westhuizen, referred to as "Slinky Minki," adorned dozens of US armoured vehicles during the Iraq war, and she was voted a soldier favourite by the troops.

Asked about those pictures Maxwell said, "That's fine, but we really do not want to go into that direction with her career at all.

"I am a great fan of the media, but it is unfortunate that some are now scratching the archives to draw the public's attention. People do not realise the damage it can do to her career, what with potential serious clients frowning at a pin-up image. There's more to Minki than that.

"Besides, they (Van der Westhuizen and Smith) are both nice people from good families. It (their relationship) is in its early days, barely a week old. People should rather wait to see what transpires."

Maxwell sent News24 Van der Westhuizen's portfolio, portraying a very different image of the model from that seen in the media over the past few days.

The Durbanville model was discovered by Max Models at the age of 16 in a modelling competition.

Her big break came when she was chosen out of almost 10 000 women to star in a fall campaign for Guess, thereby following in the footsteps of supermodel Claudia Schiffer, amongst others. "She was literally chosen (by Guess designer Paul Marciano and photographer Rafael Mazzucco) from four polaroid pictures," says Maxwell.

Van der Westhuizen has also completed swimwear shoots for SA Sports Illustrated (twice) and GQ and Maxim.

She also models for Queenspark and has just returned from a stint in Milan where she graced the pages of DONNA magazine.

Abercombie & Fitch has requested options on Van der Westhuizen, as has Victoria's Secret.

Maxwell said Abercombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret is as good as it gets for an international model. "If this happens, this local girl will be top of the pile."