A County Galway model, who has graced the daily newspapers on a regular basis, has been named as the face of an international company based in China.
Shahira Barry from Athenry who works with Assets Model Agency in Dublin, will represent DS Styles which specialises in luxury Swarovski crystal products and accessories.
The 21-year-old is currently being used in its advertising campaign across China and internationally.
Shahira, whose grandmother was from Connemara and her grandfather from Bangladesh, graduated from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick in October with a Bachelor of Education degree.
However, she turned her back on a career as a primary teacher when signed as one of Assets Agency’s New Faces after attending an open day organised by the agency in the capital.
Her career has gone from success to success since then. She was one of the finalists in an international modelling competition, took part in a new RTE gameshow, was approached by US Playboy magazine and has been compared by the Irish tabloids to the well known Greek-Irish model and Celebrity Big Brother star Georgia Salpa.
Her latest achievement came about after she received a gift of an iPhone for her 21st birthday in April. “I inquired about getting a cover for it. I found a site to customise it and when they found out that I was an Irish model they asked me to do a YouTube video. It got over 1,000 views. I also did a blog which got a big response. Then they asked me to be the face of the company which customises accessories, such as iphones, laptops and clutch bags, with Swarovski crystals. Paris Hilton and other celebrities are big fans of it.”
The Athenry graduate, who has been modelling since April 2010, says her career really “took off” in January of this year.
“I was on the front of the Irish Sun amd that sent my Facebook page up 1,000 likes in a day. Today I have 5,112 likes. I am still with Assets and got a lot of work over the summer. I did a National Lottery press call recently, I do a lot of press calls.”
She was approached by Playboy magazine in the US after one of the casting directors saw her photograph on an international site for models and photographers. She was invited over to meet him in May for two weeks but had other commitments.
“I could not go at the time but the fact that they were interested is a big thing. They are one of the biggest brands in the world. I would not mind meeting him but am not keen to be known for that especially. I’d have a few misgivings. I know lots of girls dream of it [appearing in Playboy] but it’s never been my dream. I don’t want everyone thinking that’s the route my career is going.”
She hopes modelling will open doors in entertainment for her. “I’ve dreamed of being on stage since I was three. I love doing modelling but didn’t grow up with dreams of being a model. It’s good to have different avenues to pursue, more strings to your bow.”
She is proud of her success and attributes it to drive and hard work. “I’m proud of it. I’ve worked for it myself, I was not handed anything on a plate.”