A nine-year-old Puerto Rican girl with a gap-toothed smile from Queens, New York, has an even better chance at becoming the face of an international clothing brand.
Kaylene Hernandez is one of five children finalists for the GapKids model search, which sought to find new faces for their clothing line out of millions of contestants.
“I’m really excited,” Hernandez told AP. “I’m going to pray every night that I win.”
Her parents, Yvette Hernandez and Ruben Maldonado, submitted their daughter’s picture online for the contest.
“We just thought, ‘Let’s submit it and good luck,’ ” Maldonado, a 32-year-old magician and technician for Pitney Bowes, said “We didn’t really think about it happening, but this has turned into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
According to Mark Breitbard, executive vice president of babyGap and GapKids, the selection process and competition was tough.
“It was extremely difficult to select only 20 finalists to represent our brand,” he said.
Who will decide the winner? You. For this final round, Hernandez is up against girls from Ohio, New Jersey, California, and Washington and the public must cast their vote online by December 20. Ballots can be submitted at gap.com/castingcall or through the Casting Call iPhone app. The girls are competing for the female spot on babyGap or GapKids.
Despite her stiff competition, Hernandez’s sprits remain high. She is just fine with what she has already accomplished.
“I’m happy to just be a finalist. I’d be sad to lose, but this has been such a great experience. It has been such a great time,” she said.