Alex Hecker

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Alex Hecker

fortespringracing596Congratulations on your pageant success this year! Can you please tell us a little about how you got into competitions and your successes to date?
Thank you! I grew up on a farm and was quite a tom boy, however when I turned 18 I started taking more of an interest in fashion and modelling. Family and friends persuaded me to enter my first beauty pageant last year – the Miss Universe Australia competition – and I placed amongst the Top 10 in the nation. Following on from my initial success I decided to enter the Miss World competition because I liked the organisation’s holistic approach and the ‘Beauty With A Purpose’ category where I managed to raise over $6000 for Variety – The Children’s Charity. I made Top 3 in the Talent category and was awarded Miss World Multimedia for the TV Presenting challenge. Finally, I was crowned Miss World Australia 1st Runner Up which is one of my biggest achievements to date.
What have you learned most from such competitions?
I’ve learnt to believe in myself, particularly in times where I was forced out of my comfort zone. I’ve learnt to be proud of my body and my strengths, acknowledge my weaknesses and constantly strive to be a better version of myself. A lot of people are still under the impression that beauty pageants are shallow and outdated – I dare them to relive my week at the Miss World Australia National Final!! Each girl was each assessed on their mental strength & determination through a plethora of challenges. We also had to converse with a panel of judges and then answer not one, but two difficult questions during the crowning ceremony. Being a part of a beauty pageant has taught me the importance of being intelligent, strong, empathetic, versatile and honest. Send me to a job interview or put me in a room full of people from all walks of life – it’s easy compared to a beauty pageant!
How did you become involved with Racing Victoria?
My journey with racing began at the 2011 Geelong Cup, where I entered the fashions on the field for the very first time. My only memory of it is when I was walking down the catwalk and my fascinator blew off in the wind! A couple of months later I entered Country Racing Victoria’s Best Dressed Racegoer competition and won, which saw a new opportunity emerge as I became the Face of Country Racing Victoria for the next two years. I worked with countless celebrities and Australian icons and visited almost every racecourse in Victoria.
Country Racing duties aside, I was also a national finalist in the prestigious Myer Fashions on the Field competition last year at Flemington which was a once in a lifetime experience.
A horse lover yourself, what is it you love the most about the Spring Racing Carnival and why?
Yes I am a horse lover – I’ve got two horses of my own, so it’s a given that I enjoy seeing the horses on race days!
I love the excitement that’s in the air during the Spring Racing Carnival. It’s that instant vibe as soon as you walk through the entry gates – people are bustling everywhere in a sea of bright colour, the race caller is overhead calling the next race, ladies are in their finest racewear complete with beautiful millinery and the horses are thundering down the homestretch.
Your closet must be enormous, how would you describe your style and who are some of your favourite brands/ designers?
My style is a combination of classic and contemporary. I love the latest trends and clean cut lines, however I like to still keep it classy and elegant. My favourite designers include Etro, Kookai and Mary Katrantzou to name a few, and my style inspiration comes from a combination of Olivia Palermo and Audrey Hepburn.
What are your personal future ambitions?
I’m currently pursuing a career in the media industry and I’m enjoying doing some TV Presenting for Pulse Television on Channel 31. I’m also studying a Masters degree in Cultural Heritage which will one day enable me to work in museums….the Racing Museum perhaps???
What are your racing and fashion tips for this season?
I think it’s first and foremost important to wear something that reflects your personality and your own interpretation on the current trends. Ladies – asymmetric hemlines are popular and have the ability to take the eye away from the widest part of your shape. We’re seeing a lot of pastel re-emerging this season which can be very feminine and flattering, so keep an eye out for the colour lavender. For something a bit more bold, there’s an array of prints out there! I personally love the abstract and tropical prints, as well as bold block colours. Also millinery is a must – match a headpiece to compliment your outfit.
Gents – blue or grey coloured suits always look great for the races, teamed with a patterned shirt and coloured tie. Try oranges, blues and reds for shirts and ties as they always look striking. Don’t rule out the bow tie either! Shoes are too often neglected – a nice pair of leather shoes can make or break an outfit.
Lastly, the races is all about having fun so enjoy your day and pick a winner!