Jess Gherxi describes herself as a bubbly person, working hard for anything that comes her way. Whatever happens in life, happens for a reason, she believes. An experienced model since her childhood, the 21-year-old is currently building herself a side career by studying for a Masters in Accountancy at the University of Malta. She also works as a part-time retail assistant at a fashion outlet.

Photo credits: Zayden Camenzuli

Jess Gherxi started working in the modelling industry and taking part in beauty pageants from the age of 13. At first many frowned at her very young age, but she kept her mind set to what she really wanted. “I chose to enter in the industry because I was a shy individual and I truly believed that modelling would really help me change to be better. At the age of 15, I was chosen to represent Malta in an international beauty pageant in Italy, where I brought home the title of Miss a New Star Beauty. In 2012, I was crowned Miss Image Model Malta and later on entered into other beauty pageants such as Fashion Model Malta and Face of Malta,” she remembers. “In 2014, at the age of 18, I was also a finalist for Miss Malta, where I represented my hometown, Naxxar. After that, I stopped taking part in beauty pageants. However, I still modelled for different outlets and designers in fashion shows and posed for several photoshoots,” the runway and photo model summarises.

Last year, after finishing the first part of her course at University, Jess decided that she needed to set her feet back in the industry. “Seeing all the adverts about Miss Malta 2017, I decided to give it a go, since then I had more time on my hands. Miss Malta is one of the most prestigious titles on the island.”

Eve: Last year, you established a name for yourself in the local modelling scene – Miss Republic of Malta 2017. At what point in your life did you realise you had a modelling talent and when did you start taking your talent seriously?

Jess Gherxi: The minute I set my foot in the industry, I knew it wasn’t easy, and therefore I had to work hard. I attended courses and went to different workshops to enhance my skills. I also changed my lifestyle to a healthier one by eating clean and working out regularly.

Eve: What does your title – Miss Republic of Malta 2017 – really mean and what will it entail for you in the coming weeks or months?

JG: The titleholder must be responsible enough to carry that title in the best possible way. I believe that a beauty queen should be a role model to others, also maintain a respectable character, and be approachable and appealing to the people around her.

I am looking forward for the upcoming year because I know that it will be a year full of different opportunities and activities, where I am prepared to give my utmost in all. I would also like to donate some of my time in helping any voluntary organisation and encourage other individuals to do the same.

Photo credits: Benjamin Sant -SnapArt Photography

Eve: From what you observe, what’s your general perception of the local modelling scene?

JG: Unfortunately Malta is a small island, and therefore it may lack opportunities for us models. It is of great satisfaction for individuals like me to see that with time many modelling agencies have been set up and are constantly providing opportunities Although we have come a long way throughout the years, we have a longer way to go. Unfortunately, the locals have a tendency to dishearten the local talent. I truly believe that we have potential on the island – the only problem in Malta is this mentality.

Eve: What do you enjoy doing during your time off?

JG: Hanging out with family and friends, watching movies and normally during the weekends I go to the football matches to watch my boyfriend play.

Eve: Is there somewhere or something you’re hoping to perform in the future? 

JG: I am hoping that in the nearer future I would be able to represent my country in an international beauty pageant.