Island beholds the magic of Mystique

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 23            June 19, 2003

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First runner-up Stella Francheschi, Co-founder/Photographer Mark Daughn and Mystique Model Search 2003 winner Erica Campbell

Models, models and more models invaded the island this past week to compete in the "Mystique Model Safari 2003". "An experience like no other" describes Mystique Magazine's annual event that brought beauty and prosperity to Ambergris Caye.   

    Mystique Magazine, based out of Austin, Texas provides "a complete entertainment experience" for men (and ladies) who love to view beautiful women. Photos of these models appear on their website The site is one of the top 3,000 most visited web sites in the world, (top 250 among adult sites), with more than 300 million hits every month. New photos are added 365 days-a- year, as well as a new model of the week every Monday. The site also features glamour and pin-up models, photographers and artists from around the world.

    Of the more than 2000 contestants, only 20 were selected by on-line vote from Mystique's website to compete in the 5th annual model search. Eighteen of the twenty traveled to Belize to participate in daily photo shoots held at several locations during the week. The Mystique crew was comprised of more than 75 people, and included models, coordinators, photographers, videographers, photography students, security and friends. While on island, the models were hosted for dinner at Casa Picasso and Sweet Basil restaurants, and enjoyed a lively party and Punta dance competition at IT Bar. On Sunday evening, the Mystique group wound down at Sundiver Beach Resort, by feasting at a wonderful luau, taking part in a limbo contest and diving for "treasure". Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by San Pedro's own "Category X".

Models enjoy luau at Sundiver Beach Resort

   The "Safari" came to an end Monday evening at Banana Beach Resort, which hosted the official Fashion and Awards Show. Amy Hayes, commentator for Fox Sports Network (and former Mystique model) emceed the competition. At the end of the night, she announced lovely Miss Erica Campbell as the 2003 winner of the Mystique model search. Participating in her very first photo shoot this week, an extremely elated Erica exclaimed, "I can't believe they picked me - it was my first time!"

    Miss Stella Francheschi was named first runner-up in the contest. Other contestants also won prizes for "Miss Congeniality," "Fan Favorite" and the "Life of the Party". Island businesswoman Alexandra Nicholson presented the Mayan Secrets Beauty Award. This award was given to the woman with the most beautiful skin and included a special gift basket of Mayan Secrets products.

    The celebration continued afterwards at Coconuts' Lucifer's Lounge where everyone "let their hair down," at a special "wrap" party. When interviewed by The San Pedro Sun, every model commented on what a wonderful experience it was to be involved with Mystique Magazine. One model, under contract with Mystique for the past year, mentioned the amazing rapport the Mystique producers have with their models. "We are treated like princesses; pampered and provided with everything we could possibly need," she exclaimed.

    Following a luxurious trip to Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, the winner and first runner-up will travel to Jamaica where they will participate in additional photo and video shoots.

    Mystique Magazine is not "porn" or x-rated. Most viewers described Mystique Magazine as "sexier than Victoria's Secret but not as revealing as Playboy." It was stated that many Mystique models go on to appear in Playboy, Maxim, FHM, in television commercials and shows, movies and advertising campaigns. Television crews invited to film the model's excursions in Belize included those from E! TV's "Wild On," "Bikini Beach TV," "The Poor Man Show," and other popular television shows.

   Mystique Magazine was co-founded by Mark Daughn, one of the most recognized glamour and fashion photographers in this industry. Mark oversees model relations, image production, design and photography.

   The company's other co-founder is Kevin King, a skilled creative producer, who was named one of the "Top 40 Marketers Under 40" in the United States. Kevin oversees the web site, marketing, publicity and events, merchandising and daily operations.

    Mystique also publishes an annual 100-page coffee-table style magazine that is mostly photos (with a small amount of editorial) as a companion to the web site. Aside from being available online, it is also distributed throughout Australia, and specialty retail stores in the United States and Great Britain. Mystique's catalog (e-commerce) division sells calendars, posters, DVDs, trading cards and other high-end glamour collectibles. Mystique is known among fans for having the best quality products in the business.

   Mystique models have been featured representing the company on Fox, The Travel Channel, Howard Stern, E! Entertainment Television, Extra, Inside Edition, MTV, Telemundo as well as several other US media outlets.

    On behalf of the community, The San Pedro Sun thanks Mystique Magazine for choosing Belize and compliments them on their organization, cooperation and generosity to the island people. Also special kudos to Events Coordinator Lynn Hernandez, for a job well done - Mystique Magazine is indeed a "first-class production!"
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