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Caris happy to follow in Miranda s footsteps
Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

She's been likened to Victoria's Secret model *Miranda Kerr * thanks to her cute dimples, slender limbs and long brown waves.

And after making waves in the fashion scene, *Perth * * *model * Caris Tiivel *now has her sights set on the Miss Universe Australia crown.

The 19-year-old brunette stunner, below and right, who was discovered through a Chadwick's Perth * * model search in 2010 and has been signed to the agency for more than two years, registered for the 2013 Miss Universe WA pageant last year and has made the Top 60.

Tiivel said she decided to give the Miss Universe competition a shot after hearing her fellow Chadwick's models praise the WA program, which is run by power couple *Sophia *and *Troy Barbagallo *.

"I'd been thinking about entering Miss Universe as so many Chadwick girls have done it before. I'd heard really good feedback about the whole competition and what you get to do so I decided it would be a great time to enter," she told _AAA Weekend _.

"I've been travelling for the past two years non-stop so I kind of just wanted to settle down in Perth for a little while and have a bit of a break."

While no stranger to parading before crowds - she has appeared on Perth Fashion Festival catwalks and has also worked for several high-fashion campaigns - Tiivel said she had learnt a lot from the Miss Universe program.

"The first event I went to was a nutrition course where I learnt so much more about how to look after my body and how to be healthy," she said.

"All the girls are so down-to-earth and you make so many new friends.

"Overall, it's just been a really great experience. Sophia and Troy are very supportive.

"We get very well looked after. I'm really glad that we get to represent Perth . . . we're very lucky to be a part of this experience."

Though an international modelling career beckons for the leggy brunette, Tiivel's good looks aren't her only advantage.

Her model boyfriend *Stirling Caiulo * has turned heads overseas and earlier this month he ventured to Milan after being signed to an agency in Paris.

"I definitely want to keep pursuing modelling; I'm not quite sure if there's anything else I want to do yet study-wise," she said.

"I'm trying to take things day by day and life as it comes, not try to think too far ahead."

On being compared to Kerr, a humble Tiivel took it as a "big compliment".

"I think it's the dimples and the brown hair," a shy Tiivel said with a smile. "She's one of my role models so that's a really big compliment for me to be compared to her."

Vanessa Williams