Another season of Tyra Banks‘ “America’s Next Top Model” launches this week with the premiere of Cycle 16 on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The cast features 14 model hopefuls competing for a prize package that includes a contract with IMG Models, a spread in Vogue Italia, and a $100,000 CoverGirl contract.
Banks once again leads the panel of judges, which includes Vogue fashion editor Andre Leon Talley and famed photographer Nigel Barker. Runway trainer Miss J Alexander and photo shoot creative director Jay Manuel will also return.
Photos: Meet the Cycle 16 models
This Cycle’s guest judges include stylists Rachel Zoe and Lori Goldstein, models Alek Wek, Erin Wasson and Sonia Dara, designers Lana Marks and Daniella Issa Helayel, Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, photographer Francesco Carrozzini and “Gossip Girl” costume designer/stylist Eric Daman.
The international destination for this Cycle has been revealed to be Morocco, marking the first time the show has traveled to the Arab world.
The local contenders include 26-year-old Kasia Pilewicz, the season’s oldest contestant, originally from neighboring Wheaton, IL. The curvaceous DePaul University grad was featured in V Magazine’s “Size” issue and currently works as a makeup artist.
19-year-old college student/waitress Monique Weignart from Hebron in McHenry County is also in the running.
Cycle 15 concluded in December with Texas-native Ann Ward, 19, winning the show’s first “high fashion” prize package, which included a Vogue Italia photo shoot. Her ANTM portfolio can be seen here.
Video: Preview of the new season
“America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 16 premieres on Wednesday, February 23 at 8/7c on The CW.