Episode 24: Miss Monique Sweet

Ladies and gentlemen meet Miss Viva Las Vegas 20 – Miss Monique Sweet

In April some of the most incredible women from around the world came together to compete for the title.

And it was a lass from New Zealand who took home the crown.

Monique describes the journey to Viva Las Vegas as one that required mountains to be moved.

It started in her childhood, living with her grandma who was definitley our fashion hero! She had 5 wardrobes full of clothes 5!! It was playing dressups that Monique developed a love of mixing and matching fashion and of vintage.

Years later, after spending time trying to fit in (haven’t we all) a life changing event took Monique in a different direction.

In 2011 Monique was caught in the Christchurch earthquake.  In February, a 6.3 magnitude quake killed 185 people, injured thousands and cause severe damage to the city of Christchurch.

This was the building Monique worked in.




And this is what it looked like after the earthquake.




Monique was on the 1st floor of the 5 floor PGC building and was trapped under a bench that had a concrete pylon resting on it.

And her outlook on life changed.

No more trying to be what others wanted. It was time for Monique to shine. Out of a disaster came someone who embraced her style, started her business The Beauty School Dropouts and a woman who wanted to enter Miss Viva Las Vegas.

So the first step was to find the courage to enter. That happened in 2015 when fellow Kiwi Miss Victory Violet took out the contest. Slowly but surely Monique built up the confidence needed by becoming more and more involved with the vintage community around New Zealand.


The Viva Las Vegas 20 finalist

When you first enter Viva Las Vegas 6 women automatically go through to the final.

Then there’s six more places to fill and that’s done through public voting.

So when Monique found out she didn’t make it through automatically the next mountain had to be moved.

With the support of her husband, the New Zealand media, and the vintage community she made it through.

And then four days of being observed and judged happened at the Viva Las Vegas festival. Being watched at meet and greets, organised events and being judged on hair, makeup, presentation, personality and poise!

Viva Las Vegas 20 Floor Shots - Friday

In the gown designed by New Zealand designer Judy D. photo: Steve Prue: http://www.teamrockstarimages.com


And then the crowning!

For Miss Monique Sweet she thought she had no chance when Dariel Dearlove (another New Zealand entrant) was announced as the runner up.

But her name was called, she was sashed, the crown placed on her head and the rest they say is history!

And now, as Miss Viva Las Vegas 20 Monique wants to embrace the vintage community around the world.

It’s her dream to be a TedX talker and use this platform to inspire others.

Something that shouldn’t be hard for this incredible woman to do.

It was such a privilege to be able to chat with Miss Monique Sweet on her first weekend back at home since taking out the Miss Viva Las Vegas crown.

You can listen to our chat with Monique wherever you find your favourite podcasts (make sure you subscribe we have some incredible people already featured and coming up) or you can click here.



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