Vancouver’s Serinda Swan stars in Guess Watches’ holiday campaign, having beat more than 70,000 competitors (close to 1,400 of them from Canada) in the Faces to Watch global model search. Guess Watches worked with ELLE Canada to select Canada’s finalists.

The 23-year-old Swan started modelling at 14 and was making the transition from model to actress (with parts in the TV show Supernatural and the upcoming movie Beyond Loch Ness) when the Faces to Watch competition beckoned. “I shop at Guess,” says Swan. “I think of myself as a Guess girl because the clothes fit me really well and I love them.” On one Guess shopping trip (during which she purchased a pair of jeans), a sales clerk urged Swan to enter the Faces to Watch contest, then slipped an entry form into her bag when she demurred. The same thing happened a few weeks (and another pair of jeans) later, so Swan decided to go for it. After she won in Canada, an international judging panel — led by Guess co-chairman and co-CEO Paul Marciano — placed her in the top 10 female finalists from around the world; at the finals in Switzerland, she tied with a Russian model.

Friendly and down-to-earth, Swan is also an accomplished poker player. She attended players’ boot camp in the Bahamas last year and is the spokesperson for Absolute Poker. (She plays online every Sunday afternoon.) In person, Swan can also hustle with the best of them. She says that there are similarities between playing poker and modelling: “It’s an acting game: you have to put on different faces whenever you can, just like with modelling.”

How is Swan going to feel the first time she sees herself on that huge Guess Watches billboard? “I’ll take lots of pictures of it!” she says, laughing. “It gives me goosebumps to think that I can say ‘I’m a Guess girl,’ like Claudia Schiffer, Carré Otis and Paris Hilton. These girls are elite supermodels — it’s amazing to be able to say that I’m a part of that family.”

Image courtesy of David Moo King