By John Legaspi
Who could ever forget Albert Andrada’s electric blue gown worn by Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 or the lava dress donned by reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray designed by Mak Tumang last year? Truly, the local and international pageant stages paved the way for many Filipino fashion designers to showcase their couture gowns and reach a global audience, especially if their creations help win the crown. All in all, it leaves us with a great sense of national pride even on foreign grounds. It makes us proud of our local artisans and induces our candidates to raise our flag even higher with the Filipina’s wit, grace, and beauty.
Recently, another Filipino designer is making waves in the international pageant scene when the newly crowned Miss Universe Japan 2019 Ako Kamo wore the creation of Manila-based designer Joel Escober. The newly crowned Miss Universe Japan radiated in a dramatic black one-sleeved lace dress with scattered feather details.
“I focused on my aesthetic,” Escober says to Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “My vision is to give a new sense of femininity, but I want to steer away from the usual glitters and pastels.”
Apart from dressing the night’s winner, Escober also designed pieces worn by all the finalists of the pageant. “All are made here in Manila and everything sourced locally,” he muses.
During the coronation night, Kamo was crowned by the national director and Miss Universe Japan 2008 Hiroko Mima.
“I’m so honored to see beautiful ladies wearing Filipino creations,” continues Escober. “It’s a dream for me to see my designs in the international arena. And knowing how high the parameters of Japanese people have when it comes to quality and integrity, it feels reassuring and it’s great to be a part of someone’s dream coming true.”
Miss Universe Japan 2019 Ako Kamo has a close affiliation with the Philippines. Born and raised in Hyōgo Prefecture in the city of Kobe, the model-turned-beauty queen studied media production and performing arts as an exchange student in Assumption College San Lorenzo in Makati City.
Kamo is set to compete for the Miss Universe crown against the Philippines’ Gazini Ganados and 55 confirmed delegates from all over the world at the 68th edition of the prestigious pageant happening this December in Seoul, South Korea.
Escober’s shops are located at Pilar Village, Las Pinas, and on BSA Tower Greenbelt 5 in Makati. For design consultation, call 09175835295 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.