Named one of the world’s leading luxury influencers last year by Forbes France, Filipino actress and socialite Heart Evangelista seems to have added another feather to her cap: she recently graced a digital billboard advertisement in New York’s Times Square in collaboration with IA’s Threads by Ia Faraoni, a sustainable fashion brand that specialises in bags and minaudières made by Filipino artisans. The ad features Evangelista carrying the brand’s Panda Minaudière, named after her dog, Panda.
A day after the billboard was launched, IA’s Threads announced that the Panda Minaudière had already sold out – a testament to Evangelista’s credibility as an influencer and her effectiveness as a luxury endorser.
Estimates of her net worth start around US$4 million. So how does she spend the millions she’s earned from luxury endorsements and more, and what are her most fashionable purchases?
Her Balesin wedding
In 2015, Evangelista tied the knot with politician Francis “Chiz” Escudero – who is currently the governor of Sorsogon province – at the exclusive Balesin Island in Quezon. According to Philippine Entertainment Portal, for a three-day and two-night stay with a 250 guest count, the cost of a Balesin wedding is around US$152,000. And that’s just a start, naturally.
Her designer wardrobe
In a tour of her wardrobe, Evangelista shared some of the luxury fashion brands she likes wearing – notably Carolina Herrera and Chanel dresses and jackets. “I love investing in some brands because it’s definitely something that will last you forever, so you can wear it over and over,” she said.
Her outfits generate plenty of media attention – and not even necessarily during red carpet events. During quarantine last May, she paired her Missoni dressing gown with Gucci mules for a colourful look that cost US$1,100. Then during the winter holidays, she dolled up at home in a blush pink gown by Lebanese fashion designer Georges Hobeikal. His gowns have a starting price of US$7,000.
While Evangelista loves to don expensive outfits, she also favours vintage clothes. On a visit to Sorsogon last year, she even went thrift shopping, buying a number of US$1 dresses and modelling them on her YouTube channel.
Her Hermès collection
Not only does Evangelista own Hermès Birkins, she hand-paints them for US$1,800 a pop. Her repertoire of Hermès bags could probably rival even Nita Ambani’s massive collection. Among the expensive totes Evangelista owns is the Hermès Birkin 25cm Himalayan Crocodile, which she bought for US$122,000.
On her Instagram account, Evangelista juxtaposes her instant meals – a can of Purefood corned beef (US$1.50) and a pack of instant noodles (US$0.23) – either with a fancy outfit or dinnerware. Her humorously contrasting posts have spawned plenty of memes.
Her wealthy family background
Evangelista comes from a wealthy clan, born into a family which owns the Barrio Fiesta restaurant chain in the Philippines. Her father is a restaurant magnate and her cousin, Happy Ongpauco-Tiu, runs the Happy Concept Group, a catering and restaurant company.
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