MANILA -- Filipino designers are still on a roll at the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Romania Bianca Tirsin is the latest candidate to wear a gown made by top international Pinoy designer Michael Cinco. In her statement to ABS-CBN News Monday night, coursed through her Filipino trainer Mackoy Manlapaz, Tirsin said she is honored to wear the creation of Cinco, who is known for dressing up international A-listers in showbiz, fashion and pageants.
“As I am the first Romanian to wear the gown of his famous designer, I know I will shine in the Miss Universe stage,” Tirsin said, describing the blue, body-hugging Cinco gown as an amazing creation. “I am incredibly happy that he personally sent me a direct message asking me to wear one of his creations. It’s an honorable thing for me and I will be happy not to disappoint him and to wear also the Miss Universe crown!”
Miss Universe Canada Nova Stevens will also wear a couture creation of the Dubai-based designer.
“Yes, I will do her gowns," Cinco told ABS-CBN News earlier. “Nova Stevens messaged me directly and asked me to design her evening gown.”
Cinco also disclosed that he and the national director of Miss Canada are friends and that he also designed the evening gowns of the country’s Miss Universe representatives in 2018 and 2019.
Miss Romania is being trained by veteran Filipino pageant coach Manlapaz, who previously mentored Mutya Datul, the first Filipina Miss Supranational in 2013. Manlapaz conducted his online training early this year with Tirsin, who was first introduced to him by a Filipino executive of Miss International in 2018. She was a batchmate of Atisha Manalo, who placed first runner-up.
“Most of my training involves personality development and question and answer mental training, 80 percent of the time. I also give pointers on pasarela and styling," Manlapaz said in a previous ABS-CBN News interview.
“I’m happy that Filipino pageant coaches and designers are in demand. It speaks of our passion and work ethic ,” said Manlapaz who also trained Nepal's candidate to the 2018 Miss Universe won by Catriona Gray.
“These foreign beauties always look for us because they also want to know and learn why Filipinas consistently place in international pageants.”
Other Miss Universe beauties trained by Filipinos include Miss Cameroon Angele Kossinda under the tutelage of international pageant trainer Carlo Sapurco. She will wear her national costume designed by Filipino fashion student Kennedy Jhon Gasper from Central Luzon State University.
Miss Cambodia Sarita Reth is also supported by a former OFW teacher from Iligan, Romyr Libo-on, who rose to become a talent discoverer and eventually Cambodia’s pageant national director. Baguio-based designer Rian Fernandez was tapped to create her Miss Universe evening gown.
Pinoy designer Jian Lasala was also chosen by Miss Belize Iris Salguero to create her evening gown for the pageant, which features an interplay of colors depicting the crystal blue waters of her country. Lasala will also do the prelims wardrobe of Misses Nepal and Cambodia.