An ensemble made by a young Filipino fashion designer has won the Best National Costume award at the Miss Universe 2021.
During the grand coronation night on Sunday in Israel, they announced Miss Nigeria Maristella Okpala as the winner of the Best National Costume. Among the eighty lovely contestants, Miss Nigeria’s Mmanwa-inspired costume stole our breath away.
Much to our amazement, the 20-year-old Filipino student designer Kennedy Jhon Gasper is behind the stunning masquerade attire.
According to the designer, it is only his second time designing a costume for Miss Universe. Despite that, he has created costumes for Miss Grand International Haiti 2021, Miss Utah Teen USA 2021, and Miss Supranational Kenya 2021. Recently, he also won the Best in State costume for Miss Utah Teen USA 2021.
In a Facebook post, he expressed how thankful he is for winning the prestigious award and how it seemed surreal.
The Story Behind the Costume
As shared by the beauty queen, the traditional masquerade of the southeastern tribe of Nigeria called ‘Mmanwa’ inspired the costume. Moreover, she revealed that her costume is made of African beads, stones, crafts.
Additionally, the three feet tribal mask with the colorful ancient back cape featuring Mmanwa’s face ties everything perfectly.
What’s more, she explained that it represents how the beautiful figure fought tirelessly to stop child mutilation and slavery. On the other hand, the patterns and embellishments portray the African dashiki which is meant to invoke the ancestral spirits.
Furthermore, she believes that the attire reflects her advocacy to protect children and women against abuse. Other than representing the rich cultural heritage, it also pays homage to the strong will of women.
Check out the details of the costume of Miss Universe Nigeria 2021 from Kennedy’s Instagram below:
Abegail is a writer whose stories embody "I tried it out so you won't have to." When she isn't busy telling people the next must-visit, she spends her day thrifting and scoring the lowest yet quality deals online. Nothing makes her happier than receiving a much-awaited parcel at her doorstep.