This is the second time Filipino fashion student Kennedy Jhon Gaspar has created a national costume for a Miss Universe contestant.
Manila, Philippines – Nigerian Miss Universe representative Maristella Okpala took home the award for best national costume with a design by Filipino fashion student Kenny Gasper.
Inspired by the famous traditional masquerade of the Mmwana tribe of Nigeria, the elaborate set included a beaded headdress and an intricate tribal mask with an ancient colorful cape on the back.
In an Instagram post, Okpala wrote that the creation was intended to “celebrate Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, paying greater attention to the strength that women possess.”
She continued, âI chose this costume in particular because I see a self-reflection of my cause in this Mmwanwa which protects children and women from any form of abuse. Finally, this costume takes into account the strong willingness of women to achieve the size they wish to achieve, regardless of the challenges encountered in achieving the desired goals.
After Okpala was named Best in National Costume, Gasper expressed his gratitude in a Facebook post.
“Thank you Lord. Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala talaga. Umiiyak ako kanina habang kayakap if mom (I still can’t believe it. I was crying earlier as I hugged my mom), âhe wrote.
The Nigeria costume marks the second time that Gasper has created a national costume set for a Miss Universe contestant. During the 69th edition of Miss Universe in May, Gasper also made the âLionessâ set worn by Miss Universe Cameroon 2020 Kossinda Angeles.
The Miss Universe 2021 coronation party took place in Eilat, Israel on Sunday December 12 (Monday morning December 13 in Manila).
The Indian Harnaaz Sandhu won the crown. Filipino Beatrice Luigi Gomez finished in the Top 5 of the contest – Rappler.com