Before he became known to the world as the designer to former Miss Universe Pia Wurzbach, as well as other Philippine beauty queens, Albert Andrada gained prominence in the UAE and the GCC region as a Royal Designer to the ruling Al Sharqi family of Fujairah. Hired after his win as Designer of the Year at the Swarovski Bridal Show in Dubai in 2020, Albert led a design atelier and production team of 29 people, creating 50 couture pieces for the Sheikha of Fujairah and her three daughters on a monthly basis. Quite a feat, but just the norm, in the opulent royal household.
Called the “Klassista” fashion designer Bandoix Flores Nebria was a well-loved figure within the UAE fashion community where he is known for his elegant and classic creations, as well as his affinity for the color black. A member of the fashion royalty in Dubai, Bandoix was the Creative Director of Warda Haute Couture, and his gowns were worn by the elite in the country and the region. He also won praises for his collection under his very own label BFN at the Philippine Fashion Week in 2011.
Nina Naval-Niemczyk & Manette Mercado Mc-Even
Filipina professional models have been walking on the most prestigious runways in Dubai since the late 2000s. Two who pioneered Filipino representation on local catwalks were Nina Naval-Niemczyk and Manette McEven, who have been regular fixtures in the region’s definitive fashion event – Dubai Fashion Week until it transformed into Fashion Forward in 2013. Nina has walked for couture houses Amato, Michael Cinco, Ezra Santos, House of Yen, as well as acclaimed brands Moschino, Harvey Nichols, Splash. L’Oreal, Vikram Padnis, among many others, most of the time, the lone Filipino within the line-up of multi-cultural models. Manette, on the other hand, has been part of the awaited seasonal shows of high street brand Splash and Iconic and has also modeled for other luxe brands like Mimosa and Harvey Nichols, among others.
Both well-respected award-winning supermodels back in the Philippines before they moved to Dubai, Nina, and Manette have, for a time, exemplified quintessential Filipina beauty and grace in the local fashion scene.