A Filipino designer has been tapped to dress up one of the official candidates for the 69th Miss Universe Competition which will be held in Hollywood, Florida on May 16 (May 17 in Manila).
Paul Semira, of Paul Semira Designs, has created ladies suits for Miss Universe Cambodia Sarita Reet, also an actress and TV presenter in her hometown.
Semira, 37, said that he hasn’t met Sarita in person and only the national director of Miss Universe Cambodia Romyr Libo-on, who, surprisingly, is also a Filipino.
“One of my friends who is a make-up artist texted me about Sarita who needs ladies suits. I was told that most of her outfits were gowns and cocktail dresses. She needs different kinds of outfits. It’s a coincidence that I’ve created ladies suits that fit her,” said Semira, one of the Filipino designers who will create clothes for the international beauty queen, during an exclusive online interview on April 29.
Semira said that the ladies suits were created in 2020 and were supposed to be part of a collection that will be launched soon. “I gave the national director three sets of suits with colors – baby pink, powder blue, and sage green. The national director is ready to fly to Florida for Miss Universe.”
This is the first time that Semira will be dressing up a candidate for Miss Universe, and he couldn’t be happier.
Asked why some international beauty queens embrace Philippine fashion, Semira said: “Filipinos love beautiful women and pageantry. Pageants make my dreams come true and fans are amazed at how we support beauty contests. I think that’s one of the reasons why they come to us for fashion.”
Semira said that he has “rescued” other candidates in previous pageants like the environment-driven Miss Earth contest.
A designer for five years now, Semira specializes in men’s wear, suits, and wedding gowns.
At the age of 17, Sarita started competing in beauty pageants and talent competitions which eventually led to her landing a role as TV Presenter for BBC Media Action’s TV series, Love9.
Sarita’s passion for acting landed her roles in several short films: Happiness (2015), The Dinner (2016), Kidnap (2017), The Interview (2017), as well as several TV dramas. She has also starred in several feature films: Mind Cage (2016), Love To The Power of Four (2016), and HEX (2017).
In 2016, Sarita was awarded with the Youth Champion Award by U.N.F.P.A. Cambodia for her advocacy in promoting gender equality, reproductive health rights, and prevention against gender-based violence in Cambodia.
Sarita has acted in over 10 feature films and TV series. She set up multiple businesses for her stepmom since the age of 19. She’s flown to Malaysia over 30 times and considers it her second home.