Pauline Prieto: And Filipino makes perfect
A young girl emerges to give Filipino models another place in the spotlight.

MODEL PERFECT. Pauline Prieto brought young Filipino models back in the limelight. Gown by Claire Jarantilla. Photo by Cholo dela Vega.

Gown by Jay Masangya. Photo by Cholo dela Vega.

MANILA, Philippines – There was a time when Brazilian models were the norm, when caucasian models were preferred over Filipino and other Asian models.

More than the said “colonial mentality” that Filipinos apparently have, many local brands had (and some still have) the belief that the Filipino market will buy products that will help them become what they aspire to be—which is either white or foreign, if not foreign-looking.

Then there was also a time when voluptuous models were preferred, because most thought that, since “sex sells,” voluptuous models drew more attention. This was until lean, high-fashion models took to the stage, allowing for clothes to hang better and look better.

The fashion industry was aware that the Filipino models suffered; many went overseas to do modeling work or to pursue careers in the hotel industry. Some who stayed in the country decided to go into styling, even DJ-ing in bars. With the cheaper rates that foreign models were charging (how low it went started getting ridiculous), the Filipino models were just not getting enough work.

This was until models like Pauline Prieto came into the picture. Young, light-energied, respectful, and easy to work with, the likes of her were a welcome break to brands and publications who had had enough of some foreign models and their attitudes.

Slowly, Filipino models re-entered the picture, and have stayed there ever since.

Gown by Dexter Alazas. Photo by Cholo dela Vega

Gown by Jor El Espina. Photo by Cholo dela Vega


Gown by OJ Hofer. Photo by Cholo dela Vega


(Sittings direction by Georginna Desuasido and Jong Pijuan. Makeup by Mary Pearl Sarcauga of Dollface Cosmetics. Hair by Nina Dumpa. Nails by Beauty & Butter for Orly. All accessories from Vero by Gladys Young. Shot on location at Moevenpick Resort and Spa, Cebu. RAPPLER welcomes work from fashion bloggers, stylists, aspiring models and designers, and enthusiasts. Email us your portfolio with subject heading TASTEMAKERS to

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