Manila's circles are so small they say and you’re bound to run into the same faces but we really beg to differ. Believe that this vibrant city never runs out of interesting personalities. There are plenty of new people waiting to be discovered, and far more fascinating ones beyond those you know.
In time for Christmas, we gathered eight personalities, who have in one way or another stood out this year. Decked out in this season’s latest stylish sweater-weather looks, they shine bright and are ready to be remembered because they’re here to stay. Cross-check with Santa, but we’re pretty sure we’re accurate in making this list.
Hye Won Jang
First look: Button-down, Bench; Dress, Bench; Swear, Gap
Second look: Beret, Uniqlo, L/S Polo Shirt, Tommy Hilfiger
After signing with boutique NY-based agency VNY Models last January, Hye Won immediately booked, and opened (no less!) Christian Cowan’s show during NYFW. These days she has been rubbing elbows with Paris Hilton, hanging out with fellow NY-based Filipina supermodels, while booking major campaigns in Manila. Is she having one heck of a great year or what? We couldn’t wait what this Korean beauty with a full-fledged Filipino heart has up her sleeve in the next few years. We’re rooting for her and we know for sure that you already are too.
Look: Button-up, Sweater, Jacket – all from Cortefiel; Pants, Bench
This 21-year old is a classic case of athlete-turned-model. Once playing for the NU Bulldogs, Christian got scouted when he was having dinner out and the next thing he knew, he found himself modeling for a local retail giant in their numerous fashion shows. A Florida native, he is one of two brothers who have revolved their lives around basketball. Not surprising though is that he fell in love with modeling and made this a priority too nowadays. With killer looks and a personality to boot, he won’t get benched in the modeling world.
First Look: Shirt, Tommy Hilfiger; Jacket, Superdry, Boots, model’s own
Second Look: Sweater, SupportYourFriends; Polo, Tommy Hilfiger; Shorts, model’s own
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it’s no contest that Lois possesses it. The thing about her though is that her personality radiates within - so much so that, just like art, one truly gets to appreciate it more than the superficial. A Marketing Management graduate, she currently helps out in their family business of--selling art! With Art Verite in Serendra and Art Cube in Karrivin Plaza, this fine lady has her hands full. She does make it look good, doesn’t she?
First look: Sweater, Tommy Hilfiger; Pants, model’s own
Second look: Shirt, stylist’s own; Raincoat, Tommy Hilfiger
Articulate – Gerard is an embodiment of that term. With his sharp style, wit, and great people skills, he is perfect in the world of celebrity management.
Now on his sixth year in the industry, Gerard may appear like he’s gliding but it’s his hustle that lead him to be a trusted partner, confidante, and ally by the talents he handles. Already a fixture, stay tuned because we’re going to be seeing more of his talents explode in 2018.
First look: Sweater, Bench; Sweater, Gap
Second look: Blouse, Bench
When asked if she’s hungry to be Insta-famous just like her contemporaries, Sabina is quick to dismiss that this should not be the norm. Her sights are set on graduating from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde with a degree in Architecture and she cannot be distracted. She’s easily primed to be a top model just like her mom, Tweetie de Leon- Gonzalez. She’s proving though that while she could, she has other passions too. “I dedicate a ton of my time to film and music. I’m always reading about different interests and I love making time for anything in the water.” Suffice to say, don’t speak Kardashian with her.
First look: Sweater, Cortefiel
Second look: Sweater, Gap; Pants, American Eagle Outfitters; Shoes, model’s own
A few years back, Jonah sported a long mane, rocked Hawaiian shirts, skinny jeans and Chelsea boots ala-Harry Styles. It is with the same confidence and charm that makes him a popular friend to many--be with the folks in Taft where he is still a student, or with the ones in Katipunan where and a few close friends recently opened a bar called The Rooftop (40 Esteban-Abada St.). Nowadays he prefers comfortable classics and streetwear. His goals include working for a top consultancy firm and overall making it big in life--and we have absolutely no doubt these will happen. With a positive outlook like his, he simply has to claim it for it to be true.
First look: Sweater, H&M; Jacket, Superdry
Second look: Denim Jacket, Topman; Sweater, Tommy Hilfiger
At 27, Dom is not the type to be sitting on a desk drowning himself in paperwork. He owns a clothing line called Island Boii, selling “trippy island fashion”. With a steady following it looks like everything’s working out pretty fine for our “island boy”, who is a constant figure in many ads and billboards. “I enjoy being active. Some of my main hobbies are football, surfing, Jiu-Jitsu and dance,” he says. A quick scroll on his feed confirms this and shows a fun-loving, no-pretensions and chill type of guy. It’s honestly all we ever aspire for. Oh, to be a student of life just like Dom.
Look: Sweater, Marc Jacobs; Pants, Bench
He has been modeling in his tweens but it wasn’t until his big break as a Benchsetter that made Emil Khodaverdi, a name for himself. Since then, countless brands have partnered with him to be promoted on his heavily curated Insta-feed. It’s with this solid awareness of personal branding that Emil paved a way for himself in a sea of wannabes. His main core being in fitness, he plans to create content to encourage followers to jump aboard the healthy train. He is bound to graduate and is mentally preparing himself for the “real world” as he says, but with a stable foundation and down-to-earth personality, we bet it’s going to be a breeze for him. Life's waters may not always be calm but Emil knows how to cruise.