Filipino student Kennedy Gasper designed Miss Universe Nigeria’s winning national costume

Kennedy Gasper Miss Universe Nigeria's national costume
Budding fashion designer Kennedy Jhon Gasper and his award-winning creation for Miss Nigeria during the 70th Miss Universe pageant. Photos from Kennedy Jhon Gasper FB

Filipino student Kennedy Jhon Gasper from Central Luzon State University (CLSU) is behind the winning national costume of Nigeria’s representative Maristella Okpala in the recently concluded Miss Universe competition in Eilat, Israel.

The Pinoy-made ensemble worn by Okpala won the Best National Costume award out of 80 candidates who vied for the crown in the prestigious beauty pageant.

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Inspired by the “Mmanwa” or a traditional masquerade of the southeastern tribe of Nigeria, the elaborate costume was crafted by Gasper who is currently a college student majoring in Fashion Design.

The young designer also created a 3-foot tribal mask and a colorful cape for the Nigerian bet during the pageant’s grand coronation night on December 12, 2021 (December 13, Manila time).

“This beautiful creation is inspired by a famous traditional masquerade of the southeastern tribe of Nigeria called Mmanwa,” Gasper explained in a Facebook post.

“It represents the beautiful Mmanwa who fought tirelessly to stop girl child mutilation and child slavery while the colorful patterns and embellishments portrays the african dashiki which offers a visual appeal and forms meant to invoke the ancestral spirits,” Gasper adds.

The budding Filipino designer from San Mateo in Isabela is no stranger to the pageant scene.

Gasper previously made headlines when he unveiled his stunning creation for Cameroon’s first-ever representative to the 69th edition of the Miss Universe pageant in May.

Since then, the designer’s work has attracted much interest from local and international clients.

Kennedy Jhon Gasper is also behind the national costumes and ensembles donned by various beauty queens on the international stage.

This year, his own creation for the Miss Utah Teen USA representative bagged the Best in State Costume prize.

Filipino designers who have recently showcased their creations during beauty pageants include Dubai-based couturier Michael Cinco and Jojo Bragais.

World-renowned Filipino designer Francis Libiran created Philippine bet and Top 5 finalist Beatrice Luigi Gomez‘s stunning gowns during this year’s edition of Miss Universe.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino student Kennedy Jhon Gasper from Central Luzon State University (CLSU) for designing the winning national costume of Nigeria’s representative Maristella Okpala in the recently concluded Miss Universe competition in Eilat, Israel.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.