Masked in New York, model Hannah Locsin promotes Filipino design
Two seasons ago, Filipino model Hannah Locsin debuted in the international modeling scene as she walked the runway of Gucci. Immediately, a supermodel was born and became the star of Manila’s social media and fashion industry.
It wasn’t a surprise that the country’s latest fashion ambassador made headlines and evoked feelings of patriotism. It’s been a while since a Filipino model accomplished such a feat.
Making a mark
Despite the global lockdowns that started in March, Hannah not only took part in the Gucci show once again (her second season) but also strutted the runways of Miu Miu, Anteprima, Ralph and Russo, Rokh and Paul & Joe, hitting both Milan and Paris fashion week.
She also became the first Filipino on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan (March 2020) and in Gucci’s summer ad and beauty campaigns.
The pandemic took its toll on fashion, and Hannah was sent back to the Philippines and spent a good four months of quality time with family and friends.
Just when she was getting back into the local grind, New York City came calling again. She was up for a big fashion retail campaign and needed to be physically in the US to get the job, and on July 22 she left Manila for New York.
Talent agent Chere Gioskos of Alt Management recalls, “Hannah received news that she was being considered for a well-known streetwear brand and she would only find out if she got the job on the day of her arrival.
“I’ve always known Hannah to be headstrong, courageous and resilient. My colleague Lorenz Namalata didn’t need to encourage her to take that flight. After a failed first attempt due to protocols, the unfazed Hannah booked another flight with all the requirements.
“As soon as she landed in JFK, her booker in New York Josh Bostwick, also director of Supreme Management, immediately informed her that she got the job. The next day she shot the campaign on her 25th birthday.”
While Hannah’s life was getting hectic before her departure, local brand Fino Leatherware was looking for a new face for Fino to go international by launching their line of leather masks.
The brand boasts a lineup of local supermodels that include style icon and photographer Joan Bitagcol, Girlie Benitez, Jessica Yang, Grace Tagle, Ria Bolivar, Ann Umali, Jasmine Meierhofer, Silver Alarcon, and Yaofa de la Cruz.
After the success of Fino’s La Mascherina plain leather mask comes the artisanal and luxe line Limitado in Vinta, croc and python versions.
Hannah was a perfect fit.
Fino Leatherware’s VP of marketing and retail operations Rose Ann Bautista says, “We are so honored to be working with international model Hannah Locsin for La Mascherina. We needed a fresh, new face to represent a new product that we hope can help during this pandemic. We felt she was the one who represented the modern Filipino and could take La Mascherina to foreign shores—a dream for any Filipino brand.”
New York state of mind
Working for the first time in NYC, Hannah is living each day with optimism. She says, “My booker says it’s a good time to be here. There aren’t many Asian models at the moment.”
True enough, a day after her arrival she got booked for one of the biggest retail fashion campaigns to be launched soon in the US—Uniqlo.
This was followed by a campaign for iconic jeans brand Levi’s to be released in December and a commercial for Maybelline. There are a couple of other things lined up that still can’t be disclosed.
‘When people ask about the mask I’m wearing, I always say that am wearing a Filipino brand. There’s a sense of pride because I get to share something from home,’ Hannah says.
“Hannah is doing very well in NYC given the state of things,” says Josh Bostwick of Supreme Management. “I’m really happy with the interest in her, although we’re still waiting for confirmations from Ludivine for Theory and Jason Wu, Vogue Mexico, Zara with Karl Templar, 3.1 Philip Lim, the Altuzarra show and many more.”
With all these international brands under her belt (she’s also on Models.com), Hannah remains grounded and unfazed by the glittering allure of fashion.
She is embracing life as it unfolds in New York but is anchored to her roots as she welcomes and embraces Fino Leatherware as her first local brand.
Hannah says, “It’s been a while since I last worked with a Filipino brand and I’m honored that Fino wanted to collab with me for their latest project. I’m always for supporting the local industry, so it makes me happy that I get to do this with them.”
Walking the streets of New York, Hannah wears the La Mascherina Limitado Vinta mask, which symbolizes the modern Filipino in the global landscape. The eye-catching piece is inspired by pre-colonial Philippine culture and tradition.
Hannah says, “When people ask about the mask I’m wearing, I always say that am wearing a Filipino brand. When I say that, there’s a sense of pride because I get to share something from home.”
The stylish accessory showcases the beauty of both form and function.
Rose Ann adds, “Made with so much pride and passion, the whole idea of La Mascherina surfaced in the time of survival and need, when you have to think of others more than yourself. The mask wasn’t made only for protection but also to represent its wearer by adding character and personality—two traits the brand has found in Hannah.”
“Hanna’s an amazing kind of ambassador of the Philippines,” Josh says. “Her beauty, with her gorgeous face, is unique and an update of a classic. She is an amazing light of an individual insanely resourceful and gives back in ways that help others.”
From runway to reality, Hannah is indeed breaking boundaries.