In the local beauty pageant scene, the brand Bragais is a household name. Beauty queens like Catriona Gray, Shamcey Supsup, Katarina Rodriguez have worn their heels and have attested to its top-notch quality. So, it should come to nobody's surprise when this local brand have won the universe's heart for best pageant heels, too. In fact, it was almost inevitable that Bragais heels would earn the love of beauty queens around the world.
On an otherwise ordinary day, Jojo Bragais received a phone call that would later on change his life. Marketing and Business Development Head of Miss Universe Philippines Mario Garcia rang the designer and asked if he'd ever be interested in designing shoes for the Miss Universe candidates. Jojo thought that the idea would be too farfetched, thinking he's still a rookie in the arena. But Miss Universe's Shawn Mcclain would disagree as he phoned Jojo, asking him of the same thing.
While it took time for the news to sink in, Jojo was already hard at work. He only had one month to make the heels, after all. Jojo was determined to put his best foot forward and take advantage of this incredible chance. While the task was daunting and posed a huge challenge, Jojo said yes and took on the job. "It is a great opportunity to a have a Filipino brand represented on an international stage," he tells Preview.
Tagged as the official footwear sponsor of the 69th Miss Universe competition, Jojo's brand is now world-renowned. Jojo's comfiest pairs of heels will now be worn by beauty queens vying for the crown. Jojo shares that he has chosen his Jehza pair—named after Filipina beauty queen Jehza Huelar Simon—as the official shoes for the candidates. He has chosen this design because it's among the very first Bragais shoes designed sans platform, and because the shoes' aesthetic overall exudes a sexy vibe.
"[For this year's Miss Universe competition,] I am pushing for inclusivity," Jojo adds. He says that this advocacy is personally close to his heart and one that he believes in. "I offered three shades of nude," he says. Jojo shares that his Jehza pairs come in cream, caramel, and cocoa with yellow and red undertones to make the hues closer and more flattering for people of color. It was his intention to "make the girls feel like there's at least a pair of nude heels that is in a shade closer to their skin tone." Apart from making sure the colors suit the ladies, Jojo also made the heels with the best craftsmanship. Since he started, he has mastered multiple techniques that ensure Bragais shoes' stability, sturdiness, and of course, comfort.
"The shoes are a very small [part] of the ensemble [when compared] to the totality of the woman's look for a pageant," Jojo says. "But, it is those shoes that carries the pressure and the dream that could change someone's life." So, Jojo wishes for his shoes to be the pair that lets a beauty queen to walk and to win. "[The shoes] is a piece of me silently cheering the candidates," he says. "I want my shoes to be a good support and something you can depend on in times that matters the most, in the most important walk in someone's life."
We’re so excited to see all the Miss Universe candidates walking the runway in Jojo’s designs. Good job and good luck, Jojo!
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