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Meet the 10 Winners of Preview’s Model Search

They represent different facets of what being a model means in this day and age.

by Krista Garcia | Jan 18, 2019

“I love girls – shooting them, scouting them,” Photographer BJ Pascual says. “I love discovering fresh faces and collaborating with them.” Thus, when Preview EIC Isha Valles messaged him about Preview’s Model Search, he was 100% on board. “For the past few years, we've been stuck with the usual girls we always shoot. I—and the team—were eager to discover some fresh, fresh faces that we've never seen before,” BJ says.

Over 200 girls sent in their fiercest headshots and walks via Instagram. Aside from striking features, personality played a big part in the selection. “Initially, we voted for the ones who stood out. And then we just realized how diverse the mix is,” BJ says.

“Initially, we voted for the ones who stood out. And then we just realized how diverse the mix is.” - BJ

The 10 who made it to the final cut all represent a different facet of what being a model means in this day and age. It doesn’t matter if you’re petite, plus-sized, or trans—what’s more important is that you know how to work your angles, you can follow directions, and you’re passionate about what you do.

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The 10 finalists got the chance to be shot in a fashion editorial by BJ himself. “I was super surprised at how they all looked super editorial during the shoot,” BJ says. “I didn’t feel the difference between the new girls and the more experienced ones. Everyone brought their A-Game and I was so happy.”

These are the 10 new model faces to watch. You’re sure to see more of them around very soon.

ANGELA MANSUETO, 21, 5'2"


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This is Angela’s first-ever professional photo shoot, but you’d never guess it from watching her nail shot after shot with ease. After all, she got a lot of training from posing for her brother (who is an avid fashion fan), and yes—from taking good old selfies. “When I was in high school, I’d take photos using the self-timer on my keypad phone all the time” she shares. “One day, I posted (a few), and there were so many positive comments. From then on I became more motivated.”


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She hopes that modelling can be her platform to inspire other girls to accept who they are. “I was bullied for being too dark and too skinny. But actually, there are so many people being bullied everyday,” Angela says. “Through this, I want to make them feel that they belong in society, that they’re not alone. I’ve been inspired by so many people. Now I want to pay it forward.”

RAEJELL ROXAS, 20, 5'8"


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Raejell’s 11 Instagram posts (yes, we counted) offer a masterfully curated showcase of her features and signature modelling style, which reminds the team of a younger Charo Ronquillo. She looks so ready for the big leagues, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine that there was a time when she actually didn’t want to be a model. She says: “I grew up with people telling me that I should go for modelling, because of my height; I was skinny, and there was my bone structure, but then, I never wanted to be one—I never imagined myself as a model, because I'm very shy. I grew up really insecure.”


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Fortunately, she’s learned to embrace her insecurities and use them to her advantage in front of the camera. She spents a lot of time on Pinterest, studying poses and what would look good on her. Now it’s slowly but surely starting to pay off. Just last month, she did her first runway show for designer Angelica Alvarez. It won’t be long before her Instagram—and real life—becomes filled up with more snippets of her rising career.

VIE BONNE, 21, 5'5"


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21-year-old Vie is no stranger to high-fashion shoots. Usually, though, she’s working behind the camera as a stylist. This graduating fashion student has done quite a few campaigns for fashion and beauty brands, where she had ample time to watch models do their thing.

“Every time I would go to shoots, people would encourage me to go to castings and all that,” Vie says. However, she never seriously considered it until she spotted the Preview Model Search callout. “Preview is like a big platform when it comes to a fashion career,” Vie says. “As a designer you need to know all aspects, you have to know how to style, do makeup, how to set up all the photographers, and all that. I feel like [this] is a good platform to get attention.”

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As a model, Vie hopes to do more editorial shoots. “It’s the same as styling—I enjoy doing editorials because you never know what could happen. You could switch from peg to peg, and you just always have to be prepared. There are no boundaries.”

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MARGA CORTEZ, 19, 5'6"


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Marga got her start in modelling after she was scouted for a mall fashion show two years ago. Since then, she’s had her fair share of shoots and runway shows. “When you're out there and walking, it’s an amazing feeling,” she says. “The thing that hooked me to modeling is that every shoot is different, like a different concept, different feel, mood... I like that you're challenged to do different roles that you don't do on a daily basis.”

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Through joining Preview’s Model Search, she hopes to tell the world that she’s ready to take her career to the next level. But modelling is just one of her many passions. Her other dream is to be an investment banker, which is why she’s currently taking up BS Management and Financial Institutions at De La Salle University. On her days off, she likes cooking pasta and baking cupcakes for her family. Her tip for other aspiring models is simple: “Be yourself. Your personality sets you apart from the rest.”

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TAKI YONEYAMA, 24, 5'8"


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“I remember my sixth grade graduation day. I styled my mom. And after that, I began styling my cousins and friends, too.” For Taki, this was the first spark that would ignite her love for all things fashion.

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This half-Japanese stunner had quite the journey before realizing her lifelong dream. “I’ve always wanted to be a model. But when I started transitioning, I became really self-conscious about my body. I took up fashion design in school, because I thought, if my body isn’t for the runway, I can just do behind the scenes,” Taki says. “So when the Preview opportunity came along, I was like, jeez, this is not something I should sleep or pass on.”


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It’s certainly a productive season for Taki, who also recently did her first runway show (for Vania Romoff no less). She hopes to gain more exposure to spread awareness about diversity in the modelling industry. “There's still a lack of accurate representation of LGBT people in media, so I think being represented in this industry is so important,” she says.

PRINCESS BRIMA, 24, 5’7”


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Hearing Ces talk about the myriad advocacies she supports—from animal rights to eradicating poverty—makes one wonder why she still wants to add the title of “model” under her belt. Turns out it’s all part her master plan to make the world a better place for everyone. “Modelling is an artistic form, but at the same time, it’s also a way for to gain a voice and gain traction,” she says. “For example, working with other designers, meeting other people, you gain so many interactions and learn so many things from different people. So if you have an advocacy or if you have things you want to do, and things you want to change, it would be a perfect means to start.”

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That said, this student council president doesn’t just see modelling as a stepping stone—she’s just as passionate about it as she is about her other causes. But her reason is much more sentimental: “My mom is obsessed with models. I think this is her dream, and she was happiest [when I got picked]. I get most of my courage and confidence from her.”

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AGIE STOCKEL, 22, 5’7”


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During our go-see and interviews, our first impression of Agie was that she was ver timid and soft-spoken. But in front of BJ’s camera, the all the shyness fell away, and what emerged was a confident, gorgeous woman who is out to prove that models can come in all shapes and sizes. “I joined because I want to give recognition for my fellow plus size girls. I want to inspire them to be more fashionable. I want to encourage them to be more confident, and to dress not just for comfort,” she says.

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Agie recalls how, in the past, she would opt to shop in the menswear section since she felt she had to dress up in loose, baggy clothing just to cover up her body. After being scouted for a campaign for a local RTW brand, she learned to enjoy the art dressing up for her body type. As a fashion design student, this is her goal, too—to make stylish, ready-to-wear pieces more accessible for everyone. “I also dream of doing a campaign with Ashley Graham,” she says. “Just getting to walk with her would be enough for me.”

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SELINA BHANG, 21, 5'6”


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During the shoot, we spotted Selina sitting in a corner, cradling her laptop while editing product photos for a beauty brand. Rather than spend her idle time sleeping or browsing through Facebook and Instagram, she has her hands full with two jobs: one as a model, and another as a graphic designer. While balancing her duties can be challenging, Selina is not about to trade it in for anything in the world. “I’m holding down two dreams at once. It’s on me. As young as I am now I really want to test the waters,” she says.

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Juggling two things at once seems to be a life pattern for Selina, who felt insecure about her mixed heritage growing up. She says: “Being half Korean, I never really felt that I can identify as either Korean or Filipino. I look so different compared to how a typical Korean or a typical Filipino should look. Growing up, it's hard when people just discriminate you. So that's why I felt proud of myself when I got into the top 10.”

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For modelling and graphic design, she makes sure to research for pegs beforehand, so that she’s always prepared for what her photographer or client would demand of her. “I think as a person, I'm a very go-getter type. This is something I've planned ever since I was in my awkward teenage phase. So I try my best,” she says.

YUMI ALEENA, 26, 5'9”


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Yumi got her start in the modelling world by doing artistic editorials for overseas publications. For a brief period, she also did the regional beauty pageant circuit—“but it really wasn’t my forte,” she says. She spent a few more years working as a photographer, a make up artist, and a stylist, and even tried her hand at corporate jobs, before finally deciding to go back to modelling full-time. Her first big job was for Bench Fashion Week in 2017. Since then, she’s never stopped pursuing her first love.


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Even though she’s only 26, Yumi is already mentoring other, newer models on how to present themselves, do castings, and deal with the pressures of the industry. “I suffered depression during a season when I hardly booked any jobs,” she recalls. “If it weren’t for my fiancé, I would have given up.”

She wants to become like a Tyra Banks or Kylie Jenner someday–beautiful, fearless faces who turned their brands into multi-million dollar empires. But for now, she enjoys spending her time with her fiancé, dogs, and cats. “I want to tell aspiring models, being in this industry is not a battle. Don’t forget to have fun,” she says.

JULIA VELASQUEZ, 22, 5’8”


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Of then 10 girls, only Julia had a brief encounter with BJ Pascual before the search. “BJ used to shop at the store where I worked as a retail assistant,” she shares. “One time, a friend of mine showed him my photos, and he said I should do more modelling.”

Modelling has always been Julia’s dream, but she’s always been afraid of giving up her day job. She says: “I always thought that if I stuck to being a full time model, then, I wouldn't make it to a point like finances and stuff like expenses would work out. But that didn’t turn out to be the case. All I had to do was really try it out. I’ve never been happier.”


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Nowadays, Julia is focused on working her way up in the industry. Her big goal is to land an international contract. She says she’s also realized the importance of picking your jobs. “You have to choose your jobs, because you're either overworked or underpaid, or both,” she says.

That said, Julia’s goal is to succeed and be part of a new generation of girls who are redefining the industry. “Modelling right now represent different ideas and causes. I believe nowadays, it’s more of a voice,” she says.

Produced by Janey Rivera

Photographed by BJ Pascual

Creative Direction by Vince Uy

Styled by Loris Peña

Co-Produced by Nicole Arcano

Makeup by Zidjian Floro (Raejell, Princess, Vie, Selina, Julia) and Sylvina Lopez (Angela, Marga, Taki, Yumi, Agie) for NARS Cosmetics

Hair by Mycke Arcano (Angela, Marga, Taki, Yumi, Julia) and Francis Guintu (Raejell, Vie, Princess, Agie, Selina)

Nails by Noreen of Nailandia

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Shoot Assistant: Teresita Gabat

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