With her Oriental looks & sex appeal matched with her friendly, bubbly personality, it is easy to see why everyone is head over heels over Manila’s top model Reins Mika.
Photography: Seven Barretto
Styling & Concept: Marane Plaza
Makeup: Guillano Valenzuela
Hair: Jeffrey Valenzuela
Set Design: Erwin Botin
Photography Assistance: Claude Villahermosa
Shot at Studio 7
Reins Mika is without a doubt one of Manila’s top models today. She is the first Filipina to win the Elite Model Look World Finals as she represented the Philippines at the modeling competition’s 37th edition. It is the contest organized by Kendall Jenner’s modeling agency, which made the feat even more impressive.
As great as she is at what she does, this Filipina-Chinese stunner did not always see herself as a model. But she always knew she is meant to be in the fashion industry. “I won a fashion-related contest organized by Forever21 when I was around 13 years old, wherein we were told to post our best OOTD. Luckily I won, and I got to be invited to the brand’s fashion event. I got to interact with fashion blogger Camille Co, and other fashion movers. It was that moment when I first felt in my gut that I am meant to be part of that energy, that creative spirit in the fashion industry,” Mika said in a Zoom interview.
And she was right. Fast forward to two years later, the then-15-year-old girl wanted to join their school’s Intramurals muse contest which made her sign up for a runway modelling workshop.
“I wanted to learn how to walk, and little did I know that the mentor of the workshop I signed up for was actually a member of Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). I never thought that I could be a model, so I was shocked when she encouraged me to go to TVC go-sees,” she said.
As hooked up by her runway walk coach from the workshop, Mika went to her first ever go-see and instantly hit it out of the park. She booked her first national TV commercial for global beauty brand Dove, modelling for its soap product. She booked four more TVCs for Dove after that. She was able to book more jobs for runway, TVC and print the following months.
Mika was waiting for her next big thing in modelling when she met Farah Ramos, the founder of Farah Models Modelling Agency.
“When I started Farah Models 4 years ago, I was looking for the perfect line up of diverse models. I scouted a Filipina, Filipina-Arab, there’s this androgynous Filipina-American I had, and some British female teen models. And that time I told myself that if I ever find a fresh, beautiful Oriental face, I would start my own agency,” Farah shared. “And then I received Mika’s email and I told myself that indeed I found the last piece of the puzzle. I had a meeting with her and then I instantly fell in love with her personality and look.”
Mika went on to model for a number of lifestyle brands and walked for the country’s major runway shows. “She’s actually my busiest model this year so far. And we can’t wait to find out what’s next for her in this industry. She’s all-around. She does commercials, campaigns, e-comm, editorials and fashion shows. She has also graced covers of several local magazines,” Farah said.
As successful as Mika is as a model, this stunner still believes that she can achieve more milestones in the fashion industry.
“I am grateful for all the projects that the fashion industry has given me. Especially now in the midst of this pandemic, I am beyond thankful that people still book me for modelling jobs. Someday, I still wanna explore exciting things to do in fashion, like maybe becoming a fashion writer for magazines. I tried doing a little writing for Preview Magazine, and I am open to growth. I am just always hopeful and I still am that little girl from that Forever 21 event when I was 13, wide-eyed and thankful and still can’t believe that I am part of the fashion industry. I am blessed, ” Mika concluded.