Since graduating from De La Salle University with a degree in Communication Arts in 2018, the model has already walked Paris, London, and Milan Fashion Weeks, and, more recently, snagged global campaigns with Levi’s, Uniqlo, Moncler x JW Anderson, Maybelline, Balenciaga, and, her favorite, Gucci.
Did I mention she’s only 25? And that she’s only been a full-time model for two years?
WHATEVER IT TAKES
Hannah’s parents let her model on the side in college, on the condition that she’d keep her grades up. She did. “I was a low-key overachiever back then. I was trying to aim for the highest grades,” she says. She attended go-sees she’d hear about as a freelancer, and, through the PMAP models she met at the shows she booked, she was eventually invited to join the group.
A quick study and an easy favorite, she routinely booked projects in Manila. But her sights were set on a more competitive playground: New York. Determined to fast-track her growth as a model, she knew she had to make drastic life changes—including uprooting her life to move elsewhere. While US visa issues delayed her move, she wasted no time. She spent a month in Malaysia as a “trial run” (“My time in Malaysia was training for me. Can I hack being away from family?”) and then eventually moved to Paris for about a year.
She’s been in and out of the Philippines, trotting around Europe’s fashion capitals for the different Fashion Week shows. “Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” she says, looking back on the change of pace she experienced when she moved to Paris. “In the Philippines, once they get to know you, they book you already. When I came to Europe, I was completely shocked,” she says, admitting she didn’t even know what a call sheet was when she moved. Now she’s represented by multiple agencies, including Supreme NY, Why Not Milan, Established London, Women Paris.
Though she had to fly to Manila from Paris in March and stay put at home for a few months because of the pandemic, she finally realized her dream of moving to New York in July. “I booked a oneway ticket. I signed a lease!” she shares excitedly. Though it was difficult for her to leave on a more “permanent” trip (she obtained a three-year visa), she knows her story is just about to unfold.
A TWIGGY MOMENT
After Gucci Global Makeup Artist Thomas de Kluyver applies three coats of mascara on Hannah in an ‘80s-inspired humorous instruction video on achieving the “classic beauty” and, well, building furniture, Hannah proceeds to hammer nails, assemble wood panels, and pose beside the finished product, a cabinet. She seems to be having fun, but more importantly, she’s modeling the hell out of the product, the Gucci Mascara L’Obscur, her bowl cut framing her newly-coated, ultralong lashes perfectly. A major project, Hannah is the (lone) star of the campaign. But, no big deal, that’s just one of the many Gucci projects she’s had since she started modeling for the luxury label late last year.
And it all began with a little hair snip.
Hannah booked a few shows when she moved to Europe last year, but it wasn’t until a drastic hair transformation that she landed Gucci, her biggest, most prestigious brand partnership to date.
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