After what could have been a check off her bucket list, Kiana Valenciano sounds off on what went down in Los Angeles after allegedly facing discrimination in the city’s preeminent fashion week affair. A few days ago, the young singer made her way to the City of Angels for the weekend after being invited to walk for local designers, Rocky Gathercole and Resty Lagare. She met an unexpected predicament when she, along with former Miss Earth winner, Jamie Herrell and 5 other Filipina models, were barred from participating in the show.
“Of the three designers in that collection, two are Filipino. I actually never made it to the venue and just heard about everything that happened from the people who witnessed it. The first complaint was that the models weren’t tall enough, which did not make sense because apparently, not all of the approved models were tall either,” tells Kiana on the incident.
Behind the scenes, it was remarked that “no Filipinas will walk the runway” to which the designers and owner of the fashion house took insult to at such outright discrimination. They then opted to drop out of the show, completely pulling out at the last minute due to the producer’s actions. But while some may think that the situation only brought Kiana distress, the 25-year-old discerned it differently. “Some people may be under the impression that I was embarrassed or unhappy but I really felt at peace. Something in me knew that this was meant to happen. My initial reaction was ‘is this really happening?’ but right after that, I thought to myself, we will move on from this.”
In a post made by Kiana’s mother, Angeli Pangilinan, she expressed how Kiana has always had a love for fashion since she was little—eventually turning away from the call of showbiz to learn fashion design, studying in London in pursuit of her passion and that the opportunity at LA fashion week would have been quite the milestone for her. While the whole plight was a tough one to face, Kiana only had objective things to say and had words of encouragement for the fellow Filipina models.
“To the models who were rejected as well, the opinion of one guy does not define who you are. I’ve never met you, I’ve never seen you but I can already tell that you are stronger than people think you are because you got through tonight and there’s so much more in store. And I can’t wait, this is just going to make us tougher. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
See what Kiana had to say from an interview snippet posted by Angeli below: