Quintessential in every sense of the word. Iconic as only a woman deserving of utmost admiration like her can be looked up to with awe. Seminal with a highly original sense of style ahead of her time. I can max out all the superlative adjectives to apply to this individual who has brought so much pride to the Philippines in the global fashion industry. Anabelle Aquino Bayle. Or Anna Bayle as everyone knows her.
People who grew up watching Anna Bayle conquer the ramps of the world’s fashion capitals can only agree that Asia’s first Supermodel should have been a beauty queen before anything else. But after one try during Miss RP (Republic of the Philippines) 1976 where she finished Miss Luzon (or 1st Runner-Up) to Suzanne Gonzales, this statuesque Filipina decided that there must be more exciting opportunities waiting for her as a catwalk professional. And she was right.
There was simply no looking back when she finally gathered enough guts to try her luck in the Big Apple and Paris. And the rest was history. She became one of the highest-paid and most well-travelled models of her time. Thierry Mugler, Chanel, Scaasi, Valentino, Versace, YSL, Dior and Christian Lacroix are just some of the famous designers she was associated with. On top of that, she was such a photographer’s delight with the likes of Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson, Sante D’ Orazio, Peter Beard, David Seidner, Oliviero Toscani, Arthur Elgort, Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh, Victor Skrebneski, Alex Chatelain and Paolo Roversi taking turns in shooting her.
courtesy of flyingeraser
To date, no other Filipina has come close to matching her professional achievements as a Supermodel. And in this day and age, it would be extremely difficult to even try approximating the kind of status she had as one.
Anna Bayle. Don’t you just love a catwalk diva who can let out a winning smile without ruining her navigation of the ramp? I do. 😉
P.S. Want to read more about Anna? Then you go check her personal blog HERE.