Miss Universe Laos 2022, and a Miss Universe 2022 Top-16 finalist, Payengxa Lor, walked the ramp at Asian New York Fashion Week, on 9 September.
The Asian New York Fashion Week (Asian NYFW) is a fashion initiative celebrating the emerging generation of Asian creatives, designers, talents, and their stories. The event is organized with the mission to showcase and bring awareness to creative talents within the Asian community.
The event featured 26 Asian designers and 220 models from across the region. Representing Laos was Miss Universe top 16 finalist, Payengxa Lor.
In an email interview with Laotian Times, Payengxa recalled her experience walking the Asian NYFW for the first time, for the brand RedGreen Rivers.
“I was excited to participate in the event as RedGreen Rivers is a social enterprise that has been working with artisans in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam for a decade. I was happy to represent them on a global platform because the brand employs ethnic women who are experts in textile making, especially using natural fibers such as hemp,” she said.
Hemp, particularly Hmong Hemp, is considered to be a form of textile production that is sustainable and has been a long-standing tradition among Hmong women in the face of ever-increasing mass consumption of fast fashion.
“This brand is an ambassador of Asian culture, highlighting the rich heritage that I want to help preserve. RedGreen Rivers’ principles centering on championing Southeast Asian women and their artistic skills to build sustainable communities align with my values. Hence, I walked the fashion week for them to promote the hard work of women who continue to weave and make their hemp fabric by hand,” she continued.
Payengxa not only praised the organization for its dedication to showcasing the work of artisans from Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese backgrounds but also for their consistent efforts toward women’s empowerment.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing at the fashion week for one of Laos’ top models, as the fitting didn’t quite go as planned. The outfit incorporated real silver as part of the design, which made it uncomfortable for her to wear. She remarked, “It was too heavy, and I didn’t feel at ease walking in it, so we had to make adjustments which made things much easier.”
Payengxa has since returned to Laos on 13 September, after representing Lao culture and fashion at Asian NYFW. She will be traveling to France for her next adventure, attending the France Hmong New Year Festival from 11-13 November.
Clothing, shoes and silver accessories of Rivers (RedGreen Rivers) was designed by M Heurh, while styling and jewellery was done by Ka Os Ly (Ka Oskar Ly).