Zamboangueña Ivy de Barras-Laughton continues to bring pride to Zamboanga City as a high-end ads model in Kuwait. A nurse by profession ( a graduate of Western Mindanao State University), she is also a gifted and an artistic person. She sings well, she takes good pictures, a sought-after host, a blogger and a web designer in this country where is she presently based with her husband.
This month Ivy was featured in the The Kuwait Times, the first daily in the Arabian Gulf, by Ben Garcia (www.kuwaittimes.net) with the headline, “Getting to know the model behind the cover – Filipina model works hard to reinvent herself” :
With the rising number of malls and shops catering to locals and expatriates, modeling is a thriving career option in Kuwait. Ivy Laughton, a popular Filipina model, entered this profession by accident. “It started when a friend asked me to endorse a brand. I thought he was kidding, but that was the beginning,” she said. Ivy was featured in the October 2013 issue of The Avenues magazine, where she modeled jewelry (one of the sets was worth over a million Kuwaiti dinars). She was on the cover of the magazine and on eight pages inside.
The jewelry shop paid her a handsome amount for a year. Ivy has also modeled for an expensive luggage brand and a luxury watch brand too. “I am really very grateful and fortunate to get an opportunity to showcase my prowess in modeling,” she said. Ivy does not believe she is competing with anyone. “We have our own individuality; we’re all different. Beauty is in the minds of people. If you feel beautiful, it will radiate on your personality inside and out.
Even if multiple models are endorsing the same brand, we still have different looks and auras. We have different approaches, so there is no competition. At the end of the day, we are chosen to be ambassadors of a brand, and the objective is to attract people and sell products,” she said. The pay depends on the duration of the contract, either one or two years. “You’ll get a monthly salary plus bonuses and the opportunity to wear the products you endorse. This is a privilege and I love it,” Ivy noted.
A Filipina Face
As the Kuwaiti market is dominated by expatriates, companies look for models of various nationalities. But while agencies try their best to avoid discrimination, people do make snide remarks. Occasionally, Ivy feels offended when people tell her she’s not a Filipina. “I attend events of the products I endorse, and people I meet there have an opinion about everything, including the models. I am never identified as a Filipina, which saddens me, because the truth is there are countless Filipina beauties around and we have won many international beauty pageants,” she said. Ivy has high cheekbones and is of medium height, with looks that are unmistakably Asian. “I am a proud Filipina, but I am always mistaken as Thai, Vietnamese or Singaporean”. She has a good command of English with a slight British accent, as she worked for many years as a nurse at an international English school in Kuwait.
Hosts of talents Ivy continues rediscovering herself and reinventing paths to success. While working as a nurse, she found herself taking photographs of people around her, and likes capturing smiles and the reactions of people. Her penchant for photography led to her being hired for photosessions by individuals and companies. “When I find time, I take on photo-sessions for pregnant women, as they like remembering their pregnancy. Of course, women are not going to trust male photographers unless they are close friends or family members,” she said.
Ivy is also a very talented singer. She’s well known among the Filipino community for having a fine voice that captures people’s attention. “I love singing; I sing at home and I sing at events. I love entertaining people. I was a finalist in a singing contest organized by the Filipino television channel in 2006,” she noted.
Ivy is a proud blogger and Web designer too. “I post some of my photos to my blog and people like it. I am making money out of it and people also hire me to do Web designing,” she said. Ivy is keen to continue her modeling career if good offers come her way.
By Tita Corteza
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”