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17:15′ 16/09/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Elisa Najera, the fourth-place beauty in the Miss Universe 2008 pageant, will return to Vietnam this October to advertise a new collection of jewelry.

Miss Mexico said she is very happy because she left a good impression on Vietnamese people. She said: “I’ll return to Vietnam to advertise a jewelry brand. I know many Vietnamese people still remember me.”

In the recent Miss Universe 2008 pageant in Vietnam, Najera won Best in swimwear and was a top contender for the Miss Universe 2008 crown.

Before leaving Vietnam, Najera said she would bring ao dai to her home country and wanted to buy one for her mother.

Though the Mexican girl didn’t win the crown, she helped advertise the image of Mexico to the world.

Najera will give the crown to the winner of the Miss Mexico 2008 pageant on September 20.

(Source: VNE)

16:06′ 19/06/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – On their second day in Vietnam, competitors in the Miss Universe 2008 pageant tried on the traditional Vietnamese dress, ao dai.

Over 50 girls who came to HCM City on the first two days were measured and tried on ao dai, which were designed by four Vietnamese designers, Vo Viet Chung, Thuan Viet, Sy Hoang and Lien Huong.

Each designer is in charge of taking body measurements and preparing ao dai for 20 competitors. Thuan Viet said on June 18 he got measurements and tried ao dai on 11 candidates from France, Indonesia, India, El Salvador, etc.

He said most of the girls were very beautiful in Vietnamese ao dai because they have standard body measurements. “Miss India was the best in ao dai,” he said.

These ao dai will go to the stage with competitors on the night of June 24 in HCM City in the ao dai competition.

On June 18, many more competitors arrived in HCM City, including Miss Japan, Miss China, Miss Germany, Miss Colombia, etc.

The final competitors will arrive in HCM City today, June 19, including many Asian beauties, such as the competitors from South Korea and the Philippines.

A welcome party will be held on June 20 in the evening, with the presence of Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori.

Some competitors in HCM City on June 18:

Miss El Salvado and Miss Sri Lanka

Miss Curacao and Miss Costa Rica

Miss Bolivia and Miss Denmark

Miss Mexico and Miss South Africa

Miss Norway and Mis Pueto Rico

Miss Sri Lanka and Miss Switzerland

Miss Turks & Caicos and Miss Dominica

Miss Trinidad & Tobago and Miss Georgia

Miss Greece and Miss Malaysia

Nine minutes to advertise Vietnam at Miss Universe 2008
17:34′ 04/04/2008 (GMT+7)

Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori

VietNamNet Bridge – Images of Vietnamese landscapes from the north to the south will be shown during the live broadcast of the Miss Universe 2008 pageant on American TV channel NBC. It is estimated that over one billion people will watch the event.

Vo Thanh Trung, representative of the Miss Universe 2008 organising board, said they are waiting for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to approve the content of this 9-minute clip to send to NBC.

“This is a rare opportunity to advertise Vietnam’s images to the world,” said Nguyen Cong Khe, Editor-in-chief of Thanh Nien newspaper, the information sponsor of Miss Universe 2008.

International competitors will go to Vietnam on June 15. In the next 30 days, they will participate in various social and cultural activities such as paying a visit to the Presidential Palace, the Prime Minister’s office, taking part in parades on the roads of Hanoi and Nha Trang city, visiting some social and charity organisations, participating in a fashion show of Vietnamese ao dai and traditional costumes of other nations, and a charity auction of gifts.

At this moment, over 40 girls from 40 countries and territories have registered for the pageant. The list of competitors will be finalised one month before the contest takes place. It is expected that over 80 beauties will participate in the event. Vietnam’s representative will be announced on May 31.

The crown for Miss Universe 2008 will be designed and produced by Vietnam’s Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company, and cost around $250,000. Hoan Vu (Universe) Company, the organiser, has invested $15 million in this competition.

The organisers report that logistic preparations for the pageant are nearly completed. The construction of a media centre of nearly 2,000sq.m in area with modern equipment is finished and equipment is being installed.

The major palace for Miss Universe 2008 pageant on 10,000sq.m at Diamond Bay tourist site in Nha Trang city, named Crown Convention Centre, is under construction, including the major stage for the final round of 1,500sq.m with 7,500 seats. It is scheduled that this $7 million project will be finished on May 30.

The final night of Miss Universe 2008 will take place at 9pm, July 14 in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam.

Over 800 journalists from all over the world will go to Nha Trang city, where the beauty contest is being held, to cover the event.

(Source: VNE)

Dressing Miss Universe

July 4, 2008

Dressing Miss Universe

Renowned Vietnamese designer Vo Viet Chung speaks with Thanh Nien Daily about creating traditional ao dai for the upcoming Miss Universe 2008 pageant.

Thanh Nien: So far, how many ao dai (traditional Vietnamese tunics) have you been working on to complete the Miss Universe 2008 collection?

Vo Viet Chung: My collection will have over 85 ao dai and I have been working with 30 artisans and staff to make the last dozen.

The Miss Universe 2008 contestants will try them on as soon as they arrive in Vietnam next month.

It is said that your collection costs hundreds of thousand of dollars. Is that true?

Many people have asked me that question.

Two ao dai from Vo Viet Chung’s Miss Universe 2008 collection

But to tell the truth, it is invaluable.

I say this because it not only takes money, time and effort, but also our great endeavor.

My staff have been working on the collection since last November, when the Vietnamese hosting committee appealed to designers.

I am a perfectionist and I can’t accept anything less than the best.

The competition must have been stiff to become the official ao dai designer for the prestigious pageant. Are you feeling the pressure yet?

Besides me, four other designers desired to dress the beauties.

Hosting the Miss Universe 2008 pageant is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Vietnam to promote its charming image.

My colleagues and I have a burning dream of contributing to the event as well as to our national pride by introducing to the world our spectacular traditional long tunics.

Finally, I became the pageant’s official ao dai sponsor.

The Vietnamese hosting committee signed a contract with me on May 19.

The organizing board is allowing me to make all decisions related to my designs.

Their respect makes the pressure greater.

What gave you the courage to make such an expensive collection six months before you were legally recognized as the official pageant designer?

Competition is harsh in the fashion industry, especially on a world-class stage, but I always had a belief that I would be chosen.

I am confident in my creativity and prestige as well as my products’ value.

It’s not the money or effort, but the challenge to satisfy the country’s expectation.

There are over 85 ao dai in the collection.

It is hard to believe that a designer could make each one different from the others in such a large collection. Were you afraid of repeating the styles and techniques?

Even though it is a big collection, I have had over six months to create it.

The time was long enough for my creativity and for my research on the contestants’ countries and cultures.

Over 80 contestants will be arriving from different ethnic backgrounds.

I had to read numerous documents to find out what the most outstanding features of these countries were.

I also had to look at the traditional clothes of these countries and then filter the most special things to use in my ao dai collection.

I want to showcase to the world the international value of the traditional Vietnamese gown showing its charm of both traditionalism and modernism.

Until now, you have not met with any of the contestants to measure them. How can you be sure they will fit them?

It was very hard for me to get accurate measurements for all of the contestants from the organizing board.

I also had to seek information about the colors of their skin, hair and eyes to choose the most suitable materials.

However, the title beauties have standard measurements and I used international-quality elastic material to make dresses that can fit any form.

It’s not difficult at all to design an ao dai to flatter a woman’s curves, especially for the most beautiful women in the world.

The contestants will feel exceptionally comfortable wearing the dresses on stage.

Reported by Luu Hong

Over 1,000 girls register for Miss Vietnam
15:43′ 21/05/2008 (GMT+7)

The three top beauties at Miss Vietnam 2006 pageant

VietNamNet Bridge – To celebrate the 20th year of Miss Vietnam pageant, the contest this year will feature many new items, including the grant of a rotational crown worth $15,000.

The crown is a gift from the Saigon Jewelry Company. Three crowns made of silver and sapphire will be granted to the top three beauties as souvenirs.

Other new things of Miss Vietnam 2008 include an online poll on the official website of the pageant, which is designed by tamtay.vn; and questions for the final competitors will be selected from a question-raising contest organised by the organiser, Tien Phong Newspaper.

The final night of the contest will take place at the Hoai River Square in the ancient city of Hoi An this August. A floating stage of 500sq.m will be built on the Hoai River, plus a backstage area of 300sq.m and space for 5,000 seats.

The organising board will present Miss Earth, Miss Sea, Best Ao Dai, Best Skin, Best Performance and Best Answer prizes.

VND200 million will be extracted from ticket sales to present to charity funds in the central province of Quang Nam, which is hosting the final night.

Miss Vietnam pageant is held every two years. The message for this year’s contest is “Towards the community, Friendly to humankind – Harmonise with nature”.

Besides money prizes from the organising board, Miss Vietnam 2008 will receive a special gift from Pacific Airlines: she can fly free of charge as often as she likes with Pacific Airlines on both local and international routes for two years, till her crown is transferred to the next Miss Vietnam.

The three top beauties will also receive health insurance for two years, worth VND3 billion/year for Miss Vietnam 2008 and VND1 billion/year each for the first and second runners-up from the BIDV Insurance Company.

Tran Minh Ca, Vice Chairman of Quang Nam province, said the province has over 3,500 rooms of 2-5 star standard to serve visitors during the contest.

(Source: VNE, TP)

Miss Universe Vietnam 2008 set to shine
Thuy Linh, one of the contestants of Miss Universe Vietnam 2008

More than 100 candidates will compete for the crown of Miss Universe Vietnam 2008 slated to take place from May 24-31 in Nha Trang Town’s Vinpearl Land, the event hosts announced.

Organized by Ho Chi Minh City Television, Unicorp., and Cat Tien Sa Company, the semifinal round of the beauty contest is scheduled for Saturday.

Contestants will perform in categories of Ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress), swimsuits, and evening gowns.

In addition to prizes for Beauty Queen and First and Second Runners-Up, worth VND210million (US$13,125), VND180 million ($11,250) and VND125 million ($7,812) respectively, the organizers will also honor Miss Congeniality, Miss Ao Dai and Miss Photogenic, among others.

The winner of Miss Universe Vietnam 2008 will receive a diadem worth $12,000 and represent Vietnam at the Miss Universe 2008 pageant, scheduled to be held in Nha Trang in July.

The grand finale will be broadcast live via HTV9 television channel on May 31.

Reported by Da Ly

Miss Universe charity auction to open in HCMC
(R-L) Miss Vietnam Thuy Lam, Miss USA Crystle Stewart and Vietnam’s first runner-up Thien Ly pose at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport on Tuesday

All the Miss Universe contestants will appear together for the first time next Monday, June 23, at a Thanh Nien charity auction and gala dinner in Ho Chi Minh City.

The beauties will auction off about 50 gifts, which they have brought from their home countries, to raise money for disadvantaged Vietnamese students.

The auction will be divided into four shifts, with no starting prices and over 400 participating guests present to bid.

A large painting signed by the 81 beauties will be auctioned at the gala, which is sponsored by Four Seasons group, Nghia Pincers Mechanic Company, and Sheraton Hotel.

(L-R) Miss Russia, Miss Ukraine and Miss Guam on their arrival at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport on Tuesday

The event, to be held at the five-star Sheraton Saigon Hotel in District 1, will also present the contestants joining in performances and dancing with famous local entertainers.

The show director, Vu Thanh Vinh, said, “We aim to create a cozy and friendly atmosphere for the multi-national representatives to feel at ease with one another and enjoy the hospitality of Vietnamese culture.”

Anyone interested in attending the gala and auction to raise funds for Nguyen Thai Binh Scholarship Fund, please contact Thanh Nien Communications JSC, 287 Ly Thuong Kiet St., Dist. 11, or call (08) 866 9842.

In related news, tickets for the June 24, HCMC Hoa Binh Theater, Charming Ao dai show, in which the 81 women will parade in Vietnamese traditional long tunics, are available for VND150,000-750,000 (US$9-45) at 240 Ba Thang Hai Street, Dist. 10 or at 248 Cong Quynh St., Dist. 1.

Reported by Do Tuan – Da Ly