You might not have heard of Marga Esquivel just yet, but this girl’s about to blow up the international modeling scene. The New York-based Filipina made a splash just a couple of days ago by walking for Chanel during the just-concluded Paris Fashion Week. Stomping the runway at the Grand Palais, Marga sported the same super-short bob, cherry lips, and severe, samurai-esque eyebrows as did every other Chanel girl, including the ubiquitous Kendall Jenner.
Following the show, Marga posted her #FOTD on her Instagram account—immediately grabbing the attention of Filipino fashion and beauty lovers, including us! So in celebration of the young muse’s feat, and for a good dose of Monday inspiration, here’s a list of 10 Filipina top models you’ve got to be following on IG. There’s no beauty like Pinay beauty!
1. MARGA ESQUIVEL
Marga is known for her minimalist look and signature edgy hair—currently dyed dove gray. She’s walked for Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Gucci, among others.
She’s had purple hair, too (matched here with a two-tone cat-eye).
And will you look at that heart-shaped pucker?
2. DANICA MAGPANTAY
Daughter to legendary Filipino supermodel Lala Flores, Danica was the first ever Pinay to bag first place for Ford Supermodel of the World International, back in 2011. She’s also just the second Asian to ever win in the history of the competition!
Danica’s IG chronicles her colorful life in NYC, her enviable travels, and the many ways to style her extremely chic pixie cut. Like this:
Or like this:
Or even like this:
Only a model could look this good in a passport photo.
3. CHARO RONQUILLO
Eternally gorgeous Charo epitomizes morena beauty with her bronze skin and soft features. She burst onto the scene back in 2006, when she joined Ford Supermodel of the World. Since then she has walked for New York Fashion Week and appeared in international franchises of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Elle.
She most recently appears in the global summer campaign for Old Navy. (Yup, that’s her in the window along High Street in BGC.)
Her IG is full of kooky BTS shots, with plenty of puppy cameos!
4. CHARLENE ALMARVEZ
Charlene, or “Chat” for short, placed second at the Ford Supermodel of the World 2010 Finals. In the years since, the Laguna native has been featured in Vogue Thailand, Vogue Italia, and Glamour, aside from a plethora of Philippine magazines. She has also walked for New York Fashion Week. She currently fronts campaigns for Sam Edelman and Steve Madden.
Here she is in an adorable Instavid for Seventeen:
5. PAULINE PRIETO
Now based in the Big Apple, Manila-bred Pauline single-handedly blends the best parts of Coco Rocha and Kate Moss for a potent cocktail of Filipina edge. Her look? Pretty much everything you miss about the ‘90s. #WinonaForever
Here she is sporting frosted lipstick in the pages of Seventeen…
…and working denim and flicked eyeliner for Alexander Wang x Opening Ceremony.
6. MONIKA STA. MARIA
Monika might not have taken top spot on AsNTM Cycle 3, but she’ll always be top model to us! This beauty was a rookie on the show, but in the Philippines, she’s a veteran model who’s graced the pages of the hottest fashion, beauty, and fitness publications. We love her voice, fluid posing, and those freckles.
Feast your eyes on this East-inspired maquillage and baby hair realness.
Everything on fleek.
We also appreciate her dedication to skincare.
Models, folks—they’re just like us!
7. SAMANTHA GOMEZ
A leggy, pixie-faced chameleon, Samantha has walked for every major Philippine designer and appeared in every major fashion magazine and broadsheet in the country. Have we mentioned that she’s still a teenager? (She was only 14 when she participated in Ford Supermodel of the World 2011!)
A face like hers can pull off anything, whether it’s mod beauty and an Amelie bob…
…or Diana Ross curls and glamazon makeup.
8. KELSEY MERRITT
Bred in Pampanga but now based in London, the stunning Kelsey Merritt was scouted by Wilhelmina Models just several months back. She got a little Anne Curtis in her, maybe a little Miranda Kerr, too, and a load of natural freshness no concealer can fake. #TheEnvyIsReal
Like, come on!
Lip liner never looked this good.
9. MANUELA BASILIO
Also a Wilhelmina girl, Manuela has one of the most versatile, compelling, and classic Filipina faces we’ve seen in a long time. Like many of the ladies on this list, Manuela was a competitor in Ford Supermodel of the World and now calls NYC her home.
Here she is looking dewy-skinned, bold-browed, and high fashion fierce for Mod Magazine.
And on the flipside, here she is looking soft and simple and approachable on Refinery29:
Versatility is key!
10. NIKITA MCELROY
We couldn’t leave our fave off the list, now could we? Nikita, BeautyMNL’s very own model correspondent, is currently based in LA but grew up in Davao. After becoming a favorite at Preview, Cosmo, and Candy, Nikita has transplanted herself to sunny Cali to balance life as a rising model and busy student.
Sometimes she looks like Beyoncé:
Other times she looks like Rihanna:
But 100% of the time, we think she looks #gawjus.