A female designer is organising a modelling competition she says is focused on women’s empowerment, the first event of its kind and scale in Siem Reap.
Keo Mardy, the owner of the Moon Shoes Collection, says the contest – dubbed “Miss the Moon” – aims to promote Khmer design, as well as to provide an opportunity for ambitious and articulate young women to put themselves in the national spotlight.
“The modern woman deserves to be promoted and encouraged,” Mardy says.
The contest has been accepting applications from candidates nationwide since mid-September; Cambodians and resident foreigners are eligible to register at shops selling Mardy’s collection. She says the brand has selected studios so that contestants can participate in photoshoots around the country, and then submit the images on Facebook.
The 80 women with the most likes will move on to the second round: a catwalk competition in Banteay Srei district. Thirty finalists will be selected to walk the red carpet at a gala event at the end of the year.
Based on the results of Facebook voting, SMS voting and a professional jury, the contest will select a Miss Best Social Media; a Miss Popular Vote; and a Miss the Moon 2016, who will represent the shoe brand for the year. The overall winner will also receive 10,000,000 riel in cash (about $2,500), a pair of shoes, a monthly allowance and a trip to Singapore.
At the end of the day, Mardy says, the contest is about promoting Khmer design, and confident Khmer women.
“We feel good about supporting heritage and culture by promoting the value of Khmer designs and concepts. We are trying to make a difference, and have fun doing it,” Mardy says, adding that the contest could also attract more domestic visitors to Siem Reap.
The December gala will feature national celebrities like singer Meas Soksophea, and will raise funds to support the Angkor Hospital for Children, Mardy says.
The ‘Miss the Moon 2016’ gala takes place on December 17 at the Le Meridien Hotel in Siem Reap. Pre-sale tickets are $20, and tickets at the door are $25. For more information about the contest, check facebook.com/Miss-the-Moon.