Maria Izadora Ussher Calzado, better known in show business as Iza Calzado, is every bit a beautiful Filipina who has graced countless magazine covers, and bagged beauty, fashion and fitness endorsements.
With a beautiful mix of features from her Filipino-Spanish-Irish bloodline—not to mention a voluptuous body she admitted earning from years’ worth of discipline—she has constantly been in included in YES! Magazine’s annual “100 Most Beautiful” and FHM Philippines’ “100 Sexiest Women,” among many other lists that toast the exquisite Filipina. Even National Artist of the Philippines for Visual Arts Bendedicto Cabrera found inspiration in her one-of-a-kind beauty, making Calzado the personification of his iconic muse, Sabel.
But beyond her aesthetic beauty, Calzado is also well-loved by her admirers for championing several causes, one of which is her appointment in March as World Wide Fund for Nature’s National Ambassador. In effect, this new advocacy has made her more perfect for yet another representation as the official model of home-grown fashion brand Bayo’s summer collection, “Flowers of the Philippines.”
Calzado, who signed on with the label in 2015, is deemed by the company as the perfect embodiment of their target market audience—the graceful, beautiful, modern Filipina.
Bayo’s “Flowers of the Philippines” collection is inspired by some of the native flowers distinct to the county’s local culture. The line’s mix of soft and bright colors with artistic patterns revives the elegance of Filipino culture using the country’s most beautiful blooms.
The summer collection features several designs and patterns that represent the beauty of eight local flora namely the Philippine Lily, Ilang-Ilang, Gumamela, Sampaguita, Waling-Waling, Doña Aurora, Magnifica, and Malakatmon. The original graphic prints are available in various flattering silhouettes, perfect for the wardrobe transition, which the season requires.
The featured blooms are chosen not only for their charm but for their stunning representation of the country’s natural beauty. The Philippine Lily is an endangered flower that thrives only in the high altitudes of the Cordillera Central Mountains; while the Ilang-Ilang of Luzon is treasured for its striking splendor and exceptionally delicate scent.
Palawan’s sunny bright Malakatmon, on the other hand, is further visual proof of the country’s rich, beautiful landscape; while the Gumamela earned its spot on the list for its bright, colorful blossoms; as well as the national flower, the humble Sampaguita, for its diminutive beauty.
Completing the collection are the royalties of Philippine flora, Waling-Waling (also known as the “Queen of Philippine Flowers”), Doña Aurora which was first found in 1915 in Mt. Makiling and named after President Manuel Quezon’s wife, and Medinilla Magnifica a popular ornamental plant endemic to Luzon, Mindoro, and Panay Islands.