Sophie Sumner and Ariella Arida : Their precious – and charming – moments

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Ariella Arida, the reluctant beauty queen

Ariella Arida, the reluctant beauty queen

We all have stories to tell, and we all have our ways of remembering our most memorable experiences.

Some write them down on their journals, bring souvenirs, or save them in videos or photographs, but for Sophie Sumner and Ariella Arida, they prefer to cherish those moments in their hearts and in their charms.

Sumner, an international supermodel rediscovered her passion while visiting the Philippines, while Arida showed the world the essence of being a true Filipino.

Fate took them halfway around the world in pursuit of their dreams; success brought them back home with unforgettable stories to share.


Pandora Jewelry has chosen these two women of substance as the faces of Pandora Philippines’ Remarkable Women of 2013. Meet them today and learn about what makes them and their stories truly precious.

Forever Sumner
Just like the joyous summer season, Sumner’s personality radiates brightly like sunshine, which is probably why TV host and Supermodel Tyra Banks labelled her “Iluminata.”

Sunny Sophie Sumner.   Photos courtesy of Ramon Tan Mangila (Pix Republik Studios)

Sunny Sophie Sumner.
Photos courtesy of Ramon Tan Mangila (Pix Republik Studios)

Sophie first caught public attention as the runner-up of Britain’s Next Top Model (BNTM) Cycle 5; and further gained worldwide fame after winning America’s Next Top Model, British Invasion, Cycle 18.

She then left Britain and moved to New York to conquer the runways, and travelled all the way to the Philippines in pursuit of fashion, which also renewed her interest in becoming a TV host.

Sumner has been going around the country to shoot a series of episodes for an upcoming lifestyle travel show with Fil-Australian rock singer Mig Ayesa called Phil it Up. The program will feature the top vacation destinations, with Sumner specifically touring the country, “One Fashion Find at a Time.”

“The first two times I was here were for work and they were quite short, but this third time, I’ve been here for a month now, and I finally got the chance to see a lot of beautiful places.”

So far, the 23-year-old supermodel has experienced a lot of firsts in her trip around the Philippines—from windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and zip lining.

“I’ve always been up for everything and even if I was, like, scared and crying at first. I also tried to make piña fabric and got the chance to make a pair of shoes. With this show we want to put the Philippines on the map!”

A self-confessed fan of the ‘60s era and the fashion style of Edie Sedgewick, Twiggy and Bridgette Bardot, Sumner admits she is actually three seasons behind everyone.

“I try to keep updated though when it comes to accessories. I love accessories!” she gushed while checking out Pandora charms.

Tricie Legarda, the jewellery brand’s sales and marketing head informs The Manila Times, “For Sophie, Pandora put together a custom charm bracelet with several trinkets that best tell her story.”

These are a red Murano charm, which stands for Sumner’s birthstone garnet (January); a family charm for her three siblings; and a double-decker bus with the Union Jack Flag to represent her English homeland.  She also has a Dog Charm for her pet; a Breast Cancer Awareness Charm; pink charms for her favorite color; and finally a camera charm as she is best known as a model.

Reluctant beauty queen
At a time when Filipinos badly needed some good news following the aftermath and devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, Ariella Arida stood tall and proud as competed with the world’s most beautiful women.

Eventually emerging Miss Universe 3rd Runner-Up, Arida admits she was under a lot of pressure, but instead of getting distracted, she chose to enjoy the experience and just give it her all.

Becoming a beauty queen, however, was the farthest from her mind until 2011.

“I loved watching fashion shows and pageants but I never thought about joining one. I’d been asked to join before, but my priority had always been my studies. If there’s one thing I learned from Bb. Pilipinas and Miss Universe, it’s that anything is possible if you really work for it. You just have to push yourself hard.”

While she spent most of the year on training and preparations, the 25-year old Chemistry graduate from the University of the Philippines shared that 2013 was one of the most memorable years of her life.

“Meeting all those celebrities and personalities that I grew up idolizing was an amazing experience, and for them to ask for photos with me was just unbelievable.”

“Ariella embodies the modern Filipina— strong-willed, determined, and with a keen sense of style, and that is why we chose her,” explains Legarda.

For her Pandora charm bracelets, Ariella chose a sneaker trinket, as she is a very avid runner; a tiara to represent her reign as Bb. Pilipinas; a camera, luggage bag, globe clip and airplane since she now travels often; and a wine and vine charm to show how much she loves hanging out with friends.  To symbolize her love for shopping she also has a purse/bag; the Eiffel Tower to represent her dream; and a moneybag for her continued luck and success.

“Pandora Jewellery prides itself in offering high-quality jewellery that celebrates each woman’s personal style and individuality.  As the faces of Pandora Philippines’ present campaign, Sophie Sumner and Ariella Arida were chosen not only for their status and influence, but for their life experiences that make them true inspirations for all women,” concludes Legarda.

Pandora is available at Greenbelt 5, Glorietta 4, Bonifacio High Street Central, Newport Mall, Shangri-La Mall, The Podium, and SM Aura; and will open this month at the Megamall Expansion and Century City Mall.

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