Ella Eiveren: Taking up Space and Championing Pinay Beauty in the Global Fashion Stage

June 12, 2021
Ella (@ellaeiveren) is featured in this week’s Local Insights Segment. Download Lemi on the App Store or Google Play to discover more of her recommendations!

“When I first got here, I had no clear vision! I just had this gut instinct that I’ll do better here, but I didn’t expect that everything would turn out so well,” says Ella Eiveren. A native of Laguna, Philippines, the full-blooded Filipina model has been collecting impressive accolades under her belt since moving to London late last year, signing up with global brands such as Beauty Bay and Papa John’s, among others. 

When you look at her preternatural poise and standout features, you’d think the 25-year-old stunner had it all easy. Truth is, just like most people, the pandemic gave her a lot of career drawbacks. ”With the COVID situation, I stopped getting jobs in the Philippines. I lost almost all of my savings. I went to London owing my family and agency a tremendous amount of debt. There wasn’t any assurance that I’ll be booked for jobs here; but, back then, I decided to trust my instincts and just take the risk!”

Ella enjoys a sunny day in London in her first few weeks in the city. Photo credits: Ella Eiveren’s Instagram

A week after her arrival to London came a massive spike in cases, so a lockdown was imposed. To Ella’s surprise, however, she still got booked for campaigns and modeling gigs. “One time, while I was doing groceries in Iceland, I received a notification that I finally got my salary. I remember being so happy because I’ll finally be able to pay off my debt and still have enough for monthly expenses!” she recalls, basking in this memorable moment. At present, she says she has adjusted well in the city and is currently enjoying her time exploring. If you want to learn more about her favorite spots so far, check out her Lemi list, Ella in UK.

Ella struts the runway of Red Charity Gala, dressed as one of Rajo Laurel’s muses in his #halabira collection. Photo credits: Ella Eiveren’s Instagram

Ella’s modeling career has already been kicking into high gear prior to the pandemic, despite having started only four years ago. Her first foray into the modeling industry was when she won the Global Asian Model Philippines 2018 competition. “It actually happened by accident! I was doing pageants before modeling. I represented the country in the same year for Ms. Tourism World, and it didn’t turn out well. I had some free time since I had postponed taking the board exam that year, so I said to myself, why not join this modeling competition? I won, and that paved the way for my shift from pageantry to full-time modeling,” she says. 

That pivotal moment landed her a contract with Mercato Artists and Talent Agency, one of the leading modeling agencies in the Philippines. Needless to say, Ella quickly made her way as one of the Philippine fashion scene’s fastest rising stars—working with the likes of Rajo Laurel and Michael Cinco for runway shows and the country’s most prominent fashion magazines for editorial shoots.

Aside from pageantry, Ella also has her education to thank. “Truth be told, I don’t see myself doing this well if I had started at a younger age! Other models in my batch may have entered the business years earlier than me, but I have the degree and pageantry experience that made me more prepared and level-headed for such a tough industry.” The Pinay beauty is a graduate of BS Chemical Engineering at the University of the Philippines, which she credits for her critical thinking skills and discipline. “It feels odd since modeling and science are two very different worlds, but I bring in with me a wealth of knowledge and unique identity that makes me different from the rest,” she shares.

Ella, photographed on one of her campaigns with global clothing brand Jaden London. Photo credits: Ella Eiveren’s Instagram

When asked about her fashion influences, she mentions Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha who is well-known for her theatrical poses and elfin features. “I get a lot of inspiration from her, and I’d love to work with her someday,” she says. Although Ella veers away from emulating the famed model’s style, she aims to establish a personal brand as powerful as Coco’s. “I love doing campaigns that challenge my creativity! The recent one I did with Jaden London is one of my favorites as the brand didn’t hold back in getting crazy with the concept of the shoot.”

Like many of her peers, Ella sees her model status as a stepping stone to building a more conscious presence for the younger generation. Aside from discipline and hard work, she constantly ups her game by embarking on professional challenges that allow her to maximize her reach. Just recently, she launched a Youtube channel to share helpful guides and advice to aspiring Filipina models.

“I want to make an impact on the younger generation of Filipina models that if I can achieve something like this, they can, too! The global fashion industry is immensely diverse and accepting nowadays, so there’s no barrier for hopeful Pinays wanting to make it big outside our home country.”

Just for the opportunity to share her talent in the world’s top fashion meccas, Ella considers herself lucky. Gone are the days when ethnicity and race are reduced to passing runway trends. In the fashion industry today, casting directors embrace multicultural and modern beauty faces, and Ella is bound to stay as a prime contender. 

Ella may have been making rounds in the catalogs of fashion’s biggest brands worldwide. Still, she’ll always be an avid supporter of local craftsmanship and talent in her home country, the Philippines. Check out the list of her favorite local brands in her list.

Ella Eiveren is on Lemi at @ellaeiveren!

Download the app on the App Store or Google Play to discover more of her recommendations!