The first time I encountered Laura Lehmann was during a UAAP game at the Mall of Asia Arena, when she was Ateneo De Manila University’s courtside reporter. Back then, I saw how tall and pretty she was, and thought she had potential to either be a model or a beauty queen. Fast forward a few years later, she’s crowned Miss World Philippines 2017.
Laura, along with other beauty queens like Winwyn Marquez, stood out from the Bench Fashion Week crowd over the weekend. But despite being seen wearing gowns while looking elegant and regal, Laura still insists that she’s just an average girl. I guess that’s not a bad thing, rather something that younger generations can relate and look up to.
In between taking OOTDs and selfies, we took a few minutes to subject Laura to our Preen Pop Quiz.
Have you been training nonstop for the Miss World pageant this November or are you just relaxing?
To be honest, this whole week we’ve just been doing a lot of media guestings. So definitely nothing relaxing. I haven’t even slept a full eight hours yet. But I think we’re so busy because everything’s still fresh. We’ve been going to events and getting to know the organizations. But it’s been fun.
How did being a courtside reporter teach you to think on your feet during the Q&As?
It was definitely the best training because with courtside reporting, everything is always live. You report live for the game so you have to think on your feet. There’s no rehearsal, no do-overs. So I think that was the best training I would have. Also, you’re reporting to millions of people so you have to keep composed.
Did Megan Young and Catriona Gray give you advice?
When we were training for Miss World, they would pay a visit. Catriona told us about creating a purpose. Megan was there if we wanted to ask any questions. All of them were very supportive.
What’s your beauty queen-approved skincare routine?
I’m not maarte. I’m very simple. I don’t think I can offer the best advice since I’m still new [to this.] When I get home, I make sure I take my makeup off and wash my face. Nothing special, I’m just an average girl. [Laughs]
You said before that you’re a self-confessed tomboy. How does it translate to your style?
I’m lucky that I have good people around me. I’m close to Mark Bumgarner, who I think is one of the best designers in the Philippines. I’m just surrounding myself with people who know what they’re doing and hopefully along the way I learn a bit more. But I’ll always opt for comfort, like right now, I’m wearing pants and not a dress. [Even when I’m not wearing a gown] I like to be comfortable.
Are you into sports?
Yeah! I played on the Philippine national softball team. I was into that for maybe 15 years. I only transitioned into pageantry when I joined Binibining Pilipinas [in 2014.]
How does being a beauty queen empower other women, especially yourself?
I think a lot of people have stereotypes about beauty queens. I know I did. But when I joined, I realized that it’s like when you put a politician and a beauty queen in a room, everyone’s going to listen to the beauty queen. So they have a very loud voice, and they can say so many things and people will listen. Like with Megan and Pia [Wurtzbach.] You have a big role and if you use it wisely, you can really make a difference.
What are current fashion and beauty obsessions?
For fashion, Mark Bumgarner. For beauty, we were introduced to BYS Philippines. I like it personally because it’s an affordable brand. Growing up in Manila, it’s either you buy the really high-end makeup or the really cheap ones—there was nothing in the middle! So I think BYS is good in the sense that it provides that middle ground for young girls and teens.
Aside from your cellphone, wallet, and keys, what’s one thing you can’t leave home without?
My contact lens solution. My grade is like 600. [When I was with] my roommate during the Miss World Philippines pageant, I had to call her to check if she was [in the room.] If she replies, then I know she’s there. If she’s not, then I would have no idea [that she left.]
Who was the last celebrity or influencer you stalked on Instagram?
Probably Megan Young. Because she’s the person that all of us idolize and want to be like since she’s the first Filipina Miss World
Pick a song that best describes your win.
“I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly.
Photo by Mac Villaluna
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