Rabiya Mateo shines in Furne One couture at Miss Universe 2020 preliminaries

Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) – May 15, 2021 – 9:19am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ bet Rabiya Mateo stunned the universe at the evening gown segment of Miss Universe 2020 preliminaries held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA earlier today.

Rabiya wore an elegant glittery yellow dress designed by Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One of the fashion house Amato. Furne hinted on his Instagram that the design was inspired by the sun. 

The hosts, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi and Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, described Rabiya as a volunteer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country while she walks down the ramp. 

“Rabiya has a degree in physical therapy but plans to eventually go back to school and become a pediatrician. At the height of the pandemic, this 24-year-old volunteered to make PPE for frontline workers,” the hosts said. 

According to the Dubai-based Filipino designer, they spent around 10,000 hours just to make four gown of Rabiya to be used until the finals. 

“The one sided neckline tulle gown is elegantly encrusted with Citrine Swarovski crystals on the bodice cascading to the hem and cape over alabaster Swarovski components, glass beads and paillettes. The dramatic and fitted silhouette adds interest and pizzazz on its own. The cape added royalty to the gown, and its beadwork was inspired by the radiance of the Philippine sun which symbolizes positivity and optimism. A hope for a new tomorrow, a world with endless beauty and happiness,” Furne One described his opus on Instagram.



“Yes, for the gowns, they’re all custom-made, meaning all hand made. So we spent around 10,000 hours for four gowns. It’s different, Albert and Jonas contacted me to do this even though I’m more on avant garde designs than pageant designs, ‘coz they want me to do a different take on pageantry,” revealed Furne One in an online interview.

Earlier, Rabiya showed off her beach body to the universe as she ramped down during the swimsuit segment of the preliminaries.

Rabiya wore a yellow two-piece swimsuit, drawing cheers from the crowd. 

Related: Rabiya Mateo shows off her beach body at Miss Universe 2020 preliminaries

The host described Rabiya as the country’s education ambassador while displaying her “Halibira walk” on stage.

“Rabiya is currently an ambassador for her country’s Department of Education. This-24 year-old graduate works as a teacher and enjoys writing stories and acting in her spare time,” the host said. 

During yesterday’s national costume competition, Rabiya wore a feathery Vegas-like ensemble inspired by the Philippine flag. 

Rabiya looked stunning in her national costume designed by the late Filipino international designer Rocky Gathercole. 

“This outfit is inspired by the Philippine flag. The blue represents royalty, red stands for the courage and strength for an independent woman and yellow, the color of sun and stars, symbolizes freedom to choose whoever you want to be,” the host said while Rabiya walked on stage.  

RELATED: #AribaRabiya: Rabiya Mateo rocks in Rocky Gathercole masterpiece at Miss Universe national costume contest


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