Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018 and a Filo-Aussie model who grew up in Cairns, has been named the One Town One Product (OTOP) Philippines Ambassador, lending her social media cache of 10 million Instagram followers to local and indigenous weavers.
OTOP Next Gen is the initiative of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) to promote the innovations of the country's micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“We love how Ms. Catriona is showing her love for country and helping the Philippine MSME sector—especially in this difficult time of the pandemic—by raising awareness not only in the country but also worldwide,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The government agency said that as the OTOP Ambassador, she will be bringing attention to OTOP Philippine’s MODA (Modernong Obra Disenyong Atin) initiatives.
"She will spread the importance of Filipino history through MODA weaver’s designs, textiles and patterns, by way of modern fashion, and by collaborating with local designers to promote entrepreneurship and help the weaver communities to expand their market," it said in a press release.
As the OTOP Ambassador, she will partner with the 64 weaving communities all over the country, representing all the regions and paired with 47 local OTOPreneur designers.
She will also be responsible for spreading awareness about the MODA weaver communities through her “Raise Your Flag” videos, informing and attracting audiences to the elegance of our textiles, weavers, and fashion.
Among the future projects lined up is a virtual online fashion show featuring these weavers' products, with the view to attract buyers for MODA weaver communities.
Gray will bring serious celebrity cache to the initiative thanks to her various social media platforms, including her Instagram, which now has 10 million followers, up from 1.2 million followers three years ago.