The Business of Beauty: Zilin Luo, Zhuo Ling & Others

Zilin Luo
Zilin Luo

Many people are familiar with the Miss America pageant and other well known pageants, but far fewer know about the Miss Universe China pageant. The Miss Universe China Organization was first established in 2001 and the first titleholder, Zhuo Ling, was selected in Guangdong province in March of 2002.

In 2011, the Miss Universe Organization designated that Yue-Sai Kan would be the official licensee for the People’s Republic of China. In her first year, Yue-Sai Kan set up a major pageant, flying in celebrities such as Petra Nemcova, Fadil Berisha and Riyo Mori to headline the event. That year Zilin Luo was crowned as Miss Universe China, and she went on to become the 4th runner up out of 89 countries in the Miss Universe Organization Pageant that was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011.

Yue-Sai has stated that the goal of the Miss Universe organization is to “Celebrating Chinese Women and to use the power of beauty to do good in the world.” Certainly, this has been true, as the pageant has raised millions of dollars for China’s national charities and for the Kan’s China Beauty Charity Foundation. Participants in the pageants have included Paris Hilton and Charles Aznavour. The former Harper’s Bazaar chief Lizzette Kattan has offered the styling for the candidates each year like Zilin Luo.

Winners of the Miss Universe China pageant receive a valuable crown that has a diamond and ruby-encrusted tiara from Luk Fook valued at over $430,000. They also get wardrobes supplied by Shanghai Tang, Sherri Hill, LOVA and Guo Pei.