Making a name for herself as the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2005, Gionna Cabrera reinvents herself as one of the country’s finest young bag designers, with her collections exhibited in Philippine Fashion Week and the US! Get to know her beauty must-haves and design-spirations in Real People!

1. When did you start designing bags and how did you get into it?

I had my Eureka moment in 2008 when I was on a hunt for uniquely designed bags at several retail stores here and out of the country but could not find anything new, amidst the bevy of designer and brand name bags and clutches on the shelves. So I did my research, using vintage cigar boxes as my inspiration which are mostly made of wood, and applied that mechanic. 

2. Where do you get your design inspirations?

From the mechanic of vintage cigar boxes, I started designing whimsical and classic pieces based on my art deco jewelry pieces and from natural shapes (i.e. maple leaves, sprawling vines, angaria delphinus shells).

3.  What does your daily beauty regimen look like?

For the morning, after using a facial cleanser, I apply a primer with SPF, if not, I use sunblock and put foundation over it since I’m mostly outdoors for my current work. It’s the basic face: a cover foundation (powder or liquid), undereye concealer, groomed brows, a nude eyeshadow, mascara, and a neutral red or pink lipstick shade. At night I glam it up by putting eyeliner and a fuller lip color. Before going to sleep I use a makeup remover to cleanse and then a toner to make sure the grime is out.  

4. What’s your one beauty indulgence?

Concealers, since my undereye area is dark, or infrared saunas twice a month.

5. Any beauty secret that you learned from your mom?

My mother is the earthy type who loves natural beauty and has the most youthful skin. She always emphasizes to exhibit kindness to everyone and foster a cheerful outlook to let the inner beauty radiate.


Gionna (right) and model, Valerie Bondoc, with one of her bag designs. 

6. What is/are your must-have beauty product(s)?

Bobbi Brown Correctors, NARS Sheer Glow foundation, Primers, and crimson lipstick shades for those with winter coloring.

7. Best beauty discovery from abroad?

The Scandinavians go to saunas weekly more often than not, and since I am a foodie, I eat and balance my excess water weight by visiting saunas at least twice a month just for cleansing. 

8. What useful makeup trick(s) did you learn from being a beauty queen?

Every beauty phenomenon has been exposed now (with social media and easy access to print material), so not anything new, except for knowing how to apply the butterfly eye-shading (pageant eye makeup). If it suits your look only, if you are a makeup buff, or if you want a more intense look, this is recommended. 

9. You love fashion and you are always attuned with the latest trends. If you were to raid someone’s closet, whose closet would it be and why?

It would be the late Nan Kempner, after visiting New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2007 showcasing her couture collection, I was blown away with her pieces from Yves Saint Laurent, Ungaro, Chanel, and Valentino among others. It would be divine to acquire such an elegant and unique mix of couture.

10. One word that best describes you?

Astute 🙂