Actress-model Heart Evangelista is a real-life “Crazy Rich Asian,” according to a popular novelist who featured her in US-based magazine Harper Bazaar this month.
Kevin Kwan, author of best-selling novel “Crazy Rich Asians” that was made into film of the same name, described Heart as the possible “modern-day incarnation of Audrey Hepburn” when he first saw her.
“It didn’t hurt that in her round tinted sunglasses and sequined ombré dress, she looked like a modern-day incarnation of Audrey Hepburn. Images of her went viral before the fashion show was even over, with her fans furiously speculating about why she was in Paris and whether she might be in the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ film,” Kwan said in the article.
Heart also shares her encounter with the fictionist on her Instagram account, wherein she described the recent Paris trip as “a very special one” and to Kwan as “a dear friend.”
I woke up to one of the most amazing features in my life! My last trip to Paris was a very special one because not only was I there for couture week but I had been invited by @kevinkwanbooks who has now become a dear friend! He was doing a special ‘Crazy Rich Couture’ feature for Harpers Bazaar US and asked me if I would be interested in being a part of it. I had the honor of being featured alongside some of the most incredible and stylish Asian icons. I am beyond grateful to Kevin and the entire Harpers team for being such a dream to work with! I’m so incredibly proud of this project and would love for you to see it too! Grab the September issue of Harpers Bazaar US or click the link in my bio! ❤️ @harpersbazaarus
“I am beyond grateful to Kevin and the entire Harpers team for being such a dream to work with! I’m so incredibly proud of this project and would love for you to see it too!” she said on the post.
The Kapuso star had previously teased her followers about this “surprise” last month when she posted photos of her with Kwan and three other women in the City of Lights.
Heart’s fans believe she deserves to be included in the top tier of stylish women in Asia.
Some are even saying she’s the real-life version of Astrid Leong, one of the main characters Kwan’s popular book series.
The “Crazy Rich Asians,” published in 2013, is the first of the trilogy, the next one is titled “China Rich Girlfriend” and the last is “Rich People Problems.”
For the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, the Singaporean-American author wrote about four Asian women whom he found to be regular attendees of high-end fashion or haute couture shows.
Others included in the story are twins Rachel and Michelle Yeoh from Malaysia and Feiping Chang from Singapore.
From entertainment to art
Heart views these fashion events with an artist’s eye, Kwan wrote, having earned success in painting designer hand bags and hosting solo exhibits since 2014.
A known Birkin bag collector, she recalled that her new career started by accidentally smearing one particular piece with french fries at Chili’s, a popular Mexican restaurant chain.
“I tried to clean it, but it was just impossible to fix, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I paint on it?’ I sketched a yellow bird on a branch of flowers, and people started raving about it,” Heart said.
She now has a growing elite clientele in the business, which includes Kim Chiu, Jinkee Pacquiao, Sen. Cynthia Villar and businesswoman Grace Ang.
Heart is the youngest daughter of five to the Filipino-Chinese Ongpauco clan, the founders of the Barrio Fiesta food empire.
She had first ventured as a commercial model at 13 years old and became an actress and TV host.
Her foray in art began when she and husband, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, were mentored by renowned local artist Ivan Roxas.
Her first solo exhibit in Ayala Museum in 2014 was her big break, thus holding successful solo exhibitions under the name “Love Marie” ever since. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos