“Today, you guys are new best friends,” said Lifestyle Asia Editor-in-Chief Anna Sobrepeña with a laugh to cover girls Laura Lehmann, Xandra Rocha Araneta and Lauren Liechtenstein at the cover shoot for the June 2018 Issue at Salon de Ning in the Manila Peninsula. Although the girls had brushed elbows before and circulate in the same social circles, it was their first official introductions with one another. Dressed to the nines in the latest looks from Gucci and Michael Kors (SSI celebrates 30 years this month!), together they headline the magazine’s Luxury Issue, which is also the 31st Anniversary Issue. As the camera of photographer Yukie Sarto began to click, the three looked effortlessly beautiful, owning the camera with their poise and confidence.
Laura, Xandra and Lauren have different backgrounds, but share one common thing: they all live true lives of luxury. And not just the glamourous type that involves labels and jet setting lifestyles, but one that truly enriches their lives and the lives of the people around them. They yearn to help people, and they make sure that they are fulfilling a meaningful existence in the best way they can.
Laura Lehmann, the youngest of the three girls, was Miss World Philippines 2017, who is now finding her feet post-crowning glory. Along with establishing herself as a model, host, and actress, she longs to change the Philippines with her upcoming Beauty with a Purpose Project. Plans include building a Milk Bank for the Jose Reyes Medical Center’s maternity ward for underprivileged mothers who cannot afford to buy milk for their babies. Most babies at the hospital are pre-mature, meaning several mothers have not developed milk in their systems yet. In her five year plan she intends to equip the hospital with a pasteurizer to sterilize the milk from any viruses, an ultra-low freezer to store the milk for months, and mechanical breast pumps to help mothers pump milk out easier. This project is close to Laura, being a baby born in pre-mature circumstances as well.
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Xandra Rocha Araneta was on the cover of Lifestyle Asia in April 2014. She was just about to get married, and also had a good career as a television host for a show on gastronomic experiences in the Philippines. It was a busy life that took her on multiple travels. Much has changed since then. She is now in her fourth year of marriage to husband Luis, and a mother to two little boys, Thiago and Maximo. When she arrived at the cover shoot, she considerately sent a text, foreseeing a delay and apologizing for the possibility of not making it at the appointed time. “Feeding the baby before I run out the door,” she messaged. Xandra admits her whole life is now her family. Although she is involved with charities, her main objective is to raise her boys right and make sure they grow up as gentlemen. She has high hopes for her sons, and believes that raising them as good citizens will change the world in a positive way (she very much believes in the ripple effect). “I want them to have their own strong values and be confident enough to not feel the need to compromise them, but to also be respectful of those who may have different values and belief,” she shared.
Lauren Liechtenstein, a pediatrics resident at The Medical City was last to arrive at the shoot. She came straight from a shift at the hospital. Enthusiastic as ever, no strain showed in Lauren’s photographs during the cover shoot (it had been 36 hours since she last slept). The young doctor is committed to medicine and helping others, particularly in finding preventive measures for heart disease. She was involved with a project in London, where she published a research paper entitled DNA Quadruplexes As Novel Therapueitc Targets for Cardiovascular Disease. “Okay, so to put it in simple terms, the research we did aimed to help detect when you’re about to have a heart attack through the changes in your DNA,” explained Lauren. The research is currently on its initial stages of developing into a drug that could potentially prevent heart disease. She is also a patron of the Performing Arts, raising funds for such organizations like Ballet Philippines to help get support for our local dancers.
The three cover personalities for this month have much more to say about their lives and passions. To read the full stories, run to the nearest bookstand and get a copy of Lifestyle Asia’s June 2018 Luxury Issue. For a digital copy, download the FLIP100 app now. Also in the issue is an exclusive story on the magical launch of Omega’s Tresor collection in Berlin with brand ambassador Kaia Gerber. We also explore the newly opened Philippine pavilion at the 16th Venice architecture Biennale. Discover champagne rosé to drink with ice, and get to know where have the best Peking duck in Manila. Lastly, we go back in time to study the history and mad genius of iconic designer Cristobal Balenciaga. All this and more in the newest issue out now.
Cover Shoot Credits:
Photography by Yukie Sarto of Studio 100 (@yukiesarto)
Styling by Roko Arceo (@roko.arceo)
Additional styling by Jerico Villamonte and Iyza Hablado of Studio Grey
Makeup of Laura by Jigs Mayuga (@jigsmayuga)
Hair of Laura by Ron Vegaros (@ronvegaros)
Makeup of Lauren by Bea Colet for MAC Cosmetics (@bea.utification.ph)
Hair of Lauren by Mong Amado (@mongamado)
Makeup of Xandra by Byron Velasquez for MAC Cosmetics (@ibyron)
Art Direction by Marc Pagdilao (@marcyellow)
Shot on location at Salon De Ning at The Penninsula Manila