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Miss Universe Barbados Lesley Chapman-Andrews flanked by the nine beauties vying to be her replacement.

Miss Universe Lesley Chapman-Andrews set to pass torch

Lesley Chapman-Andrews personifies the slogan of the Miss Universe Barbados franchise as she is indeed “Confidently Beautiful”. With the latest instalment of the pageant slated for September 15, her year long reign is drawing to a close and it is with fondness that she recalls her multitude of memories. When asked to use a single word to describe her time serving as the representative for Barbados her response was simply, “Magical”.

Since clinching that top spot, her life has been a whirlwind of activity. Chapman-Andrews acknowledged, “I had such an incredible year thanks to my amazing team and sponsors; that it is truly difficult to sum it all up into a tiny paragraph.” However, the event that stands out most in her mind, since it is the most recent, would be a trip to New York which was facilitated by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and JetBlue. She gushed, “I spotted Anna Wintour on the elevator after my interview at Condé Nast!” This chance encounter with the renowned fashion icon obviously made an impact.

Being Miss Universe Barbados has afforded her with the opportunity to forge new friendships. She expressed, “I also thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the lovely young ladies at ‘I Am a Girl Barbados.’” She is filled with praise for that organisation which provides mentorship for its participants. She noted, “Alian (Ollivierre) and her team do such an amazing job and I love them all to bits.”

Despite the glitz and the glamour, this beauty queen readily admits that there is so much more to the process than meets the eye. She is truly appreciative for her support team who has helped her significantly throughout the process. She stated, “Working with my sponsors has been incredible; all of the fabulous events with Yello, Chefette and LESC!”

The ability to make a difference has been one of the highlights and Lesley is grateful for the chance she had to work with various charities, especially over the Christmas period. “I absolutely love children, so working with the Variety Children’s Foundation during Christmas was priceless,” she added.

Lesley wholly embraced her role as an ambassador. She explained, “Being Miss Universe Barbados has taught me to value branding on a whole. When I leave home, I am not just representing myself; I am a representation of my island and my organisation.”

Her entire journey as Miss Universe Barbados has made an indelible mark on her life. In an introspective moment she shared, “As amazing as all those things were, nothing can top being able to live my dream and cross the Miss Universe stage to represent the place I love most- Barbados!”

At 8 pm on Saturday night the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre will be transformed as nine beauties face a panel of judges in their quest to win that highly coveted crown. The outgoing queen offered some words of advice, “Be authentically you. Show the world who you are and everything you have to offer. Take every day by the reins and give it your best shot, but most of all – enjoy it! Live it, embrace it, love it!” (ST)

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