In Focus: Miss Paris Group and the Miss International Org
By Stephen I. Diaz
If you think that this is about a local pageant in the capital city of France, better think again. This is about a corporate entity in Japan, with two main head offices, one in Osaka and the other one Tokyo, which caters to the eternal need of most women (and men): the desire to look beautiful.
Miss Paris Group – which is composed of prominent beauty salons and spas such as Dandy House, Miss Paris, Miss Paris Diet Center, Estio, and a beauty school that enrolls future beautician and aesthetic specialists – is the new managing entity of the International Cultural Association (ICA). Last year, the very amiable and charismatic owner of the Miss Paris Group, Akemi Shimomura, took over the chairmanship of the ICA from its previous head, Hirofumi Hashimoto.
ICA is responsible for hosting the annual Miss International Beauty Pageant, which is one of the BIG 4 Pageants, along with Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth. Hashimoto ended his leadership during the same year that a fellow Japanese had won the Miss International title, in the person of Ikumi Yoshimatsu. Since its inception in 1960, no other Japanese has ever won the pearl crown. Venezuela is the most successful country, with six wins, followed by the Philippines, with five titles.
With the Miss Paris Group being the most prominent and biggest sponsor of Miss International, what does that mean to the newly revamped Miss International Organization?
It is very evident to note that last year’s winners became the poster girls of Miss Paris, with huge billboards of the Top 3 and special award winners being flaunted in major junctions and train stations in Japan. Does that mean that Miss International – aside from its tradition of choosing a woman with inner and outer beauty – is also looking for someone who can be a perfect image model for Miss Paris?
Looking at the company profile of Miss Paris, one can notice in bold letters the motto which says “making people beautiful all over the world.” There is this universal declaration from the beauty company that they have a desire to expand into the global market. By providing the best beauty treatment “through hospitality and optimal technique”, one can say that the unique elements of Japanese culture – such as tea ceremony and ikebana – are incorporated in the high quality service that the company provides. Does that mean that we will be seeing a diverse set of winners, but with a close affinity to the Japanese brand of beauty and elegance?
The corporate philosophy of the Miss Paris Group is also worth mentioning, which is “creating a healthy and beautiful body and soul.” Believing that real beauty comes from a healthy body and mind, such philosophy definitely coordinates with the Miss International quest for the perfect woman who is not just physically attractive, but must also be intelligent and with a good heart.
Today, all the 73 delegates of Miss International 2014 were given a special treatment day at one of the Miss Paris spa and salon in Tokyo, a perfect time for everyone to relax and feel refreshed before the tough rehearsal days are about to start. With only four more nights to go before the new Miss International 2014 is selected, the Japanese omotenashi can never get better with Miss Paris!