Miss Bahamas Set to Take On the Universe in Grand Style

Monday 16th, August 2010 / 00:40 Published by

Braneka signs autographs for her fans. Photo by Makario Gibson

Beauty Queen Receives $50,000 Wardrobe for Miss Universe Pageant.

The saying “shop till you drop” became a reality for Miss Bahamas Braneka Bassett as she received an incredible wardrobe for her stint at the Miss Universe pageant, thanks to the generosity of the Atlantis Resort, its retail partners, and several other leading boutiques in New Providence.  The beauty queen is now set to make an incredible showing at the prestigious beauty competition, scheduled for August 23, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Everything from fashion jewelry to shoes, daywear, cocktail, and gala dresses was provided by boutiques and department stores on Paradise Island and here in New Providence.  Leading the list of retailers who provided a variety of items valued in the tens of thousands of dollars was the Atlantis Resort through its stores Escape at The Cove and the Atlantis themed shops on the resort’s property.  Following close behind were the stores of The Solomon’s Group of Companies, which include Solomon’s Mines, Lalique, Royal Palm, and Mademoiselle. Also adding to her incredible wardrobe were:

Braneka is a vision of elegance in an evening gown from La Rose and jewelry by Lalique. Photo by Vaughn Scriven

Diamonds International
Calypso Carousel
Nassau Gals
The Gallery (formerly La Mode Classique)
La Rose
Carlo Milano
Salvatore Ferragamo
Coles of Nassau
Bani shoe warehouse
Buttons Bridal and Formal Wear
Paul and Shark
Tommy Bahama
Island bag company
Indulgence Shoe Store
Baha gala accessories company
Apryl Burrows
I Catching Boutique
The Bay
Bijoux du Belle Chevy’s Accessories
Bijoux Classique

Braneka shows off her fabulous physique in a Coles of Nassau swimsuit, accessorized by Escape and Karike. Photo by Vaughn Scriven

Even though the fantastic wardrobe provided by local retailers is more than enough for her to make a lasting impression, Miss Bahamas’ evening gown will also be a show stopper.  Designed by Gionni Straccia of Venezuela – the same designer who created the evening gowns of the last two winners of the Miss Universe pageant – the dazzling one-of-a-kind creation will set Braneka apart from the competition easily. This piece was not shown at the wardrobe unveiling, but will be seen in all its glory during the preliminary competition on August 19th, and again during the finale on August 23rd.

Miss Bahamas will carry her wardrobe in style using luggage provided by Brass and Leather.  She will be able to take lots of photos in Vegas, thanks to John Bull which provided a digital camera.  And she will be flashing a brilliant smile, courtesy of Dr. Barry Russell at the Bahamas Orthodontic Center. Also contributing to the effort were the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, The Copier Ltd., Face Ink, the Grand Bahama Power Company, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the FML Group of Companies, Unique Hair & Nails, Yellow Strawberry Salon, Mr. Leslie Miller, Mrs. Rowena Finlayson, Profiles 98 magazine, and Steven Robinson who provided dance lessons for the queen.

Great effort has gone into ensuring that Braneka will be outstanding in every area of the competition.  Her national costume represents the national bird of The Bahamas – the Flamingo.  Adorned in pearls, beads, mirrors and hundreds of feathers in various hues of pink, the costume was designed by Javotte Bethel of Javotte House of Couture and is a celebration of Bahamian culture with Vegas flair.  Her charity auction gift is also expected to draw some attention. The lucky winner will receive a 4-night stay at The Cove as well as an experience for four at Dolphin Cay, provided by the Atlantis Resort.

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for the generosity of all who gave”, says MBO President Michelle Malcolm.  She continued, “Everyone agrees that Braneka is a fantastic representative for our country.  However, not everyone was willing to give.  I would especially like to thank George Markantonis and his colleagues at the Atlantis Resort for opening the doorway to such a blessing.  Now armed with a smashing wardrobe, I am confident that Braneka is going to be a force to be reckoned with in Vegas and possibly bring The Bahamas its first Miss Universe crown.”

Miss Bassett was all smiles as she presented key pieces of her wardrobe to the media and the general public during a cocktail reception sponsored by A Stone’s Throw Away, where she spent two weeks in beauty pageant boot camp with renowned pageant coach Grace Fontecha back in June. Mrs. Fontecha – who has already successfully coached four women to win the Miss Universe title – returned to the capital on August 2nd for a final week of grooming with Miss Bahamas before the start of the Miss Universe pageant. Braneka left the capital on Sunday August 8th via JetBlue which sponsored her airline ticket.


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