By Marivir R. Montebon
Meki Saldana is a stunner. Like the typical Asian, she looks meek with almond chinita eyes and soft facial features, but iron willed on the inside. She towers over most of the people in a crowd, and she exudes confidence, unlike when she was in high school, feeling awkward at having to be taller than everyone else. On the runway, Meki is in her element: International fashion model.
She ventured on her dream of making it big in the Big Apple in 2008, living all by herself in a posh apartment in Union Square and has committed to no one else that may impede her plans, safe for pomeranian Duke, her dog.
A native of Manila, Meki is an undergraduate in the course BS Nursing of the De Lasalle University in Dasmarinas. Her elder sister Jackie literally dragged her to the modeling world, capitalizing on her height and looks.
She has come a long way since she debuted as a commercial model for Pantene shampoo in 2004 which as aired in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Meki is signed with One Management.
“I consider the biggest break the moment I stepped in New York. It literally changed the course of my life. The most unforgettable though is when I shot with Ben Watts, who shots for Victoria Secret,” she quips.
Meki did videos for Nars, Clinique for Nordstrom, Lancome, Matrix and Kenneth Cole.
She breezed in fashion presentation and shows for big brands such as Baby Phat, Erin Wasson for RVCA, Bibhu Mohapatra, Zinke Swim, Monique Lhuillier, Isabel Toledo and Mara Hoffman. She also modeled for the creations of Jill Stuart, Yeohlee, Devi Kroell, Yigal Azrouel, Diane Von Furstenberg.
At the Martha Stewart Show, Meki graced Marchesa Bridal gowns with the designers themselves, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. She guested at the Good Morning America for the Marie Claire style forecast segment.
She models for the campaign and look books of Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Marc Ecko, Tracy Reese, Alfred Angelo, Belk, Target, Matrix, just to name a few.
She is constantly seen at Gilt Groupe, Ideeli and Belle&Clive websites and did fashion editorials for Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Zink, W style, Fanstastics, Elegant Bridal, Westchester Bridal, Bergen County and Women’s Health Magazine.
Meki stands proud as she is comfortable and confident of her being Filipina. “The Filipina is disciplined and friendly and pious. This is the reason why we succeed at anything”.
She is also busy studying acting, currently being coached by Gary Swanson, she will study Martial Arts, Horse back riding, singing and dancing as well this summer. As if everything isn’t enough to fill her schedule, this young girl has vision for her future. She is preparing to get into business and get a business degree. Way to go, Meki.