Gown made of Can-Tabs shines on the Miss Universe stage: An ode to the Parents

“You must not get stuck with murky surroundings you were born into, but do believe you have the power to change your own life for the better,” a powerful statement by Miss Universe Thailand 2022.

For the longest of time, Miss Universe has been the most watched pageant globally. Around 84 countries were presented in the Miss Universe 2022, bringing their A-game on the stage. The 24 year old, Anna Sueangam-iam, Miss Universe Thailand 2022 captivated the hearts of many, shimmering down the stage in a gown made of can-tabs. The gown was made using aluminium can-tabs of drinks and Swarovski Diamonds among them. Also named ‘Hidden Precious Diamond Dress’, it was designed by Thai fashion brand, Manirat.

Soon after Sueangam-iam posted a snapshot of the outfit on her official Instagram, which received more than 200K likes, the dress quickly went viral. The outfit was certainly eye-catching, but what really caught the audience’s attention was the caption below it.

Her instagram caption read, “This gown was inspired by the familiar surroundings of my childhood. Growing up with garbage collector parents, my life as a child was among piles of garbage and recyclables. This unique gown was purposefully tailored-made with discarded and recycled materials, namely the ‘Can Tab’ to present to the UNIVERSE that what’s considered worthless by many actually possesses its own value and beauty. Thank you all for seeing it, hearing it, and hopefully being that message of self-worth.”

The life journey of Anna has truly been inspirational to many. Growing up, she played with toys found among the garbage as her father was a garbage collector and her mother was a street-sweeper. As a tribute to her parents and being trolled as ‘Miss garbage beauty queen’, it served as an inspiration in the making of the gown. The elegance of the clothing as a whole was enhanced by these details.

Raised in poverty, she struggled with her finances to pay the tuition fees, these experiences encouraged her to to use her platform, such as the Miss Universe pageant, to promote equal access to education for all Thai students. She has also worked with a number of charities, notably Smile Train Thailand. Additionally, she collaborated with the government of Thailand to help in proper waste management.

Optimism, hopefulness, resilience and persistence are the few words that actually characterizes this beauty queen.

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