Lisa Opie, former Miss US Virgin Islands and founder of LadyCode Cosmetics, Beauty by LadyCode, and Vizcaya Swimwear, and Ramina Ashfaque, who has represented Pakistan at Miss Grand and Miss Earth, the visionary behind Ashh Scrubs, bring their unique journeys and entrepreneurial spirit to the forefront of their new podcast, Miss Represented @missrepresentedtalks. Get ready for uplifting, insightful conversations that celebrate the strength, resilience, and success of women in today’s world.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Dear Lisa Opie and Ramina Ashfaque, what’s the driving force behind Miss Represented, and what do you hope listeners will take away from each episode in terms of personal growth and empowerment?
LISA OPIE: The driving force behind Miss Represented is our passion for celebrating women’s strength and resilience. We hope that each episode leaves listeners feeling empowered, inspired, and ready to embrace their unique journey.
RAMINA ASHFAQUE: Our ultimate goal is to foster a sense of community and empowerment. We want our listeners to take away a renewed sense of self-worth, the knowledge that they are not alone in their struggles, and the inspiration to pursue their dreams fearlessly.
Harper’s Bazaar: Lisa, as the founder of LadyCode Cosmetics, Beauty by LadyCode and Vizcaya Swimwear, you’ve achieved remarkable success in the fashion and beauty industries. How does your entrepreneurial journey contribute to the empowering narratives on Miss Represented?
LISA OPIE: Absolutely. My entrepreneurial journey has provided me with invaluable insights into the beauty and fashion industries. Starting my first business, Vizcaya Swimwear, at the age of 20 led me to overcome many challenges at a very young age. Social media was very new at the time, but I saw the power of social media and really used social media marketing to harness Vizcaya Swimwear and advertise it with no budget.
My experience as a Japanese-American female business owner has given me a platform to champion inclusivity, diversity, and self-expression, which are central themes in Miss Represented. Through our podcast, Ramina and I aim to empower women by sharing stories of success and resilience from different walks of life.
Harper’s Bazaar: In addition to being an entrepreneur, you’ve also excelled in the world of beauty pageants. How do these experiences intersect, and how do they influence your perspective on women’s empowerment?
LISA OPIE: My pageant experiences have taught me the power of self-confidence and the importance of using one’s voice to inspire change. These lessons are at the heart of Miss Represented. We believe that every woman has a unique story to tell, and pageants showed me the strength that comes from embracing one’s identity and journey. Pageantry has shaped my career and opened so many doors for me.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Miss Represented promises to challenge stereotypes and celebrate women’s strength. Can you share a sneak peek into a podcast episode where you discuss breaking boundaries and embracing individuality?
LISA OPIE: We have an exciting episode coming up featuring a guest who shattered stereotypes in the tech industry. She shares her journey of resilience and determination in a male-dominated field, and it’s a fantastic example of how Miss Represented celebrates women who defy conventions.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Your brand LadyCode Cosmetics emphasizes inclusivity and empowerment. How do these values resonate with the messages you aim to convey through Miss Represented?
LISA OPIE: LadyCode Cosmetics and Miss Represented share a common mission of empowering women to embrace their unique beauty and strength. Both platforms emphasize inclusivity and celebrate diversity. We dive deep into the importance of inclusivity in the beauty industry and how I am personally using my brand, LadyCode Cosmetics to make a difference through formulating inclusive products and promoting diversity in our campaigns, and also a lot of background on how I started my businesses with the hopes to inspire our listeners to create their own brands as well. Through our podcast, we aim to empower women not only in their beauty choices but also in their personal and professional lives.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Lisa, your career as an award-winning celebrity makeup artist has certainly been remarkable. Can you share with our readers the pivotal moments or experiences that first ignited your passion for makeup artistry and led you on this incredible journey?
LISA OPIE: My passion for makeup occurred unexpectedly: I was bullied in middle school for being half-Japanese and being Asian. Students would pull the corners of their eyes and say “ching-chong, ling-long” and make other racial remarks about the way I looked. As a middle schooler, I wanted to have bigger, rounder eyes so I would fit in and so the bullying would stop, so I harnessed the power of makeup to create the illusion of wider eyes.
I loved the transformative power of makeup and I loved movies in the 2000s that had makeover scenes, like Miss Congeniality, the Princess Diaries, and Mean Girls. I embrace natural beauty but I love seeing how confident my clients become once I enhance their natural beauty.
Today, I am the opposite and I actually enjoy playing up my asian features and making my eyes look more elongated. I am so proud of my Japanese background and heritage, and this is an example of how adversity can lead to success.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Ramina, as the founder of Ashh Scrubs, you’ve made a significant impact in the wellness industry. How does your entrepreneurial journey contribute to the themes of empowerment and self-care in Miss Represented?
RAMINA ASHFAQUE: My journey with Ashh Scrubs has reinforced the importance of self-care and wellness. From being a healthcare worker I wanted to create something that made healthcare workers feel good while looking good through my scrub line. Through ‘Miss Represented,’ we aim to inspire women to prioritize their well-being and mental health. We believe that true empowerment starts with self-love and self-care.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Miss Represented covers diverse topics related to women’s empowerment. Can you share a memorable moment from the podcast where you felt a deep connection with your audience?
RAMINA ASHFAQUE: One memorable moment was when a listener shared how an episode inspired her to take charge of her own well-being and start her wellness journey. It reminded us of the power of storytelling in connecting with our audience and motivating positive change.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: In the realm of beauty and self-care, how do you see the podcast influencing the way women perceive and prioritize their well-being?
RAMINA ASHFAQUE: Miss Represented challenges traditional beauty standards and emphasizes that beauty is multifaceted. We hope the podcast encourages women to embrace their uniqueness and prioritize self-care not as an indulgence but as a fundamental aspect of empowerment. We aim to redefine beauty as something that comes from within.
HARPER’S BAZAAR: Could you give us a glimpse into an upcoming episode or guest on Miss Represented that embodies the mission of the podcast to inspire change and redefine the conversation on women’s empowerment?
RAMINA ASHFAQUE: We have a powerful upcoming episode featuring a woman who has been a catalyst for change in the education sector, advocating for gender equality. Her story is a testament to how women can drive positive change in society, and it perfectly aligns with our mission to inspire and redefine conversations around women’s empowerment.
Models: Lisa Opie @Lisa_Opie, Ramina Ashfaque @ramina_ash.
Photography: The Code Creatives @thecodecreatives.
Creative Director: Joey Rolon @joeyrolon.
Hair: Jose Chavez @jc___hair.
Makeup: LadyCode @theladycodeshop.
Accessories: Jimmy Crystal New York @jimmycrystalny.
Gowns: Juan Carlos Pinera.
Set Design: Alexis Lechanet @alexis.lechanet.
Videography: The Code Creatives @thecodecreatives.
Producer: Say Media @say__media.
Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam