By KELIN DILLON
The dress worn by the newly crowned Miss Universe and native Mexican Andrea Meza at May 16’s pageant was apparently plagiarized from the work of Lebanese fashion designer Nadim Olivera Soudaiha.
The gown worn by Meza, made by Michoacán dressmaker Ivis Lenin, was nearly identical to Olivera Soudaiha’s design from four years ago that reached such heights even famous country singer Carrie Underwood donned it in one of her tours.
“I‘ve been creating dresses that have been worn by women all over the world for over 17 years, and I think the real designers don’t copy because it takes a lot of time and effort to create a dress that bears your stamp and your identity,” said Olivera Soudaiha, who is of Mexican descent, to a newspaper in Kuwait.
“There is a positive side to the story, that my designs have reached very distant places, and although it is already from older seasons, it was copied for such a great occasion. I have mixed feelings about what happened.”
Olivera Soudaiha had previously dressed Mexican celebrities like Gloria Trevi and Thalía, as well as international stars like Jennifer Lopez and supermodel Adriana Lima.
Lenin, for his part, claimed he had never seen the Lebanese designer’s work prior to the scandal.