Meet Christy-Anne Lopez, The Other Fil-Am Beauty Queen Making Moves

Talent, charisma, beauty, brains, she's got it all.

Red carpet interviewer, reality show star, beauty queen, business owner—Christy-Anne Lopez has done it all.

Related: The Best Memes From The Wild Miss Universe 2022

In January 2023, R’Bonney Gabriel made history as the first-ever Filipino-American to win Miss Universe. The current Miss Universe is not just a sustainability advocate, but also yet another sign of how Pinoys excel in pageants even if they represent a different country. But when we think of Fil-Ams in the pageantry, R’Bonney isn’t the only one who has made a name for herself. There’s a Filipino out there who not only has snatched multiple crowns, but also has rubbed shoulders with her fair share of Hollywood stars. It makes for a resume fit for the center stage. Her name is Christy-Anne Lopez.


Born and raised in Torrance, California, Christy-Anne graduated from Cal State Fullerton where she received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. Immediately, she began her work in TV, media, and production with stints on Fox and E! News among others. Aside from the behind-the-scenes work, she also served as a freelance red carpet correspondent and podcast, a job that saw her work with A-listers such as Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, and Ice-T.

Christy-Anne Lopez

Being the multi-hyphenate that she is, Christy-Anne also made a name for herself in the pageant world. Among her titles include Ms. Regency International 2017 and Ms. Philippines World 2018. The same year she won Ms. Philippines World, Christy-Anne also launched her very own business, Studio Sash Pageant Consulting, which serves as a coaching center for would-be and inspiring queens. Already, they’ve helped twenty queens achieve a crown, winning in national, state, regional, and international titles.


But if being successful in the world of beauty pageants, digital, and broadcast wasn’t enough, Christy-Anne added being a reality star to her resume in January 2023 with Chef Dynasty: House of Fang. One of the few reality shows on American TV featuring an API cast, Food Network’s six-episode docuseries follows the Fang family, one of SF’s premier Chinese food families. Christy-Anne is featured on the show as one of the restaurant’s newest servers. The show follows the beauty queen as she hopes to prove herself in a unique and fast-paced environment at a time of business expansion for the Fang family.

Christy-Anne Lopez

Combined with her advocacy of helping families find their missing children, Christy-Anne is juggling a lot of hats, or crowns as we should say. But it’s an endeavor she can more than handle.

How did your relationship with the Fang family start?

I was highly recommended by a former colleague and mutual friend to join the team because of my event production background. After multiple interviews and connecting with Kathy, I was brought on board for a new wild ride!

What was your reaction when you learned that they were going to film a docuseries/reality show and you were going to be included in the cast?

I was very excited! Not sure if it’s a compliment or not, but I’ve always been told my whole life that I should be on a reality type of TV show. Of course, I was nervous and apprehensive about how it was all going to turn out. However, at the same time, I knew this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could tell my grandkids one day.

Given how you are no stranger to working on TV shows, how was your experience like filming for the show?

This was the most fun I have ever had in my experience with any type of production because it was very different and completely new to me. Don’t get me wrong, it had its challenges. I had to get accustomed to a new server position and work environment with real customers and real situations while being on-camera, as well as simultaneously take direction from multiple producers.

Some days were definitely exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. But, I had a blast with the entire cast, and we made the best out of every day on set. We became a family very quickly. We were constantly laughing, going out, and having a great time. I just told myself every day to show up, do my absolute best and to truly be present in the moment to really enjoy it all.

The moment we are first introduced to you on the show, your confidence shines through. Where do you think that comes from?

To be honest, I think it comes from being Filipino. Growing up, my parents and family members made us sing karaoke or perform for the family and guests, which is quite normal for Filipino families. I was raised in a really fun household where my parents let us express freely and creatively, like choreographing dances or putting on skits for everyone. So, it’s possible that the confidence truly stems from that: Not being afraid to step in front of strangers and put on a show.

I’ve never actually thought about that until now. I’ve been a host and emcee since I was 13 years old hosting school-wide assemblies and being a middle school news anchor, so it is possible to say that I’ve been in front of crowds for a majority of my life. Filipino culture is all about hospitality and making guests feel welcome, so I know that certainly translates into providing great service whether I’m serving in a restaurant or producing a live event with 500+ attendees.

Christy-Anne Lopez

What does your participation in the show mean for you in terms of Fil-Am and Asian representation?

It means everything to me to be a part of this pioneering TV show. To be the first docuseries of its kind on the network and to be an all-Asian cast AND to be the only Filipino to represent my heritage is kind of a big deal to me. I’m so proud to be a part of something truly special and to play a significant part in Asian American representation on mainstream media. Not only do we get to represent our culture, but it’s amazing that the main focus is food and tradition.

I have learned from Chef Kathy Fang how important it is to carry on family tradition, and it is our responsibility to teach and show the next generation our roots through cuisine. If we don’t, who will? For me, I am so appreciative that I even had a chance to share a few authentic Filipino dishes like my favorites lumpia and turon on the TV show, as well as share stories of making Filipino food with my family.

Representation is what drives me in everything I do. I know that if I, a normal Fil-Am girl born with no special privileges, can work hard and make it to the small screen or big screen one day, then it will give confidence to ANY young Fil-Am or Asian American girl to believe that one day she can do the same.

What makes Chef Dynasty: House of Fang different from all the other family-centered docuseries/reality shows out there?

THE CAST AND CULTURE! Every single person in this cast representing the Fang staff is SO amazing, unique and accomplished in their own way, especially our leaders. We have the talented and courageous Chef Kathy Fang, the Boss Queen, who is the kindest, most generous boss I’ve ever had who leads by example and work ethic. Then, there’s Lillian who is a very connected, fierce, detail-oriented leader that leaves no stone unturned and always motivates me to be the best.

Being around Peter Fang and his legendary aura is a reason to watch this show in itself. Everyone on the team is so ambitious with an entrepreneurial spirit, and we all relate in that way. But, we are ALL very strong personalities so it makes for great TV. The team puts on some very high caliber events for elite clientele where you see a lot of real high stress moments go down. There is so much that happens behind the scenes to put on an impressive event, so viewers will definitely take that ride with us.

Ultimately, culture and family values are the foundation of this show which makes it so relatable to the viewers and heart-warming to watch. Also, this might be one of the only family-centered docuseries/reality shows that makes you hungry and gets your mouth-watering because of how delicious the food is. Between the food, the cast, and the drama, this show keeps you drooling for more.

How did your love for pageants start?

My love for pageants started because my older cousin and biggest role model Angeline would do pageants. I have very fond memories being on stage with her as a “junior escort” where the pageant contestants would have a little one by their side purely for the cuteness factor. I was 5 years old holding her hand strutting across the stage, and I remember that was my first taste of being in front of a big audience. I hoped that one day I could grow up to become a beauty queen like her.

Christy-Anne Lopez

Aside from being an accomplished beauty queen yourself, you also run your very own consulting company. What kind of work do you do there and why start the business?

As the owner of Studio Sash Pageant Consulting and Director of Regency International West Coast Pageant, I am a pageant coach to girls and ladies across the United States where I train them for their upcoming pageants, but not limited to fashion shows, speaking engagements, etc. I produce in-person workshops focused on modeling, public speaking, interviews skills, and more, as well as, virtually work with clients one-on-one for their own customized training.

I became a pageant director and coach after quickly realizing that I can turn my skill set and unique industry experience into a business to help young ambitious women accomplish their goals. This is my way of giving back because I didn’t have a lot of guidance when it came to navigating my big goals.

I am very lucky to love what I do mentoring young girls, and there is no greater reward than to see them succeed. That is my WHY. Quick story – my very first Studio Sash client won a state title (California), and it was her first real pageant! Then, she went on to win the International title! It was the first time that a California representative won the International crown for this particular pageant. Today, I am proud to say that I have 20+ crowned clients who have won international, national, and regional titles.

It’s no secret that Filipinos love pageants. Do you have any Filipino beauty queens you look up to?

Vanessa Minillo Lachey, Teen USA 1998. She was the very first Filipino that I watched on mainstream media as the host of my favorite show at the time, MTV’s Total Request Live. I looked up to her so much because she had my dream job as a music video VJ. Growing up, I would be ecstatic when people would tell me that I looked like her and that they could see me on TV doing what she does. Thank you Vanessa for paving the way! I’d love to meet her one day.

Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015. Pia is a true representative of a Filipina woman: gracious, beautiful inside and out, and intelligent. The way she humbly won her crown showed us exactly why she was deserving of the title, and she absolutely crushed her reign as Miss Universe.

My grandmas and my mom. They will forever and always be my Queens. I’m the woman I am today because I had strong women raising me. I didn’t realize until I was older how accomplished and fiercely brave my mom and my grandmas are to start this life and raise us here in the States, and the amount of hard work, focus, and team effort it took to establish a new life for our family.

Christy-Anne Lopez

What do you have to say to people who think that beauty pageants are just a waste of time?

I always say that the best thing you can do is invest in yourself. Participating in a beauty pageant is the best way to invest in your future to set personal goals, learn how to network, and to not be afraid of putting yourself out there. It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to present yourself to judges and the public, to step out onstage on your own, and introduce yourself to a crowd. That in itself is a huge accomplishment that not a lot of people can say.

Because of pageants, I have taken leaps towards my goals and, more importantly, I have been able to become a part of my community and be able to give back. So, I would tell anyone that the biggest takeaway from the experience is boosting self-esteem and taking pride in yourself and your accomplishments. That’s priceless.

What’s the secret to being a great beauty queen?

Not sure if it’s a secret, but I would say a great beauty queen leads by example and is motivated by service. As a titleholder and coach, it is my main focus to give back to the community more than anything. A respected Queen is visible and doing the work. Wearing a sparkly sash and a flashy crown isn’t just for glamour and fun, it represents a huge responsibility to be a positive role model and selfless leader. It’s important to remember what type of legacy you want to leave behind. I always share this Maya Angelou quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

You’ve worked with quite a few celebrities in your life. Is there anyone in particular that stands out to you?

My very first red carpet interview was with Carrie Ann Inaba, judge from Dancing With The Stars at an API event in downtown LA’s Little Tokyo.  I will never forget how sweet and kind she was in our brief interaction. After I introduced myself, I remember she started the interview by saying “Oh wow, Carrie Ann and Christy-Anne. Our names are so similar, it’s a great TV name you have!”

Immediately after our interview off-camera, she asked me a few questions about where I see myself and shared some inspiring words. She told me I was special and to never give up because we need more women that look and sound like us to be seen. I thanked her and said maybe one day I can interview her again in the future and share this story. Her words have always stuck with me.

Also, I cannot thank Chef Kathy Fang, celebrity chef and Food Network’s two-time Chopped champion, enough for giving me the opportunity to be a part of her team and really showing me and the rest of the API community that anything is possible, like having your own series on national TV about your family and doing what you love!

Continue Reading: Did You Know? These Filipino Pageant Coaches Trained International Beauty Queens