Kurara Chibana (知花 くらら) (born March 27, 1982) is a Japanese model, and is a native of Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. She competed in the Miss Universe 2006 contest and finished as the 1st Runner-up.
Chibana is known for her participation in Miss Universe 2006 where she represented Japan. She won the best national costume award for her samurai-themed outfit designed by the artist Yuichi Miyagawa and the designer Yoshiyuki Ogata, and later became the first runner-up for Miss Universe 2006. During the final, Chibana wore a black evening gown exhibiting intricate laticework designed by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, and at the preliminaries, Chibana sported a unique red and pink-hued gown with silver corseting designed by Novespazio.
Japan had not come that close to winning the crown since 1959, when Akiko Kojima won the first Miss Universe crown for Japan. During the pageant, held in Los Angeles, Chibana was the crowd favorite and her flirty winks drew an unusually enthusiastic response from the audience. Kurara Chibana’s successor, Miss Universe Japan 2007, Riyo Mori won the Miss Universe 2007 title in Mexico City. She also managed to outdo the two Japanese women who managed to enter the semi-finals in most recent years: Miyako Miyazaki, fourth runner-up in 2003, and Mizuho Sakaguchi, 3rd runner-up in 1988.
She was an educational-philosophy student at Sophia University. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006. She turned down a job offer from a publishing company in order to compete in the Miss Universe Japan pageant, which was held on April 25, 2006 in Tokyo. Kurara now works as a feature reporter, flying around the world to interview unique people for a leading fashion magazine in Japan. She writes and takes photos of their lifestyles. She speaks four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Japanese.
Since October 2006, she has appeared regularly on the NTV show “NEWS ZERO”, reporting from both domestic and international locations, and launched her endorsement career as a spokesperson for more than four world-famous brands in 2007.She is the new spokeswoman for Maybelline New York’s Angelfit Make-Up. In late December, Global Beauties named Kurara as the Sexiest Woman Alive 2006 – a title formally held also by, her co-patriot/beauty diva, Miyako Miyazaki.
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