Photography JC Cerilla. Art direction Alexandra Lara. Styling Sarah Santiago. Makeup John Pagaduan of Shu Uemura. Hair Paul Nebres. Text Cessi Treñas. Shoot assistant Jay Anne Aguirre. Nails Lea Naranja of Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon.
White long-sleeved blouse and black jumpsuit by ZARA, and white lace-ups by CHARLES & KEITH
When Yassi Pressman steps in front of the camera swathed in a 90s-chic ensemble and hair styled to faux-messy perfection, she looks like she belongs. It’s no wonder the camera loves the young star: with no qualms about following directions or being asked to do some repetitive front-back stepping, Yassi exudes an empowering level of naturalism–so much so, that it almost gives us déjà vu.
Something about seeing Yassi strut her stuff before a camera, expertly posing and grooving to the background music that fills the studio, feels strangely similar to watching her host on TV or seeing her dance to the beat of Rihanna and Redfoo on YouTube. Regardless of where she is or what she is doing, whether sandwiched between her fellow A-listers or arriving in our dimly lit studio in track pants and a cozy, oversized cardigan, Yassi always seems extremely sure of herself, never out of place. Well-spoken and boundlessly charming, the stunner oozes a surefire sort of confidence that keeps everyone–her fans, the camera and admittedly ourselves–hooked.
“Most of the time, I feel older than my age since I had to grow up very fast in the family. I had to be there for my sister. I still feel like she’s my baby, but then I realize I’m still a baby myself,” shares Yassi. Although the all-rounder had just turned 21 years old days before our shoot, resilience is among her strongest suits. Fully aware of her weaknesses and firm in her strengths, her unshakeable mindset is an upshot of the self-confidence she had learned to build over time.
While staying on her A-game in an industry brimming with close competition has been no easy feat, Yassi has managed to keep her head held high. “With showbiz, there’s a lot of negativity and bringing you down, sometimes for no reason,” she admits. Having stepped into the spotlight in 2006 as a young actress and moving on to establish a reputation as a dancer, opportunities did not always come easy. “People just really thought I could dance and dance alone. They said I couldn’t sing, that I couldn’t host and couldn’t act before even giving me the chance, and that was one thing that I didn’t understand and didn’t want to just accept.”
Despite the bumps and hurdles strewn about her path, Yassi has found a stronghold to fall back upon. Apart from her tight-knit circle of friends and her younger sister Issa, the 21-year-old draws her solid sense of self from her father. “My dad was really the one who believed in me…I think even before I was born, he believed in me,” she laughs, an endeared grin inevitably gracing her features. And with the same conviction she inherited from her father, she looks back on the challenges she has overcome with an air of victory. “If it’s really what you want, you better fight for it,” she says.
Tan ankle-strap heels by CHARLES & KEITH
Black long-sleeved top by DKNY, wrinkled culottes by ZARA and strappy heels by CHARLES & KEITH
Candid and always ready to bust a move to a steady beat, the Yassi Pressman we met on set seemed no different from the persona she takes on within the four walls of the television screen. “That’s one thing I really love about hosting, which I just got into about two years ago,” she shares, thankful for the opportunity to showcase her true personality: outgoing and uncontrived.
Deeply invested in her line of work (“99% of the time for me, work is like fun,” she says of her ever-changing schedules), Yassi forges forward with hopes of developing all four of her current crafts. With a steady mindset and a fervent heart on her sleeve, this Jill of all trades has got the world for the taking. With an offhanded giggle and a spark in her eye, she lets us in on what lies ahead.
“This year my goal was to conquer a mountain and I did. This year, probably more mountains?” she laughs, and the future’s never looked brighter.
Gray sleeveless robe and flared trousers by MARK TAMAYO, and open-toe slides with bow detail by CHARLES & KEITH