Exclusive: Interview with Ines Ligron, former Miss Universe Japan Director

Our today’s interview is not just exclusive in the sense of its being only with us, but by the fact that the lady we are interviewing this time is exclusive in her own way. She is Ines Ligron, a former director of Miss Universe Japan from 2003-2010.

Ines Ligron
Ines Ligron

Japan saw it glorious days in Miss Universe Contest under the mentor-ship of Ines, which got lost before. In mere span of 8 years, Ines got 1 Miss Universe winner, 1 first runners up, 1 4th runers up and 1 finalists. What is more amazing is that whether Miss Japan places into the finals or not, she would always be in talk due to their fashion sense and their attitude of doing something different every time. many considered her to be one of the most sensible and successful directors of national pageants along with Osmel Sousa and Lupita Jones. Pageant fans were bit saddened by the fact that Ines left the directorship post 2010 and were sure that it would be difficult now for Japan to regain its status of powerhouse soon, which actually became true. Ines is know for her bold attitude which was quite evident in her tweets and FB status and she is not afraid of speaking her mind out. We thank her for giving us this wonderful opportunity to take out some time for interview with us.

And, here we gooo….

1) Hello Ines, how have you been? And what are you up to now a day?

Ines: Hello everyone, I am in Singapore, Sunday afternoon, resting and taking the opportunity to finally have an interview with you guys. I am currently really busy with the new opening of my DREAM FACTORY beauty-studio in the center of the city, in Singapore.

Click to Visit Dream Factory
Click to Visit Dream Factory

We have a shop-studio where we transform and empower women of all age and background. We have clients from 6 to 60 years old. And I love my new concept to making any woman beautiful. After working with models, Hollywood celebrities and Miss Universe wanna be, I now have a new challenge.  Check out a video of my studio

2) You have been the director of Miss Universe Japan where you have mentored many aspirants. Who out of all have been your most favorite? And why?

Hiroko Mima, who came with a clutch on stage during Miss Universe 2008 Evening Gown round.
Hiroko Mima, who came with a clutch on stage during Miss Universe 2008 Evening Gown round.

Ines: Hiroko Mima, because she has a beautiful soul, she is a good friend, even if she is half my age, and she now became my business partner in Dream Factory which is the proof that I really trust her.

3) You had one of the most successful directorships of your time. Why do you think Japan isn’t able to replicate the same success you got during your period?

Ines: Thank you for the compliment. I believe because I transformed Miss Universe in Japan, from “an old image beauty pageant” into “a modern, glam and sophisticated event”. When I started I made sure that my sponsors would be powerful companies in the fashion/entertainment industry (Dior, Jaguar and Harry Winston) and that and the artists working with me would be the absolute best. I stayed away from the cheesy that sometimes comes with pageants, and tried to make it high-fashion, so that more girls would want to apply and compete.

4) Miss Japan were always seen to choose the kinds of gown which were too high fashioned like in 2003, 2005, 2007 etc. , something we rarely see in pageants. Did you think it was a safe bet?

Miyako Miyazaki, Miss Japan Universe 2003
Miyako Miyazaki, Miss Japan Universe 2003
Yukari Kuzuya, Miss Universe Japan 2005
Yukari Kuzuya, Miss Universe Japan 2005
Riyo Mori, Miss Universe and Miss Universe Japan 2007
Riyo Mori, Miss Universe and Miss Universe Japan 2007

Ines: I thought that I had no chance to make an impact if I did not insert a bit of provocation and it worked. I got the attention, good or bad. At least Japan got noticed. Many other countries in Asia never get any attention because they blend in by staying safe.

5) Any funny/weird/embarrassing incident during training girls for pageant?

Ines Ligron with Kurara Chibana and Miss Universe Japan 2008 Finalists
Ines Ligron with Kurara Chibana and Miss Universe Japan 2008 Finalists

Ines: Trying to remember the names of everyone at the beginning of the competition each year. From 4,000 applicants we chose 300 then I met all of them, then we cut to 100, 50, 25, 15. And many time I came up with really weird names! Remember I am French…. and some Japanese names are really difficult to memorize!

6) Which one do you find more relevant? Miss World or Miss Universe?

Ines: Good question…

Well, Miss Universe is more known around the world, but Miss World has the most beautiful girls.

More relevant? I am not sure… it really depends on the country we are talking about. In Europe Miss World is better known to the general public. In Asia as well, because more Asian girls have won the competition.

Read our Thoughts on Miss Universe v/s Miss World: http://thegreatpageantcommunity.com/2014/01/04/which-is-your-favorite-miss-universe-pageant-or-miss-world-pageant/

7) How is Ines as a person?

Ines Ligron
Ines Ligron

Ines: I love helping others…. I am always ready to give my heart and help everyone in need. My family taught me this…

I hate superficiality; fashion is my only weakness 🙂

My family and friends are what make me the most happy in life.

I am a creative person, always thinking about new ideas.

I am tolerant; I try always not to judge people.

I am brutally honest and I am not afraid to tell my opinions.

My passion is to help make a difference in children life.

 8) How do you spend your leisure time?


Ines with her child, on a holiday
Ines with her child, on a holiday

Ines: Horse riding or watching movies are my favorites things in the world.

Cuddling with my children or my husband

Reading books and writing them (I published 6 books) and now writing my #7!

Answering my many messages each day from my followers.

9) Would you like to make a comeback as Miss Universe Japan’s Director? Or say any other national director?

Ines: No, I rather not. I have many other challenges right now, such as for example my own TV reality show, which I am currently filming.

10) Which all beauty queens you have trained apart from Miss Japan? Who had been the most outstanding of them all?

Ines:  I have only trained girls from Japan or Indonesia.  Cannot say…

11) Do you think the results of beauty pageants are pre-decided?

 Ines: The top 15 or 16 yes definitely.

The winner is not, as they cannot control the judges, this I know for a fact.

12) Any message for our fans?

 Ines: I wish everyone success and love this year.

Sending many wishes towards all of you, because without the fans there would be no dream!

 Thank You.