Top and skirt by Rosie Assoulin; La Strada ring in white gold by Chopard (right hand); Atienza’s own ring (left hand) and earrings (worn throughout)
Very little could distract from Atienza’s career, which has been remarkably successful in a number of fields. She started her working life as a stockbroker working for JP Morgan in New York, followed by a stint at Merrill Lynch in London. It was there that Atienza decided to raise the capital to buy the Philippines branch of Merrill Lynch and create a private bank in Manila. She was a director there for a number of years before selling it to Bank of America. With the proceeds, she opened the Chinese International School Manila, an internationally acclaimed school that teaches children Mandarin from a young age. In her free time, Atienza works at the school or adopts abandoned animals from rescue shelters with her husband, who makes documentaries focused on weather and wildlife.
“I was very flattered to be given this award, as I was such a tomboy growing up and never really thought of myself as fashionable. I always wanted to be the smart one or the athletic one rather than the pretty one. I grew into fashion later in life, and it’s now become a passion alongside animal welfare and education.”