Miss Universe Organization (MUO) President Paula Shugart announced that “Bui Simon will return to Thailand and be on the jury.”
Thai Philantrophist, Porntip “Bui” Simon née Nakhirunkanok is Miss Universe 1988 making her the second Thai Miss Universe.
Simon is the first ever delegate to win Best in National Costume and the Miss Universe title. This perhaps is the reason behind Thailand’s dedication to produce high-calibre National Costumes yearly at Miss Universe.
Born February 7, 1969, the year Philippines first won Miss Universe, Simon is close to Filipinos. She considers Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach a sister as well as known Filipino designer Monique Lhullier.
Currently, Bui Simon has the following to her resume:
- President and founder of the Angels Wings Foundation
- Member of the Board of Regents of Pepperdine University
- Distinguished Advisor of the Board of the Children’s Museum of Indiannapolis
- Member of the Board of Governors for the Dream Foundation.
Life as a Beauty Queen
In 1988, Simon won Miss Thailand giving her the right to represent Thailand at the Miss Universe pageant.
At the young age of 20, Simon was crowned as Miss Universe 1988 on May 24, 1988 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Simon went on to become the second Thai woman to win Miss Universe after Apasra Hongsakula who won the crown and title on 1965.
She entered the semi-finals in fourth place, right behind the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Korea.
Her scores are
- Interview score: 9.730,
- Swimsuit score: 9.684
- Evening gown score: 9.752.
Porntip Nakhirunkanok was born in Chachoengsao, Thailand. She prefers to be called by her middle name is “Bui”, which means “to sleep like a baby” in Thai. She grew up in the United States.
- Thai Royal Medal of Honour, Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant – This is given to his majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on August 1988 for Simon’s service for the impoverished children.
- Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand. Simon received this royal distinction in 2001.
- United Nations Goodwill Ambassador of Thailand. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand named Simon as a goodwill ambassador in 1989. She addresses the United Nations about the Conventions on the Rights of a Child.
Bui married America Herbert Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers and the Simon Property Group.