Jeannette Chan, Miss Asian of California
Our 1985 Legacy
1st Annual Miss Asian of California Pageant
A New Era of Leadership
Meet Our 1985
Queen and Court
Miss Asian of California
- Michelle Knolle – First Princess
- Aleili Orzal – Second Princess
- Lisa Johnson – Third Princess
- Janet Tagawa – Miss Talent
- Katie Tse – Miss Congeniality
- Diane Capangpangan – Best in Evening Gown
San Jose, CA – July 13, 1985 – Founded by former Miss Chinatown USA 1982 Rose Chung, the inaugural Miss Asian of California Pageant took center stage at the Asian Arts Festival, held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. This groundbreaking event marked a significant milestone in the fight for Asian representation in mainstream pageantry and media.
Jeannette Chan, crowned Miss Asian of California, stands as a shining example of the pageant’s mission to redefine conventional standards of beauty and strength. Michelle Knolle, Aleili Orzal, Lisa Johnson, Janet Tagawa, Katie Tse, and Diane Capangpangan joined her in the court, each representing resilience, talent, and congeniality in their own right.
The event was more than just a competition; it was a catalyst for change. It underscored the necessity of providing a platform for Asian women to be seen and celebrated, combating the prevailing absence of Asian beauty in mainstream pageants and media.
The Miss Asian of California Pageant marked the beginning of a movement, one that continues to empower and inspire Asian women to break through barriers and make their voices heard in today’s world.