[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] From Philippines to Japan: 10 Filipino Designers Showcase Creations at Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo

TOKYO – Established and promising Filipino designers proudly presented their designs at an event dubbed as “PH MODE x TYO” by Manila Fashion Festival (MFF) during the Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo (RakutenFWT) 2023 Spring/Summer on Sept. 2.

Albert Andrada, Alodia Cecilia, Daryl Maat, Ditta Sandico, Jun Escario, June Samson Pugat, Kaye Morales, Lorico, Oz Go and S’toi|c created an exclusive collection ensemble by merging Japan’s quality fabric and Philippine indigenous material.

“It is definitely an honor to be part of PH MODE, and we are grateful RakutenFWT welcomed us,” Alodia, who was present at the event, said in an interview with Filipino-Japanese Journal (FJJ).

“It is an awesome experience for me especially working both front and backend of this project, it inspires me to take on more risks and try out new things. Hopefully, MFF will continue to produce shows for Filipino designers and RakutenFWT will continue to support us,” she added.

The MFF, the largest fashion runway event in the Philippines, was at the helm of the Filipino designers’ participation at the celebrated biannual fashion event in collaboration with STYLEM, a top textile company in Japan.

“I was pleasantly surprised, ang ganda, ang galing nang pag-curate, pagpili ng theme, ng venue. Maganda kasi simple, klaro ‘yung gusto nilang ipakita na aesthetic. Kahanga-hanga kasi ang gagaling ng Filipino designers,” Philippine Embassy - Trade and Investment Section Commercial Counsellor Maria Bernardita Mathay commented after the show.

She went on to say that Filipinos are one of the best designers in the world.

“Our creative talent is something that we should really focus and highlight because its contribution to the economy is sizeable so dapat bigyan ng suporta ng gobyerno ‘yung mga talents natin.”

After their participation at RakutenFWT, the MFF will have a series of trade exhibits for “PH Mode x TYO” on Sept. 7 to 9 in Daikanyama, followed by another one at STYLEM’s Tokyo Showroom on Sept. 12 to 16.

Next month, they will go to Taipei and Seoul to showcase their collaboration with the two cities’ local fabric companies. - Words and interview by Florenda Corpuz, Photos by Din Eugenio

(Article cover photo: MFF Organizer Genshi Shigekawa, second from left, together with Creative Director and designer Alodia Cecilia, left, MFF Tokyo Project Manager Naoki Hayashi, second from right, and Project Coordinator Yoko Nogami, right)