Who will be the Philippines’ next Hot Young Designer?

Back when we were younger (way back in the early 90s), we’re often asked what we would like to be when we grow up. Most kids would answer, doctor, or teacher, or engineer. Back then, very few would say that their ambition would be to become a fashion designer. Well, years have passed and the tides have definitely changed. The world is screaming for fashion, and we’re moving into a new age. This planet needs more talented designers and innovations in style that would sweep the fashion world away.

Meanwhile, in a small spot in this planet, the Philippines has been brewing new talents, some of which has made its way to Hollywood, designing and styling for celebrities. While some select few have already established their names in the industry, many more young, fierce designers are still waiting to be discovered, like diamonds in the rough.

The partnership of Ginger Arboleda and Sharon Teng aims to do just this: discover new, talented designers, prepare them with business skills, and provide them opportunities to be able to launch their own collections. This will be done through a challenge called the Fashion Face Off, a nine-month long contest, where five handpicked designers will be provided a budget to furnish RTW clothing. The winner will be decided by who earns the most from their designs after the contest period.

Five designers have been chosen through a screening interview and a presentation of their past works. The designer contestants include:

Jackie Abueg

Jackie Abueg, from the De La Salle college of Saint Benilde, who had taken up fashion courses from the Asian Institute of Fashion. Among her design philosophies are simplicity and comfort.

Marc Blanco

Marc Blanco from the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. His style is defined by freedom, and a balance between masculinity and femininity.

Bailey Agustin Dava

Bailey Agustin Dava is an independent candidate. This means that she has not taken up fashion courses, yet has already her own swimwear line called Baileylicious. Her design would invest on wearability, regardless of status, race, and body type.

Klart Lim

Klart Lim, who has took fashion courses in The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco,  has also launched her own brand called KMBRLY. Klart’s designs aim to empower women with more confidence by enhancing their natural beauty. She also values individuality and that the clothes must  be able to translate the personality of the wearer.

Renan Pacson, whose style is defined as fluid and versatile. His inspiration stems from Mother Nature, and his designs optimize use of geometry and rare combinations. His design philosophy speaks of luxury — which does not necessarily entails costs, but rather, of comfort.

Let’s all look forward to the pieces these five designers will cook up for the market. And since I love buying online, I’m sure I’ll be watching out for the 1st of October, when the collections of these five designers will hit the HYD Online Shop. I’m excited for the collection of Marc Blanco — who I’ve known for quite some time now, as well as Bailey Dava, who’s an independent contestant. HYD provides a win-win situation for everyone– the fashion industry who will definitely benefit from the innovations and new designs, the trend-hungry consumers, as well as these talented young designers in need of a break.

For more updates on the HYP Fashion Face Off, you can follow HYD’s Tumblr or add HYD’s Multiply account. Get to know the five young designer contestants by watching their interviews and videos on HYD’s Youtube Channel.

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