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Friday, May 24, 2024

A new era of Philippine Fashion: Filipino designers are about to take over New York with ‘Filipinxt’

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Led by Filipinos for Filipinos and the world, the grand fashion presentation brings Manila to Manhattan as it celebrates Pinoy style and culture

Being one of the major fashion capitals in the world, New York has been a dream destination for many Filipino designers. Creativity thrives everywhere in the Big Apple, where the industry’s biggest brands and personalities make their mark. That’s why for many, showcasing their works in New York guarantees to put their name on the map.

It’s a belief that empowers New York-based fashion designer Bessie Besana and restaurateur Rob Mallari-D’Auria. The two are on a mission to open doors of opportunity in New York for Filipino designers with “Filipinxt,” a fashion event putting Filipino style and heritage at the forefront.

“Our goal is to bring the ingenuity of Filipino talent and, hopefully, get them recognized by the mainstream market,” Bessie says. “We want to bring this to the New York Fashion Week scene.”

“‘Filipinxt’ is a vehicle to give Filipino artists of all sorts a platform for a global career,” Rob adds.

The show will take place at the historic 4W43 Building on May 5. Designed by Clarence S. Luce for David H. King Jr. between 1890 and 1891, the landmark is a place known by New Yorkers. It offers the perfect venue to spotlight the best of Filipino fashion with its Renaissance Revival architecture and innovative event spaces. With its location being a stone’s throw away from Times Square in midtown Manhattan, “Filipinxt” already made waves with the launch of its digital billboard at the iconic spot, giving everyone a first glimpse of how bold and revolutionary the show will be for Filipino fashion.

For its maiden show, “Filipinxt” will present the collections of four Filipino designers, whose creations have captured the essence of local creativity that the world deserves to see. Leading the pack is Bessie, who made his mark by creating dreamy silhouettes that celebrate the beauty of the human form. Also set to grace the runway of “Filipinxt” are the minimalist and contemporary works of Manila-born Los Angeles-based designer Veejay Floresca. Davao’s Wilson Limon of NiñoFranco will dazzle New York with his modern play on local tapestries. Completing the list is Michael Leyva, the designer behind the classic and opulent pieces that have been seen all over the globe.

“Filipinxt”—a play of words combining the gender-neutral -x suffix with “Filipino” and “next”—is all about representing Filipino creativity on all fronts. Apart from Bessie and Rob, also on board is Yancy Trinidad, an experienced producer and creative director. He will be directing “Filipinxt,” which will feature a grand twin runway to best present the collections. Meanwhile, Filipino documentarian Kenneth Anderson will chronicle what goes on and behind the runway to give everyone an all-access view of “Filipnxt,” from its creation down to its final moments.

“We are not only showcasing the designers because the director of our show is also a Filipino,” Bessie muses. “We are also tapping other Filipino talents in the community. We are not only limiting ourselves to the Filipino designers. We want the Filipino talents in different areas to be showcased in this show.”

“This is the time for Filipino designers and brands to step up, to be on par with New York Fashion Week,” Rob says. “We have the talent; we have what it takes to conquer the global stage. We just have to do it right. With the people we have now in ‘Filipinxt,’ we can make it happen.”

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