Global Filipino Fashion Designers

By: Marge Santos
fashion designer

Fashion designers play an important role in the world since they portray a significant role in creating people’s looks. They also have been making noteworthy contributions to the cultural and social environment. Fashion designers create the specific look of a particular garment that normally starts with an idea of how it would look like. They conceptualize the garment from its shape, color, fabric, trimmings, to other aspects creating the whole look. This year, the fashion industry in the Philippines is moving towards sustainability, individuality and innovation. There is a heightened focus on the use of eco-friendly materials and the practices of recycling and reducing waste.

There are a number of Filipino fashion designers who have created a niche in the world of fashion. Filipino designers have been making waves in the global fashion scene and have penetrated Hollywood and Cannes as well as various global pageants.

Famous Filipino Designers

They are the cream of the crop. They are the Filipino fashion designers who occupy the topmost tier when it comes to the fashion industry in the Philippines. They had made their presence felt in the global fashion scene as well. Likened to these buzzworthy designers, real estate Philippines in recent times has been creating a buzz, with foreign investors’ preference of investing in condos.

In image: Francis Libiran
Image from: https://www.preview.ph

  1. Michael Cinco. He is a Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer who have dressed up Hollywood celebrities, clients from Singapore, London and Cannes. His gowns were worn in pageants by a number of hopeful candidates. His pieces embodies luxury and celebrates the quote, “A Michael Cinco woman is moneyed. She may not be born into royalty but she better be married into one. My clothes appear seamless. They look heavy and yet they float. They look expensive simply because they are.”
  2. Rajo Laurel. He is a lover of fashion even in his young age. His brainchild, House of Laurel, is famous for its ready-to-wear outfits. Although heavily influenced by his Filipino culture and heritage, he aims to maintain a global appeal.
  3. Francis Libiran. He became famous for his ability to fuse together architecture and fashion design that resulted to creating an art deco in the local fashion industry. He utilizes the patterns and precision rooted from architecture and translates them into the creation of an extraordinary piece of garment. His name is loud in both local and international fashion scene as he already dressed Tyra Banks and was featured in America’s Top Model 18th cycle with his Hello Kitty line where his collection is now housed in the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
  4. Mich Dulce. She is more known for being both a milliner or someone who sells women’s hats, and a corsetiere or someone who fits and makes corsets. However, Mich is ready to take on any customized garment requested of her. Her style zeroes in on the fusion of traditional Filipino and the flair of modern Philippines. Her unique style gave her the ability to modernize the baro’t saya that it can be worn in recent times. In 2019, she dressed up Anne Curtis in a Dulce original gown with Anne wearing the modern baro’t saya while her hair was adorned with a tiny hat with the same color of her gown.
  5. Mak Tumang. He would always be known for creating the iconic gowns worn by Catriona Gray in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant. However, his love for fashion started from the time when his grandmother is still into dressmaking and he had the pleasure of watching her. His beginnings were in the form of designing sets and vestments for religious statues. However, each of Mak Tumang’s piece in his collection is truly a work of art. The craftsmanship involved in every piece that he makes is truly remarkable and extraordinary. His designs may be described as having elaborate designs, intricate embroidery and detailed lacework. He masterfully work with tulles, lace appliques and crystal accents exhibiting sophisticated yet daring details.

10 Filipino Designers Who Dominated the Miss Universe Pageant

It is noteworthy to know that there are a number of Filipino fashion designers who are now being sought after around the globe. This is specially true in the Miss Universe pageant and other pageants as well as on prestigious events in Hollywood and Cannes.

Filipino fashion designers became the preferred choice of delegates from all over the world. As the candidates sashay during the evening gown competition, it is somehow likened to swinging the Filipino flag. This is a proud moment for some Filipino designers as the candidates showcase some of the most iconic and stellar gowns in the Miss Universe Pageant. Filipino designers are able to conceptualize stunning gown designs that are reflective of the Philippines’ rich culture and natural resources. Just like how Real Estate Philippines is right now. The architectural design and concepts in designing homes and condominium properties are thoroughly thought off marrying modern amenities with the beauty and preservation of nature.

  1. Albert Andrada. Who will ever forget the dazzling blue gown worn by Pia Wurtzbach during the Ms. Universe pageant in 2015? It was the first Filipino made gown worn in the pageant. Albert’s recognizable creation was highlighted when Pia won the Ms. Universe title in 2015. However, Albert already had been known for dressing up the Philippines’ elites, Hollywood celebrities and even Arab royalties. Dressing up Pia in the 2015 Miss Universe pageant is an additional laurel to his name in the fashion industry.
  2. Mak Tumang. He is another notable Filipino designer who made a name in the 2018 Ms. Universe pageant. With his extraordinary talent, he came up with gowns for then Philippines’ delegate, Catriona Gray. One of the iconic gowns worn during the 2018 pageant was called Waling-Waling. He got his inspiration from a rare Philippine orchid which Mak considered to be the “Queen of Philippine Flowers” which is only fitting to be worn by a queen herself. Mak designed each of the gowns worn by Catriona Gray with meaningful stories behind them. In addition to the Waling-Waling, he came up with “Reflection”, a gown Catriona wore during her final walk. He got his inspiration from the Philippine Eagle when he conceptualized the design for this gown. In his design, he exhibited the eagle’s ability to soar high yet is able to fly so low that its reflection can be seen from the Philippines’ blue seas. Another one was entitled “Pearl of the Orient”, a popular name given to the Philippines.
  3. Michael Cinco. This Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer have created gowns worn in international pageants by a number of hopeful candidates. His pieces gives the impression of royalty befitting a lady crowned as the most beautiful lady in the universe.
  4. Furne One. Another Dubai-based Filipino designer, Furne One Amato, is responsible for dressing up Rabiya Mateo during the 2020 Miss Universe pageant. He has a global reputation of having an excellent talent in fashion. His designs manifest a seasoned talent with a fresh look. He is popular among major female popstar today. His creations were already worn by Ariana Grande in her “God is a Woman” music video.
  5. Rian Fernandez. One of the renowned Filipino designer for his bridal gowns is now making name as an artist of numerous beauty pageants. The designer who had been showcasing his talent in Miss World Nicaragua, Miss Earth, Mutya ng Pilipinas, Miss Grand Thailand 2017, and have dressed several Miss Universe candidates from 2016, 2017, and 2019 had just created another exquisite gown for the 71st Miss Universe pageant last year for the crowned Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel while dressing up another Miss Universe candidate, Manita Hang from Cambodia. His creations were a reflection of his love of arts because of an expressive quality. His gowns depict either the nature of the candidate’s country or the candidate’s personal style.
  6. Kirsten Regalado. She is an accomplished Fil-Am fashion designer creating national costumes for Miss Universe delegates. Her works manifest the art of storytelling through fashion. Her distinctive couture had been experienced by 1,000 titleholders over the past decade. She gets inspiration from nature in conceptualizing her remarkable collection. Her happy and grateful disposition, which may be traced back to her roots as she hailed from Negros, moves her to create something which would evoke happiness from her clients. Furthermore, she advocates green innovation as she shows her love for nature by patronizing sustainable and non-polluting materials.
  7. Benj Leguiab IV. This Filipino fashion designer who hails from Apalit, Pampanga specializes in both bridal and evening gowns. Another rising go-to designer of Filipina beauty queens, he is able to create masterpieces in a short period of time. He is known for designs that incorporate bejewelled curved patterns resulting to gowns resembling a crown or a tiara. In the 2019 ABS-CBN ball, he dolled up Kim Chiu with an exquisite a Long Sleeves Filipiñana Barong called Traje De Magdalena embellished with hand-sewn pearls and other sparkling jewels. One of his gowns, “Three Stars and a Sun” marsala red gown was worn by both Alyssa Muhlach for Reina Hispanoamericana Philippines 2018 and Francesca Taruc, the newly crowned Miss Tourism World Intercontinental 2019 in their respective pageants.
  8. Jian Lasala. Another Filipino fashion designer known for his bridal and evening gowns entered the international fashion scene as an international brand-Lasala in 2016. He fad been creating gowns for international delegates for the Miss Universe pageant since 2016 and had been a constant presence in other various global pageants until now. At present, he has collaborated with Shein which allowed his designs to go global.
  9. Joel Escober. This Manila-based Filipino fashion designer was known for creating a 13-15 collection of evening gowns for the finalists of Miss Universe Japan. He gets his inspiration from flora for his design aesthetic and he often describes his designs as “soft, feminine and elegant with a little fierce direction”. This is evident in the way he masterfully use lace, appliqués, and other embellishments. Many businesses were affected during the pandemic and he was not spared from it and had to close his atelier. However, he used this time to shift focus from designing bespoke gowns to plants. Now, he is able to combine his love for plants and of fashion and is able draw inspiration from these two passions creating fusion.
  10. Joey Galon. He is a Fil-Am fashion designer who can be best described as a designer of couture evening gowns for pageant competitions and special occasions. In 2019, he was featured in Avant Garde magazine alongside the gowns he had created citing that he was able to build a successful reputation for designing gowns for some of the most beautiful women in the world. The gowns he created have been visible on The Oscars red carpet, televised Miss USA Pageant, Miss Universe in Thailand, Miss Earth in Vienna, Austria & Miss Tourism in China and among others. He showcased his extraordinary talent by being one of the finalists of the US reality show, “24 Hour Catwalk” and later on became a familiar name in the international fashion scene when he landed as one of the finalists of the show. In the pageant scene, his evening gowns were worn by Miss Universe Belize and Miss Universe Ireland, Miss Universe Thailand and a number of Miss USA candidates.


It is the Filipino’s pride to have fashion designers dressing up significant people in the whole world. Whether it is during the New York fashion week, Oscar’s red carpet or international pageants, it is noteworthy that Filipino designers are able to showcase their creative talents in the global scene. The local fashion industry have produced budding designers that will soon form part of the international fashion scene as well. The remarkable talent of Filipino designers had been able to pass the global standards. Hence, famous celebrities, royal families as well as pageant delegates are confident in wearing creations of Filipino designers.

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