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Designer Spotlight: Ken Samudio

Intricate headpieces from a rising accessory designer.
Designer Spotlight: Ken Samudio Intricate headpieces from a rising accessory designer.

Young talent Ken Samudio is the only accessory designer in the PEFTA roster this year. Embarking on the world of accessory design with no formal training in fashion, this emerging designer started a brand of headpieces, hats, and accessories called Matthew & Melka in 2008.

"I was inspired to create glamorous, Old Hollywood-inspired pieces because I saw a void in the head accessories market in the country," Ken says. "Soon, magazine editors and celebrities started taking notice of my creations." He has since catered to personalities such as Mariel Rodriguez, Kris Aquino and Anne Curtis, to name a few.

"I have always loved art," Ken shares. "I joined and won painting, sketching and even singing competitions since I was a kid." Fashion seemed like a natural progression for the young creative, who describes his aesthetic as "classic with a quirky and playful feel." He loves to use unorthodox materials for his eye-catching designs, imbuing them with a lot of quirk and personality. "I believe fashion should not be taken too seriously," he says. "It's supposed to be fun and should make the wearer feel confident and happy. My pieces don't compete for attention but instead complement the woman wearing it."

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For the PEFTA fashion show, Ken presented a 6-piece repertoire of Marie Antoinette-inspired headpieces sculpted out of paper. "I was inspired by the over-the-top lifestyle of Marie Antoinette and the French court life of the mid-1700s, but I wanted to give it a modern and relevant twist so I made these grandiose headpieces utilizing the most mundane of materials, which is paper. It is a nod to the historical extravagance of Marie Antoinette and all the attendant impressions that come with being associated with royalty and beauty."

"More than anything," he continues, "I was inspired by the irony in the interpretation of a French pompadour—which symbolizes extravagance and luxury—interpreted in paper, the most humble and ephemeral of all materials." To accompany the all-white designs, Ken also presented neckpieces and accessories made of crystals hand-painted in neon colors.

"I am extremely honored to be part of  Preview's pool of Designers to Watch this year, because there are a lot of creative and original designers in the country but not everybody is given the chance to reach a wider audience by Preview," Ken enthuses. "It just goes to prove that as long as you are passionate with what you do, success and recognition will follow."

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Click on the photo gallery to view Ken Samudio's collection for PEFTA.

Click here for Ken Samudio's Designer Directory.

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