Pablo Cabahug is celebrating his decade-long career in the most meaningful way. On November 4th, he's launching his 10th year collection with a benefit dinner for his alma mater, Colegio de San Juan Letran. He's donating funds to aid in "the construction of the Letran Quadricentennial Building to commemorate 400 years of relentlessly pursuing academic excellence." Additionally, Pablo shares, "A portion of the [collection] sales will be donated to the Letran scholarship, so we can continue to give back even after the show is over."
It is with this geniune and humble heart that kept Pablo going strong in the fickle fashion industry. Reminiscing his pursuit of excellence throughout his fashion career, Pablo looks back and remembers with happy nostalgia everything that he has accomplished as a designer. The PEFTA 2012 alum starts his recollection from his humble beginnings at Look of Style Awards (that led him to a scholarship at Central Saint Martins in London), his apprenticeship under another Filipino fashion great, Randy Ortiz, to making it on his own.
Ushering us into a new era of his fashion career, Pablo presents a 50-piece collection called Rayons Du Soleil (Rays of the Sun). The designer explains, "I wanted to revisit my most memorable collections and reimagine them with a romantic feel and the ease of different hues and emotions from sunrise to sunset." And in this imagery, Pablo exemplifies life's eternal endowment of new opportunities. "To fall and rise again, to live another day and start anew."
Preview got a chance to catch up with Pablo Cabahug to get to know more about his career in fashion design, his signature aesthetic, his brand new collection, and more. Read his interview below.
How would you describe your design philosophy and aesthetic?
"I still believe in classic silhouettes. I do simple and classic pieces updated with just the right infusion of trends. I want clothes that define. A Pablo Cabahug woman is a woman who is fashionable but not trendy."
You’ve been in the business for 10 years. How has your style evolved through the years?
"Designing for a decade, I would believe I already formed my design aesthetic. You will definitely see my design DNA with the clothes I make. I try to be make it current by injecting new silhouettes and treatments with my classic aesthetic in championing the woman's body."
Can you still remember how you started? What motivated you to be a designer?
"I started in the industry as a fashion assistant to Director Jackie Aquino, and on the side I was an apprentice to fashion designer Randy Ortiz, which gave me an overview of the fashion industry. I was with them for a time since I didnt have any formal education in fashion. Realizing I've already learned the ins and outs of the business and the basic principles in fashion design, I decided to put up my own shop in 2009."
At what point did you realize that you’ve made it in the industry?
"I think to be acknowledged by some people in the industry that I look up to made me realize I have a calling in designing. Winning a Design competition in 2010 and to be included in Preview's Emerging Talent Award (PEFTA) made me think that I am really living my dream to become a designer.
What do you consider to be your strength as a designer? On what areas are you looking at to improve?
"My mentor Randy Ortiz would always tell me that my strength is really on womenswear. I would like to improve in creating a men's line. Everyday is really a learning process for me. There is so much room for improvement in this business."
Can you tell us one memorable moment, or perhaps your most treasured experience as a designer?
"Winning Look of Style in 2010 paved the way for my scholarship in the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London. That experience helped me define my fashion aesthetic and gave me the formal academic understanding of my passion in fashion design."
Let's talk about your anniversary collection. What was your inspiration behind it?
"Rayons du Soleil is a celebration of my decade in the industry. I've revisited my memorable collections and reimagined them with a romantic feel and ease of the different hues and emotions from sunrise to sundown; that, for me, symbolizes the never ending opportunities in life as it rises, falls, and rises again to live another day and start anew. This is also me telling you my love story of my journey in the fashion world that I truly love."
How does it sum up or exemplify your design philosophy?
"You will definitely see my design DNA with this collection, but [I also injected] new silhouettes and treatments with my classic aesthetic of championing the woman's body complemented by a few menswear [pieces] to complete that sexy, easy luxe romantic feel of my clothes."
Do you have a favorite from this collection?
"I have a few. The bubble skirts, the sexy velvets, and the brocade pieces with pleating detail."
What do you consider to be your signature style as a designer?
"That would be the cutouts and sheer gowns that [scream] sexy but [are still] modest in showing one's body."
All pieces from the upcoming Rayons Du Soleil collection will be made available on Pablo’s website, pablocabahug.com, and will also be available in his atelier located at 8818 Kamagong St. cor. Sampaloc St., San Antonio Village, Makati.