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Designer Spotlight: Randy Ortiz

ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S ADMIRED DESIGNERS IS SET TO CONQUER THE GLOBAL SCENE.
Designer Spotlight: Randy Ortiz ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S ADMIRED DESIGNERS IS SET TO CONQUER THE GLOBAL SCENE.

He was pert of the young breed of designers offered by local retail pioneer, Sari-Sari Store, in the early 1990s. He's built a thriving made-to-order and bridal wear business since, and today, Randy Ortiz has gone full circle as Creative Director of Myth, a new fashion lifestyle store at Greenbelt 5.

His designs have been worn by some of the most glamorous women, from Lucy Torres-Gomez, Tweetie De Leon-Gonzales, Annette Coronel, and Kris Aquino-who favor his beauty detailed tops, feminine evening dresses, and pretty, tailored pieces.

Randy also makes well-fitting pants and jackets, capturing a huge male clientele as well, proving he has conquered menswear and women's wear with equal success. “I've always been fascinated doing men's clothes. That's how I started in the industry. There's so much to explore with men's fashion,'” he says, “and it could be very lucrative as a business.”

This combination of business sense and artistry has made him one of the country's most admired designers. At Myth, Randy is responsible for conceptualizing the store's changing collections, encompassing clothing, art, and lifestyle products. “Retail business has definitely evolved,” he says. “It's more design-based and more local designer brands are being developed now.”

In his gray-and-white contemporary minimalist flat, Randy is literally most at home, working and resting. Although he has settled down a bit from his partying days, he is still excited about the future, and conquering the local, and hopefully, global retail scene.

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

I believe in creating clothes design for a market. Fashion is meant to be consumed and appreciated.

SHOULD DESIGN BE CONSISTED OR CONSTANTLY CHANGING?

I believe that's one secret for longevity in this business is being consistent with your sensibilities but forever evolving.

HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED AS A DESIGNER?

I've been constantly doing my homework. I still do a lot of research and experimentation. The design concept is basically the same, but how it is translated to actual clothes has changed a lot in terms of applications, silhouette, and detail. Travel is also a major factor in exposing us to a more global perspective of fashion in terms of techniques and trends.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?

I get it everywhere, from people around me-from art, people, and fashion icons that have made their mark in the creative world.

WHO ARE YOUR STYLE ICONS?

Women like Audrey Hepburn, Lady Diana, and Jackie O. have fascinated me because they are inspirational when it comes to fashion. Designers like YSL, Givenchy, and the present crop of designers like Armani, Prada, Calvin Klein, etc.

But it was really my mother who was my ultimate style icon. She was a politician's wife, so I grew up seeing her in her cute ternos, cocktail dresses, her bags and shoes. That's what really got me interested in fashion.

WHAT DID YOU STUDY IN SCHOOL?

I took up Hotel and Restaurant management in DLSU. But even back then I would really save, just to be able to have something made by Marden Iglesias or Bubum Melgar.

Ten years out of college, I got into a small backyard business among friends, in the garage of a friend's house. Katrina Ponce Enrile was part of it. I organized it and bought machines; it was just a creative collaboration. Then eventually I began designing, I still make clothes for [Katrina] up to now.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?

Shop and eat. I'm a shopaholic. When I do my shopping, I buy everything from a bag, to a pair of jeans, to things for home. I collect bed sheets-I buy minimum 400-thread count of Egyptian cotton sateen-which I have mostly in grays and whites.

FAVORITE SHOPPING DESTINATION?

Still the U.S., because I love to go to the outlets. I can go extremes as a shopper, buying the cheapest to the most expensive. But I have also treated myself to special pieces like my favorite Gucci calf leather oversized tote. I also have my huge Balenciaga that works like a men's bag. My best friend (fashion show director ) Jackie Aquino got the brown, I got the black. I always have to have a kadamay when I buy.

FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?

I like going to Bangkok with friends. For me, Thailand is a haven. I look for best buys, and shop for fabrics and indulge in Thai food. I also love Boracay, Davao, Cebu, Baguio, Pagudpud. I would also like to travel to the Europe next-revisit places like Paris, Spain, Rome where everything has a meaning, every texture is fascinating.

WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?

I love dance music. Also a bit of house, Classical, and Jazz. I like listening to music of the '70s. I'm very bad at remembering artists and titles.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO ENTERTAIN?

I host a lot of dinners for my friends. I cook a lot. My specialties are adobo with bagoong and eggplant, bangus lumpia, and eggplant salad, brown rice cooked in olive oil.

WHAT DO YOU COLLECT?

I've collected watches for more that 10 years. I like Rolex, Bulgari, Omega, IWC. I have a Cartier Pasha and Santos. I have about eight to ten pieces. I think hard before buying a piece. It's usually my birthday of Christmas gift to myself.

BEST PIECE OF CLOTHING WOMEN SHOULD HAVE?

The little black dress.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

My re-entry in ready-to-wear, although the transition was quite difficult after doing made-to-order for more than a decade.

WHAT'S IN YOUR LATEST COLLECTION FOR SUMMER 2008?

It's a luxe resort collection perfect for travel and leisure-brown was a major color inspiration. I used beige, caramel, accented with icy colors-ice blue, ice pink, etc. I added a strong hint of leather detail to spice up the clothes. The fabrics-cottons and linens, stretch fabrics-are manipulated with embroidery and other applications.

Click here to see Randy Ortiz' contact information.

Click here to see photos from his gala show in 2008.


—Joanna Francisco

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