Legendary Filipino fashion designer Ben Farrales has regrettably just passed away. Ben’s grandniece, Leana Farrales-Carmona, broke the unfortunate news via a Facebook post on her private account on the evening of March 6, which reads: “It is with deep regret and sadness that I wish to inform everyone of the demise of my grand uncle…in his lifetime recognized as the Dean of Philippine Fashion.”
The famed designer, fondly known as Mang Ben, was 88 years old at the time of his passing. A force to be reckoned with in the world of Philippine fashion, Ben entered the industry in the 1950s, and has since become a hallmark for creative excellence in the field over the years. Not to mention he's held over 200 fashion shows, both locally and internationally.
Read his grandniece’s full post below.
The iconic couturier was best known for incorporating indigenous fabrics into more mainstream fashion designs. In fact, his Muslim-inspired ternos have practically become trademark staples at his runway shows. A way, perhaps, to continuously look back and commemorate his time in Mindanao during his youth, in the course of his illustrious career.
Apart from his designs, Ben helped hone the talents of then young local designers such as Danilo Franco and Goullee Gorospe. Of course, he’s also dressed industry favorites such as Sarah Meier, Charo Ronquillo, Marina Benipayo, Apples Aberin, Tweetie de Leon, and Melanie Marquez, who’ve all modeled for him in his prime.
Heartbroken by the news, a number of his colleagues and industry friends have taken to social media to express their grief over the legend’s passing. “It was an honor, Mang Ben Farrales ...rest peacefully in God's loving arms,” wrote actress, Marina Benipayo.
“Rest in peace Manong Ben Farrales. You will be sorely missed,” posted fellow fashion designer Francis Libiran.
Actress Teresa Loyzaga remembered Ben with photos of her wearing the wedding dress he’d crafted for her special day. “Ninong Ben Farrales. Thank you for being a wonderful Ninong to me. You will be missed. I love you! Rest easy. My Wedding gown. Still fits! You made this Ninong. Thank you!” read her caption.
Ben was known to be a loyal volunteer and beneficiary of the Philippine Red Cross. He’s also received multiple accolades, including one from the Cultural Center of the Philippines for his contribution to Philippine fashion.
Rest in peace, Mang Ben.