LONDON, UK - While the world was busy with news of the Oscars, one of our homegrown talents, Ken Samudio, was quietly filing a dispatch of his own. After making it into Vogue, the bag designer bagged the runner-up spot in the Best Designer category at the International Fashion Showcase at the Brewer Street Car Park on Sunday. He outshined 109 other designers from nearly 30 countries with his line of aswang-inspired bags made from recyclable plastic beads.
Ken Samudio at Brewer Street Car Park, London, UK
And while the title of Best Designer went to Colombia’s Linda Ibanez Coronado, Ken, along with fellow Filipinos Jaggy Glarino, Renan Pacson, Michelline Syjuco,Tony Evan and John Herrera, was very happy with the reviews that the Filipino contingent got at the trade show.
We caught up with the designer of the hour (at 5:36am UK time, to be exact) and the jet-lagged talent graciously talked about his experiences, and who among Vogue's elite kept coming back to Team Philippines' booth.
Congratulations! We heard about the good news! How does it feel to win first runner up?
“I’m not actually the winner, I’m just the runner up. It still hasn't sunk in.”
You’re so humble! You are still a winner. How’s the feedback over there?
“Well, if we’re gonna base the win via feedback, we (the Philippine team) won via landslide.”
Oh wow! How come?
“Our booth was the most attended. While the other booths were empty, ours was always busy. They said ours was the most exhibit-y, staying true to the theme. Everybody kept on commenting that our space is the best by far!”
Is there anyone in particular who came up to you? What did he/she say?
"Anna Orsini, the head of the British Fashion Council kept coming back to my space and telling me my work is the best. She got important people to visit my booth to see my collection, then acted like a promoter, explaining the materials and inspiration. Also, Sarah Mower of Vogue US is a big fan of my work and Michelline (Syjuco)’s."
How’s the rest of the team?
"Each of us got good inquiries. Everybody got rave reviews."
The Pinoy posse
How would you compare the previous IFS from this year’s?
"This year is entirely different from the previous year, this time around we were more prepared and the collections were more cohesive. Also, more countries participated and everyone stepped up. All the collections looked very professional."
What collection was your personal favorite?
"I was in awe with Poland’s collection. It was a combination of minimalism and hand embroidery, simple silhouettes with impeccable detailing. Very wearable, yet with couture construction."
The highlight of the showcase so far?
"I have a query from Philip Treacy’s agent. He’s probably the best milliner in the world. He will set a meeting with me to talk about making costumes, like the one for Grace Jones’ tour."
Tomorrow, Ken will be flying to Milan to take part in Vogue Italia’s Vogue Talents and then to Florence for the Pitti Immagine Fashion fair. Best watch this space.
Photos from Ken Samudio on Facebook and http://design.britishcouncil.org/.