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Paul Cabral Designs Barongs for the 21 APEC Leaders

Paul Cabral Designs Barongs for the 21 APEC Leaders Here’s a closer look at what the world leaders will be wearing.

Hold your fire. It seems like we won’t be seeing any hint of last year’s Mao suits from the APEC China Summit that had Star Trek fans raising eyebrows. 

Staying true with the tradition of dressing the attendees of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the host country’s national garment, local designer Paul Cabral was given the task to whip up something easy and breezy for the 21 world leaders to wear for the customary family photo. The result: a very traditional Barong Tagalog, each uniquely embroidered with symbols of the wearer’s country.


Having started on the project in April, Paul’s extensive research on each country led him to the creation of intricate designs made specifically for each leader. The Sultan of Brunei’s barong, for example, was inspired by the country’s astonishing mosques. In a statement released on the APEC website, the designer says:

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“Our provision of formal wear for the world leaders is reflective of our renowned hospitality and conveys our people’s warm welcome.”

We can’t wait to see #APECHotties Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto donning their barongs! 

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