Exactly a year ago, Preview officially launched its Emerging Fashion Talent Awards (PEFTA) and began the search for the five young design students who would make it to the 2011 list of Designers to Watch. As their official Corporate Social Responsibility program, PEFTA aims to help jumpstart the design careers of promising designers by providing mentorship, seed money, and a venue for them to meet industry insiders comprised of big name designers, retailers, suppliers, and fashion schools.
From L-R: Cesar Gaupo, Pauline Juan, Daryl Chang, Ken Samudio, Inno Sotto, Jot Losa, Kristel Yulo, Xernan Orticio, Erika Adona, Seph Bagasao, Dan Duran, Renz Reyes, Riza Bulawan, Robby Carmona. Photo by Ryan Ong
The winners of this year’s PEFTA competition—Erika Adona, Seph Bagasao, Riza Bulawan, Dan Duran, and Renz Reyes—together with four young, upcoming designers who’ve been on Preview’s radar—Jot Losa, Xernan Orticio, Ken Samudio, and Kristel Yulo—presented 6-piece collections at an intimate salon show held at the Manila Peninsula’s Rigodon Ballroom.
Xernan Orticio, photo by Ryan Ong. Erika Adona, photo by Yayay de Castro for Style Bible Digital
The five students got a taste of the pre-show frenzy having to style their clothes with accessories from SM Accessories and shoes from Parisian, giving makeup pegs to the Revlon team and working with Lourd Ramos and his team from Creations Salon for the hair, managing a quick change of clothes backstage and simply getting over a case of nerves. As for Jot, Xernan, Ken, and Kristel, who’ve already presented collections in Philippine Fashion Week, it was easy to observe the camaraderie the young designers had; a good sign for the next wave of big names in country.
While the nine were already awarded with the prestige of being in this year’s list, two other special prizes were given to two designers that night—the opportunity to work with Preview magazine on their January-February 2012 cover and an invitation to present a collection during the next run of Fashion Watch in 2012. On the panel of judges that evening were Pauline Juan and Daryl Chang of Preview, designers Inno Sotto and Cesar Gaupo, and top fashion show director Robby Carmona and they were asked to score each collection based on creativity, technical construction, and wearability. In the end, it was Xernan whose creations will be seen on the cover of the first issue of 2012 and it’s Erika whose collection we’ll be seeing in Fashion Watch.
Models wearing designs by Renz Reyes, Erika Adona, Xernan Orticio, Jot Losa, and Dan Duran. Photo by Ryan Ong
There to support the first Preview Emerging Talent Awards were designers like Jojie Lloren, Ivarluski Aseron, Joey Samson, James Reyes, Louis Claparols, Gian Romano, Tippi Ocampo, Janina Dizon (who was actually wearing a look by Xernan), and more. Also spotted were fashion bloggers Laureen Uy, 2010 Designer to Watch Camille Co, Alyssa Lapid, and Izabelli Selma.
On the retail front, Roxanne Farillas of Plains & Prints, Sheree Gotuaco of Freeway, Ensembles and Solo, as well as Alan Vianzon and Robi Lolin of Folded & Hung were easy to spot. Ruby Gan of MYTH, who added Nixon Marquez to her roster after last year’s PEFTA launch, mentioned two of this year’s designer’s piqued her interest. Meanwhile, The Ramp’s Xandra Ramos-Padilla, who had 2010 Designer to Watch Vania Romoff design a capsule collection for prom, said she was looking forward to scouting for new talent again this time.
The new crop of talented young designers is proof enough of the success of PEFTA 2011. The search for next year’s final five has already begun and letters have been sent to the metro's fashion design schools for participation. Students must be nominated by their respective schools in order to qualify.