Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Local Designers to Showcase at the AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016 Championships

Filipino designers have long garnered global attention for their fresh takes in fashion. Collections featuring indigenous textiles and Filipino themes have conquered many runways and continue to do so as more local designers emerge in the game.

What aspiring designers need is a chance to showcase their designs. AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016 did just that. Now on its second year, the design competition recently went to Manila for the first time to look for three Filipino designers who will compete in the grand finals to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August.

The judges, after sifting through hundreds of sketches, have chosen Mary Camille Veloso, 24, and Bea Samson, 28, of Slim’s Fashion and Arts School, and Ron Xavier Santos, 24, from the Fashion Institute of Design and Arts (Davao) to compete against 12 semifinalists from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Panel of judges during the recently held AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016 audition in the Philippines is composed of (L-R) VivyYusof, Founder of FashionValet; Anthony Cesar Ramirez, Filipino fashion designer; Andrew Tan, Founder of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready to Wear; Captain Rolando Ching, Chief Pilot for Training of Philippines AirAsia; and Patrick Galang, Fashion Editor of L’Officiel Manila.  
Prestigious Design Competition

Some 185 aspirants submitted their entries, which were judged by local and international fashion experts and recognized professionals.The panel of judges consists of Anthony Cesar Ramirez, Filipino fashion designer; Patrick Galang, fashion editor of L’Officiel Manila; Captain Rolando Ching, chief pilot for training, Philippines AirAsia; Andrew Tan, founder of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready to Wear and Vivy Yusof, founder of FashionValet.

Cash prizes and big recognition await the winners of the design competition. The collections of all shortlisted contestants will be showcased at the KL Fashion Week Ready to Wear 2016. They will also get the chance to become ‘AirAsia’s Most Promising Young Designer 2016’.

Also up for grabs are prizes worth at least Php4 million (RM350,000) including a confirmed show segment to showcase his or her full collection at KLFW RTW 2017; mentorship from the KLFW RTW team; at least Php250,000 (RM25,000) sponsored by FashionValet to enable winner to create a capsule collection which will be sold on; and 150,000 AirAsia BIG Points sponsored by AirAsia BIG, AirAsia or AirAsia X flights, among others.

Festive Gathering
Winners of the Philippine leg of AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016 are (2nd from left) Mary Camille Veloso, Ron Xavier Santos and Bea Samson. They will be competing against chosen designers from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore for the grand finals of AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016 to be held in Kuala Lumpur in August.  Veloso and Samson are graduates of Slims Fashion and Art School while Santos is from Fashion Institute of Design and Arts Davao.

The participants faced a tedious selection process. All the designs were carefully studied by the panel of judges. The jury also took their time in knowing the background of the designers and the ideas behind their designs.

After hours of deliberation, the judges finally came up with the top three contestants. The announcement was made during a cocktail party graced by bloggers, media people, designers, and models. Guests enjoyed lively music and overflowing food and drinks. AirAsia also gave away four round-trip tickets to support the Filipino talents in Malaysia.

Ready-to-Wear Clothes: Future of Philippine Fashion

The top three contestants readily shared their thoughts when asked about their vision for the Philippine fashion landscape.

Santos said that he has a specific vision, that is to veer away from the current trend which is couture or bespoke clothing. “I want to stick out from the traditional. Filipino designers ordinarily do couture or ready-to-wear. I want to push for ready-to-wear clothes. It is the thing right now,” he says.

Samson concurred with Santos' statement. She shares, “It feels like it’s not as embraced as in the other countries. Being a designer who wants to do ready-to-wear, I would really like other countries to realize that we can go beyond the customized, made to order style. I want the Philippines to make it big in the global platform so that other countries will acknowledge homegrown craftsmanship.”

The contestants will get more exposure in the months leading up to the grand finals. According to AirAsia’s commercial brand manager, David Viray, the contestants will be seen in various shows and video series. Follow AirAsia’s Youtube Channel ( for webisodes featuring the journey of all participants for the region-wide AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016, or follow the hashtag #AirAsiaRunway on other social media channels such as Facebook ( and Twitter (

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