Latest Stories

Albert Andrada–designer to Arab royals, now dressing up Manila


MISS Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon in Albert Andrada; Schutz pink stud sandals from Adora

One afternoon on a laid-back weekend, Dubai-bred designer Albert Andrada sat on his swivel chair. Three sheets of new bridal sketches lay on his table, his pens and ruler scattered on the side.

Dressed in black from head to toe, with the exception of his brown wayfarers, Andrada was the picture of someone with a firm grasp on his passion—luxe wear, as he would later describe his creations.

Before returning to the country, Andrada had established a glittering career in the Middle East as a favored designer of Arab royals. Now he has returned to serve as as a lecturer, resource speaker and mentor to students at the venerable Slim’s College of Fashion and Design, where he first took up formal fashion courses. He has also set up shop in Greenbelt 5, where he entertains clients from blushing brides-to-be to power celebrities and society names.

ALBERT Andrada says he wants his dresses to stand out
like artifacts in a museum. Shoes: Herve Leger Kellia Faceted heel pumps

It was only after graduating from San Sebastian College that Andrada enrolled at Slim’s. Finding himself an OFW in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia in the mid-’80s, he began designing graduation gowns, corporate uniforms, RTW pieces and couture. When he transferred to Dubai, he won the royal family’s approval, bagging the prized Swarovski award in 2002 and designing clothes for the ruling family.

“Staying at the palace strengthened my grasp of my style—the ’80s was a great era in fashion,” said Andrada.

“Today’s young designers are more adventurous and privileged because of technology and that is great,” he said.

His RTW business at the mall is teaching him new things. “I am shocked a client would walk in, request a design and seal the deal—without ever asking for a discount,” he said. “There is clearly a market for my designs here and it’s now harder for me to leave.”

His shop has black walls “because I want the dresses to really stand out, like artifacts in a museum,” he said.

IN HERVE Leger Abrielle nude sandals

And shoppers taking photos of his dresses is okay with the designer. “It’s really okay if they take photos—they’re taking a part of me with them,” he said.

He’s looking to expand his label into footwear and jewelry, menswear and a kiddie line.

His countless Europe trips have taught Andrada that morning is his most creative time of the day. “I’d sit on train stations and just observe. You’d be surprised how people dress up.”

Period movies are another source of inspiration.

He laments the fact that Filipino beauty queens are being made to wear the works of foreign designers when they compete abroad.

“It is just unfair to hand this important task to foreign designers. Filipino designers and talents are among the very best in the world,” he said. “Filipinas are standouts on their own merit, because of their skin.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Albert Andrada , fashion , Lifestyle

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme