FASHION in Mindanao may have taken a backseat to more pressing national concerns, but a growing community of young designers is slowly changing the landscape one dress at a time.
Apart from the simple graduation shows of Philippine fashion schools and the pop-up stores of brands by homegrown designers, one event that is helping develop Mindanao’s fashion industry is a competition that gives budding designers a platform to showcase their pieces inspired by a local theme.
As the region’s longest-running fashion design competition, Moda Mindanao aims to pave the way for young and emerging Mindanaoan designers to make a name for themselves in the industry—and put Mindanao on the fashion map.
For the past decade, Moda Mindanao has been hosted by SM City Davao in partnership with the local government. The event is held every August when Davao celebrates the Kadayawan Festival.
This year, the competition finds a new home at SM Lanang Premier.
Moda Mindanao features ready-to-wear and evening apparel by young designers whose visions, highlighted by strong Mindanawan aesthetics, come to life through fabrics, patterns and materials unique to the south of the country.
“We hope to elevate Mindanawan designs through modern interpretations and inspirations from the different enthnolinguistic groups of Mindanao. The appropriate use of indigenous materials for fashion highlights the beauty of our rich and diverse culture,” said Jun Artajo, a fashion designer and one of the creative directors of Moda Mindanao.
The 10 young designers pre-selected to compete in Moda Mindanao are Aloha Lelani Begin from Agusan del Norte, Jay-R Gamboa Flores from Sultan Kudarat, and Arwin Mark Meriales from Davao Occidental. Alexis Nickole Rule, Jonas Andrew Amora, Aries Buenvenida, Mimi Tandingan, Bianca Sabellano, Kian Plaza Deocariza and Neil Patrick Jimlani are all from Davao City.
This year, Moda Mindanao’s judges are stylist and fashion magazine editor in chief Pam Quiñones, acclaimed fashion designer Ken Samudio, Mindanawan fashion designer Jared Servano, fashion designer and couturier Bobby Castillo, and businesswoman Jackie Dizon.
The competition showcase and awarding are on August 21, 6 p.m.
Ken Samudio will also present his collection of locally inspired and globally recognizable pieces.
Inquirer To be You is the official media partner of Moda Mindanao. A To be You Editor’s Pick Award will be given to one designer in the competition.