Randy Ortiz is no stranger to dressing up celebrities, but it was a first for him when a group of fans asked for a bespoke barong Tagalog for Korean actor Hyun Bin.
The actor turned 38 years old last week and the fan club, HB One PH, wanted to give him something that represents the Philippines. The group conducted a survey of what to give him for this milestone, and a barong Tagalog emerged as top choice.
According to the fan club’s administrator, Miaa Bautista Macadaan, they chose Ortiz because “we know how good his designs are.” She added that the designer’s take on modern barong was what drew them to him.
Ortiz was more than happy to take them on as clients.
“I don’t want to call them fans. I want to call them friends of Hyun Bin in the Philippines,” Ortiz told Lifestyle. The designer confessed he has seen the actor’s hit drama “Crash Landing on You” twice. Ortiz watched the show when it was airing and when the lockdown started.
The fan club had a few specific requests for Ortiz. They wanted Hyun Bin’s barong to have a mandarin collar, embroidery and piña fabric. Everything else they left to Ortiz to work on.
Ortiz took into consideration Hyun Bin’s preference for the classic look. This is why he kept his design clean. He chose to do a combination of calado and suksok embroidery.
“We see Hyun Bin as someone simple, subtle and elegant. That’s exactly how Sir Randy executed the design,” said Macadaan.
The biggest challenge for Ortiz was the sizing. A member of the club who had worked for Hyun Bin before was able to get the actor’s measurements. Ortiz said that he wanted to make it slim fitting.
“Hyun Bin is tall. His proportion is medium to large. He has a large torso that tapers to the waist because of his abs. Those were the things I had to take into consideration,” Ortiz said. He also made pants to match.
HB One PH sent the barong Tagalog to Korea through the actor’s agency, Vast Entertainment. They also included a cake, a photobook and a basket with a local beer inside.
On the prospect of the actor wearing his design, Ortiz said, “You never know.” The designer is excited with the thought of Hyun Bin possibly wearing it for an event, either in the Philippines or Korea.
Ortiz said he posted a photo of the barong on his Instagram so that, in case the actor got curious, he would know how to wear it.