Fashion

15 of Manila’s Most Sought-After Young Designers

Brush up on these names for that next local designer piece.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/@shop.eustacia, @psofficiel, @markbumgarner
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When an occasion calls for having something bespoke made, some people have their tried-and-tested designers on speed dial, while others take a little more time to decide.

Who should you go to for a dress? Is there a new designer you should be trying out? If you are in the market to update your list of local fashion designers, here’s a little dossier we’ve compiled featuring young designers—35 years old and under—you need to know. Take your pick according to your style inclination..

1. Carl Jan Cruz

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This 27-year-old design dynamo, whose resume includes an internship during Phoebe Philo’s time at Céline, has pleasantly interrupted local fashion by going and thinking outside the box. You’ll find that his creations are well thought of, while at the same time challenges how one looks at and rethinks about casualwear. CJ feeds into more pared down pieces but takes each to a different level all together.

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45 Bayani Rd., Corazon Building, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, [email protected], carljancruz.com

2. Esme Palaganas

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A lot of feminine details with a strong sense of nostalgia is what you’ll get with Esme’s designs. We particularly enjoy seeing the ethereal designs she executes, but what clients will be happy to discover is that she’s a designer who makes it a point to collaborate with her clients, this writer included.

25 Eisenhower St., San Juan, basicmovement.ph

3. Seph Bagasao

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Inspired by a nomadic but carefree spirit, Seph constantly finds inspiration in the mundane. Having previously interned for Josie Natori where he learned the business side of having a fashion line, this designer uses a play of textures by using different fabrics in his designs. When you look closely, you’ll notice interesting details that are as surprising as they are exciting.

Comme Çi, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, bagasao.com

4. Gabbie Sarenas

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When you’re looking for pieces with strong Filipino spirit, Gabbie Sarenas definitely has you covered. Her piña bibs adorned with embroidered sampaguita patterns have become quite the favorite of the stylish set—each iteration (she has several) evoking a youthful take on traditional techniques. One cannot help but feel like a real dalagang Filipina in any of her creations.

gabbiesarenas.com

5. Vania Romoff

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Young mother and wife, Vania Romoff has created quite a name for herself in celebrating the female form through her exquisite pieces, whether you’re a bride or not. She makes ruffles and bows look ultra feminine without being old-fashioned, all while stirring up just the right amount of girly nostalgia with every collection. It’s easy to love Vania’s designs because her silhouettes not only make you look good, you feel good, too.

Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, 805.3042, 0999.503.1222

6. Patty Ang

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Classic silhouettes mixed with contemporary elements are the foundation of Patty’s in-demand designs. From desk to dinner or from lunch with the ladies to a grand ball, or any time in between, anything from Patty generally makes you look seemingly ageless, and good from any angle, as well.

Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati, pattyang.com

7. Rosenthal Tee

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For those looking for a romantic and feminine aesthetic to bridal and formalwear or RTW, Rosenthal Tee is a name to note, especially after showcasing her collection at NYFW. With intricate appliqués and beadwork, her work emphasizes her eye for detail, a big reason why she’s becoming a steady choice of Manila’s stylish set. She describes her brand as one that “embodies the soul and spirit of adventure.”

Unit 908 Parc Chateau Condominium, Onyx Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig, rosenthaltee.com, 0917.852.6923

8. Mark Bumgarner

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Mark Bumgarner made his mark on the industry a while back, and with the opening of his Greenbelt boutique this year, you can tell that he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Meticulously constructing looks that fits like second skin without compromising design (or dramatic flair for that matter), Mark knows his strengths and continues to take them to the next level with every piece he creates. With his exotic purses, footwear, and even jewelry produced under his Bvmgarner Studios line, clients can count on getting a full ensemble with every visit.

121 Zodiac Street, Palm Village, Makati, mark-bumgarner.com

More: 10 Young Royals Who Are Making a Splash in the Fashion World

9. Stacy Rodriguez

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Stacy Rodriguez’s Eustacia line can be personified into a free-spirited, carefree woman who knows what she wants in life. She’s one to work hard and play harder—the kind who loves dancing and all-around girl time with her friends and enjoys dressing up at the same time. Striking the perfect balance of fun and feminine with just the right amount of mystery, Stacy’s pieces are a reflection of her own style: a little bit eclectic with a hint of bohemian, but definitely stylishly fun.

3340 Harvard Street, Brgy. Pinagkaisahan, Makati, shopeustacia.com

10. Sassa Jimenez

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Celebrating 10 years in the industry, Sassa Jimenez continuously churns out youthful designs that are still in demand today. We’re in love with her take on tulle—endless layers against a sleek beaded bodice. There’s no other way to stop traffic and still look sophisticated at the same time.

Unit 2C, 60 Jupiter Street, Makati, sassajimenez.com

11. Chris Nick Delos Reyes

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You might've seen some of his designs worn by up and coming style setters such as Nikki Huang. With an eye for tailoring in timeless silhouettes, Chris’s pieces have a contemporary spin on classic favorites, leaving his clients more than willing to outfit repeat without hesitation.

chris-nick.com

12. Gian Romano

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Gian’s designs can be classified as glamorous with an urbanized, edgy touch. If you’re looking for uniquely structured pieces that don’t look stiff (or stuffy), Gian’s your guy. If you didn’t already know, he also makes bespoke leather jackets, which in our opinion, are pieces that are sure to have strong staying power in any wardrobe.

13. Patricia Santos

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If you're inclined toward intricate beadwork, embroidery, and accoutrements, Patricia Santos should be part of your shortlist of designers. Her designs have been a popular choice among young brides, but a number of women see her for unique and spectacular formalwear pieces as well especially those who enjoy dressing a little extra. 

1601 High Street South Corporate Plaza, Taguig, patriciasantos.ph, 0917.723.0108

More: Best Brands and Shops for Power Dressing, By a Fashion Insider

14. Sari Lazaro

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Sari Lazaro started her fashion journey in 2016 and is clearly committed to her passion for design. While her aesthetic lies more in modern luxury, Sari integrates Filipino craftsmanship into her designs through weaves, embroidery, beading, and lacework—giving her contemporary pieces a local, artisanal spirit.

sarilazaro.com

15. Mich Araullo

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When you think of womenswear that’s perfect for the tropics, Mich Araullo-Razon is a designer you’d want to keep on your radar. Her blouses and tops made from laser-cut fabrics—from monstera leaves to traditional eyelet—are just some of the things the fashion crowd anticipates from this young mom-to-be. Working with tried-and-tested shapes that send off a relaxing vibe, she changes things up with a strategic draping or surprising details, which her clients embrace and love. Watch out for her pop-ups as there are times where she sells accessories she’s procured during her travels.

53 Doña Annie Street, Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa, 0906.470.2801

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Jacqui Halili Co-Salonga
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