While modest fashion is not a new thing, it rose to popularity once again and become the new mainstream in 2016. Thanks to the efforts of social media influencers, activists, and show organizers who took the industry to the next level of what once was a niche market. Since then, many modest fashion shows and movements had been organized from East to West in support of modest fashion designers worldwide.
One of the countries that joined the wagon was the Philippines when it launched its first platform with a fashion show that not only it did showcase Filipino modest fashion designers, but also featured budding designers from Indonesia, Afghanistan, Italy, South Africa, and Nigeria. Speaking of which, here are 5 Filipino modest fashion designers you need to know.
In random order;
This fashion designer of Maguindanaoan descent is also a beauty pageant title-holder and was Hiyas ng Kadayawan princess in 2019 is as charming as her brand- Hilyah Signorina. She won our hearts with her beauty queen smile, creativity, and advocacy for indigenous textiles native to the Maguindanao people- the Inaul. She incorporates the fabric into her modern designs of tailored suits, Mestiza dress, evening gowns, and casual sweatshirts.
She was invited to Jakarta Modest Fashion Week in 2019 and was shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s famous modest fashion influencers and designers. Search for Hilyah Signorina’s page on Facebook and Instagram to see her creations.
Being a third-culture kid who had trouble defining her identity growing up in different countries, Azizah Talusan found hers when she started her clothing brand. She is the founder and creative director of Herslaha, the first luxury abaya brand in the Philippines, and was featured in several international fashion shows including Turkiye, Indonesia, and Russia. The brand features indigenous textiles from all over Mindanao such as Inaul and Langkit.
Azizah is not only a successful designer of a successful brand, there is so much going on on her plate. She was a youth diplomat for the UN, a World Hijab Ambassador, a businesswoman, a radio program host on their local channel, and a make-up artist. Watch out for her brand as she will take her roots to the international stage once again in Moro X Morrocco; Woman to Woman, a fashion show organized by Asia TV Studios and Africa TV Studios in August 2022.
Having a seamstress grandmother growing up taught Princess Jehanne Masorong Mangondato-Dimaporo the art and craft of fashion. While working as a practicing Nurse, Jehanne lends a hand styling hijab for family members during special occasions. At one point, her talent in hijab styling was endorsed by other females and then the news spread out, and it became a side hustle as she became a go-to figure for it. Her namesake brand is now known all over the Philippines as the first professional hijab styling and designer.
Jehanne became part of the first virtual fashion show in the Philippines and will soon take the runway in the Chicago Modest Fashion show and Arts Gals in the USA this June 30 to July 3, 2022. The future is bright for this humble designer as she will become the first Hijab Stylist from the Philippines to participate in an international event. She will showcase the Maranao ancient textiles in ready-to-wear pieces which you can start reserving right now.
I am sure a lot of you knew about the two viral royal wedding ceremonies from Mindanao in 2020. The internet went crazy about it and netizens fell in love with it. It was Mac Taug who was among the designers who dressed the princesses in their impeccable Inaul gown ensembles. Mac Taug is the favorite of royal families and high-ranking officials including the Eagle of Maguindanao, and Bai Mariam Mangudadatu.
Owing to his roots, Mac Taug represents himself by incorporating Inaul textiles in his creations. He took his creations to Indonesian modest fashion shows several times. His design is distinct with lovely tailored cuts and draped dresses with Inaul accents.
SHENA AL ASREE
Shena Al Asree is the founder of Shena Atelier, a brand that has catered to famous Filipino local celebrities since its founding. After finishing her apprenticeship at a textile boutique, she decided to pursue her passion for fashion designing and launched her brand. Her modest collection has been featured in prestigious runways organized by one of the most significant fashion magazines in the Philippines. Her designs were also featured in the country’s prestigious exhibits.
But of course, there are more names of designers who are equally great in their craft who I don’t want to miss out on. They are part of the modest fashion ecosystem in the Philippines and are worthy of mention.
Sasha Macauyag is another modest fashion designer from the Philippines that has a promising career. She graduated in fashion design from one of the most prestigious Italian fashion schools. Her brand MCYG is something to root for as she is preparing to launch it officially soon. This pretty face is also a member of the Korean Make-up Artist Association as a professional make-up artist. Her design aesthetic is modern with softer silhouettes and ultra-feminine details. She had been invited to modest fashion shows in several countries such as the prestigious Muslim Fest Fashion Show in Indonesia.
This namesake brand has been the forerunner of modest bridal gowns. The designer Iman Montayre had a long track record of creating lovely haute couture gowns since 2000. Her first exposure to modest fashion was in 2007 when she converted to Islam. Since then she slowly developed her signature convertible bridal wear that is not only patronized by Muslims but non-Muslims as well. Her design focus on sustainability, lightweight, and functionality, at the same time it delivers an elegant ultra-feminine feel.
She had appeared in several international fashion shows in Spain and UAE back in the early 2000s, and recently at Torino Fashion Week, Turin Italy. She will showcase her modest bridal collection at Chicago Modest Fashion Show and Arts Gala from June 30 to July 3, 2022. Iman Montayre is also the founder of the first modest fashion platform in the Philippines which promotes modest fashion designers not only from the Philippines but also from other countries.
Modest fashion is here to stay. Getting to know modest fashion designers nearest you will give you several options and a huge selection for your wardrobe. I will feature more designers in the next articles from your countries, so watch this space.
By Jonquil Dun
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