The Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines’ new set of board officers is providing a sense of true Filipino pride to each wearer in the local and global market.
Over the years, The Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has cultivated a space where designers, producers, stylists, photographers in the fashion industry can look for proper assistance. From teaching how to apply exclusive rights on one’s goods and services to leading local brands onward to the global market, FDCP provides concrete action plans to promote the Filipino design industry.
Through a Facebook status on April 1, 2021, the council announced a new set of FDCP board officers for year 2021-2022 with JC Buendia as president, Avel Bacudio as external vice president, Amina Aranaz-Alunan as internal vice president, Maco Custodio as secretary, Tonichi Nocom as senior adviser and press secretary, Adante Leyesa as treasurer, and Dong Omaga-Diaz as senior adviser and special projects chief mentor. These veteran designers who champion local design all have a pointed purpose to bring pride to the country.
They also played an important role during the pandemic as the fashion industry took initiative in helping out by all means possible despite business challenges. The FDCP assisted designers who manufactured PPE suits and masks by giving out free tech packs to ensure that all suits are medically reviewed.
“It would have been easier to just stop and cut the losses, but we have workers who depend on us. The demand for PPEs and masks was an opportunity to sustain our shops and at the same time provide much-needed gear for health workers,” says JC Buendia, President of FDCP. Another project worth to mention is their “Fashion Forward Dialogues”, a series of online conversations to spark hope & innovation amid these challenging times.
“FDCP’s thrust has always been to promote Filipino design and give back to the industry.” Filipino fashion entrepreneurs today are recognizing the growing importance to give the country’s heritage the spotlight by providing avenues to make the local craft a sustainable source of livelihood. “A large number of our designers are into traditional made to measure. Number one on our agenda is to help them pivot and rebrand via virtual workshops, and collectively sell in pop-ups and online,” he further explains.
Philippine fashion has gone to great lengths to revive our customs through the use of weaving traditions, incorporating ancestral craftsmanship into contemporary wear, and supporting indigenous artisanal communities as a way to champion Filipino design. “Fashion plays a big role in inspiring patriotism, and when we love our own, it is easier for others to love us. Fashion is soft power. Think Catriona Grey in a terno top and pants ensemble. Apl.De.Ap in a modern barong. Think of the army of social media influencers.”
When asked about the future plans of the new FDCP board officers, Buendia proudly shares that they aim to produce young designer competitions with a long-term goal to have a commercial Filipino fabric available and “have every Filipino wear their patriotism on their sleeves.”