For Randy Ortiz, his 30 years in the fashion industry is all about appreciation—appreciation for everyone who believed and has helped him throughout his career thus far. Which is why his anniversary show is aptly called Homage as it paid tribute not only to how he has evolved as a designer, highlighting how he makes clothes then and now, but also to convey how thankful he is for this moment. The Homage collection also alluded to Randy Ortiz’s love for his homeland, showcasing Randy Ortiz’s use of indigenous materials like piña and other traditional hand-woven textiles.
It’s difficult to talk about Philippine fashion without making mention of Randy Ortiz. Throughout his illustrious 30-year career, Ortiz has pioneered what many today consider the modern Filipiñiana.
Generally, a designer’s background, like anyone else’s CV, tells you a little bit about their aesthetic: Where they honed their craft, who inspired them, all mixes together to create the unique alchemy that becomes their personal handwriting.
Enticed by his parents’ fashion sense, Ortiz took his fascination for tailoring and traditional Fillipino designs, and turned it into a small backyard business. It wasn’t until 1998 when the young designer ventured into mainstream fashion, with the help of his mentor Bobby Novenario, who asked the latter to create a men’s line for his luncheon show at The Manila Hotel. The rest as they say, is history.
These days, his mastery of marrying modern sophistication with classic elegance continues to be evident in his collections and designs, including those that he has created for celebrities such as Kris Aquino, Lucy Torres-Gomez, and Dingdong Dantes. “I am fortunate enough to establish my identity as a designer and put my stamp on all my creations,” he shares.
In many ways, Ortiz took up where early Filipino designers left off, giving men and women the permission to be classic, refined, and elegant, without being outdated. In his rise to becoming the designer that he is today, his was an altogether new attitude for an artist of his time. Instead of challenging the norm, his approach to reinvent Filipino fashion helped to catapult his career as one of the country’s pioneering designers.
Where young designers have focused on modern silhouettes and innovative styling, a lesson from the designer’s styling book is a return to the style of classic elegance, to which he describes the Randy Ortiz woman: “A fashionable, glamorous woman who [doesn’t] desire too much attention but loves clean, wearable, timeless, and simple clothes she can keep in her closet for many years.”
A product of true Filipino design and a global sensibility, Ortiz’s influence amasses to changing the way we see menswear and even the way we wear the traditional Filipiñiana. With 30 years of design experience tucked neatly under his belt, one can only imagine the exciting things he still has up his sleeve.
Photography Rxandy Capinpin
Styling by Yoji Condo
Hair and Makeup Nikki Betos
Models Woo Bhang and Ella