Auggie Cordero, the designer who put the Philippines on fashion’s global map, passed away on October 24, 2022.
Auggie Cordero’s humble beginnings, perseverance, and determination to not only create exquisite creations, but also make a strong mark in the fashion industry on a global scale inspired many designers in our local fashion scene. He sought for the impossible during his time, and has paved the way for many designers that followed his footsteps.
Auggie Cordero began his career in the ‘70s with a small atelier in Malate, Manila, the heart of creativity, and students and socialites would acquire his remarkable designs. And in 1974, he showcased his works in Hyatt, which skyrocketed his career to greater heights.
From lunchtime fashion shows to hitting the global landscape, Auggie Cordero made our country known through his groundbreaking designs. He presented his works in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia until he finally landed in the cities of California and New York.
Joyce Oreña, Beauty Editor of Vogue Philippines, was a model whom Auggie Cordero worked closely with in the late ‘80s. During a quick chat with her about the late designer, she recalled a fond memory she had with him that changed the course of her career.
“He was my mentor. The moment he saw me on TV competing for Look of the Year 1989, he knew I had potential. He asked Wanda Louwallien to look for me and with full trust and confidence, made me his bride to his favorite groom, Eric Quizon, on my first major runway.”Joyce Oreña, Beauty Editor, Vogue Philippines
In his pursuit for revolutionizing the local fashion scene, Auggie Cordero reimagined the Barong Tagolog during the late ‘80s. It was a staple collection of his that widened the market of our national costume, and it has also brought more awareness to our culture. Decorated with our traditional embroidery and produced with local textiles, Auggie Cordero was the first of many to break gender norms in fashion—an influence we are witnessing to this day.
Photography by EDDIE BOY ESCUDERO, courtesy of JOYCE OREÑA