“It’s been a long and often bumpy road, but as a culture, Filipinos are resilient and natural survivors. What we enjoy today — a politically and economically stable state — has been a result of nearly three decades of dedication by all the people.” – Mark “Jappy” Gonzalez
For a country with thousands of idyllic islands, Philippines is a relatively undiscovered place, even when we speak about fashion. It has long been overshadowed by its larger neighbors and underestimated by international fashion brands.
The truth is that the Philippines is a multicultural society and Filipino fashion designers are among the most creative in Asia.
Its history and culture make the Philippines fashion unique
Filipinos have a tendency to follow everything western from lifestyle and music to fashion.
This country and its culture and tradition is a symbiosis of their native ancestors and their colonizers: Spanish Empire, the Americans and even the Japanese.
The Fashion sense and clothing style of the Filipinos are a result of its own history. There was a time they became a colony of Spain. The Philippines was a colony of the Spanish Empire for around 300 years. Hence, Spanish brought with them their own fashion, mostly with shirts and standing collar. They also show to the natives how to wear shoes and hats.
There was also a time in history when the Philippines were under the influence of the Americans. The Philippines was a territory of the United States for about 50 years.
During the American regime, men were more favored than women. Men were given the freedom to wear western suit and jackets. Men were given a chance to enjoy free press and vote in preparation for self-government. There was a bias among gender which you could see in the way they dressed.
Even the Japanese have some influences in the Philippines culture and style. Japanese soldiers occupied the Philippines during World War II.
Philippine Fashion Week
Philippine Fashion Week (PhFW) is a bi-annual fashion week event held in Manila, Philippines.
It is the longest running fashion event in the country, and the largest fashion event held in Manila. It is also known as the “Olympics” of Fashion.
In 1997 was its first edition. The Philippine Fashion Week was founded by Joey A. Espino Jr. and Audie Espino. However, they continue to lead the project as Executive Producers.
Each year, PhFW generates extensive media coverage reaching an average audience of five million viewers, followers and fashion fans throughout the world.