Filipino designer wins top prize at prestigious international bag design contest

Published May 12, 2021, 12:51 PM

by John Legaspi

Patrick James Almera is about to produce his Arco bag in Milan after winning at Istituto Marangoni

Patrick James Almera and his Arco bag (Photo from Istituto Marangoni)

Filipino fashion designer Patrick James Almera is hailed as champion at the premier international fashion and design school Istituto Marangoni’s bag design contest with his Arco bag creation.

Dubbed as “Design Your Bag,” the contest was launched last March 2021 in partnership with Up To You Anthology (UTY), an Italian artisanal bag brand. For the competition, Istituto Marangoni tasked its alumni to “design their dream bag, with no limits to their creativity.”

“Both Istituto Marangoni and UTY passionately believe in investing in young talent,” the world-renowned school says. “The purpose of the ‘Design Your Bag’ project was to give them an opportunity to express their creativity and bring their ideas to the market.”

Apart from crafting a design, participants also formulated a business plan and communication strategy that must impress the project’s panel. Sitting on the selection committee, Giulio Cappellini (designer, art director, and lecturer at Istituto Marangoni), Davide Petraroli (professor, PL Accessories Design), Sergio Nava (director of Education, Milano Design School) and Nicolò Gavazzi (founder of UTY). Out of several entries, Patrick’s Arco bag stood out to the committee and will be produced in collaboration with UTY.

“Well thought out in every part, the streamlined visual of Almera’s design makes the bag look sleek yet recognizable, eccentric and sophisticated, uniquely inspired by fashion, art and architecture,” Istituto Marangoni says. “The designer’s communication strategy is consistent with the project, detailed, and inclusive.”

After achieving his master’s degree in Contemporary Interior Design at the school, Patrick has been making his mark in the local fashion scene as a designer and instructor. In a Facebook post, he expressed his excitement about producing a “made in Italy bag,” and even dished a few updates about the production. According to him, “the line will supposedly have a variety of color way rooted from travel, nostalgia, and heritage. It will be sustainably sourced and produced… and sold later this year on.”

“So honored to have been selected by UTY and Istituto Marangoni to be part of their roster of influential and innovative designers alongside Giulio Cappellini, Nendo, Elena Salmistraro, and many more, to be able to expand our design DNA across different fields of design,” he posts. “I’m beyond thrilled and grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to expand my horizon as an international interdisciplinary designer.”