Entering the fashion industry is a challenge, but staying in it is a different ball game. Beyond talent and taste, one must have mental fortitude, a brave heart, and a lasting drive to cement their place in the industry. But for noted Filipino fashion designer Randy Ortiz, a key element designers must have to stay long in the industry is love. Together with Ayala Malls' Bravo! Filipino, a campaign designed to promote local heritage and culture, Randy unveiled his grand collection in celebration of his emerald anniversary.
Dubbed “Randy O 35,” the collection was presented last Nov. 16 at Greenbelt 5 Gallery in Makati City. It captured his many years of reimagining Filipino dressing, his passion and dedication for the craft, and the friendships he made along the way.
“It’s a narrative of a Filipino designer who loves his country more than himself and who wants to level up Filipino fashion,” Randy told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.
The 70-piece collection was divided into segments. First to grace the runway was his patchworked pieces, exploring the many handwoven textiles of the Philippines. A nod to his roots in South Cotabato, Randy used Mindanaoan tapestries of different colors and patterns to make modern Filipinianas and jackets for men. The show took a romantic turn with his airy balintawak dress, charming terno ensembles, and tailored pieces. Drama and opulence were present on the runway courtesy of his Manila Wear pieces.
“It takes a lot of dedication, of yourself, your love for the craft, your identity,” the 62-year-old designer said about mounting the collection. ‘It is important that when you do a collection, you always have to tell a story. Whether it is a capsule line or a full-blown collection, the story matters a lot. I guess, with this one, [my] narrative says it all.”
To make the show possible, Randy worked with designer Arnel Papa for the accessories and footwear brand Figlia for the footwear. While leading the show were runway directors Robbie Carmona and Jackie Aquino.
Gracing his runway show were some of his friends and past muses, which include celebrities Dingdong Dantes, Tim Yap, and Juliana Gomez. OG top models like Marina Benipayo, Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez, Wilma Doesnt, Apples Aberin, and Phoemela Baranda, among others, gave life to his creations as they walked down the runway.
Looking back on his more than three decades in the fashion industry, Randy said that the life of a designer is far from the glamor people usually think of. He confessed that there were days when he just wanted to let go, but through his faith and love for his work, he managed to stay in the industry and thrive.
“Continue making mistakes, stand up, and learn. A designer becomes perfect when they make imperfect things in life,” Randy advised. “Passion, dedication, and commitment are the reasons why I'm still here and celebrating my 35th year”
Check out Randy Ortiz’s 35th-anniversary collection below: