These Filipino fashion designers are set to impress the world with their latest collections

Designers Oliver Tolentino and Edgar San Diego what Filipino design talent is all about.

Filipino fashion designers are, without a doubt, world-class. In the past years, we’ve seen their designs hit international red carpets, displayed at museums, and graced the runways of major fashion capitals—and it looks like we’re going to see more of them in the coming days. 

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Oliver Tolentino and Edgar San Diego

First is Beverly Hills-based Filipino couturier Oliver Tolentino. On May 30, he is set to showcase his works in South Korea as part of the celebration of Busan International Film Fashion Week fall-winter 2023 (BIFFW23), together with designers from Paris, London, Milan, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur.

BIFFW23 is branded with the famous Busan Film Festival, held annually in October, and it will be held in the same beautiful Outdoor Theater of Busan Cinema Center. Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, is the country’s major tourist destination with beaches and sacred temples. Similar to the film festival, BIFFW23 is expected to draw celebrities from Korea’s entertainment and fashion scene.

“Everyone knows how popular Korean music and TV programs have become, so I’m honored the organizers reached out and invited me to participate in their fashion event,” Oliver muses.

Coincidentally, Tolentino was an invited guest of Bali Fashion Week in Indonesia in 2008 when the father of Korean fashion, Andre Kim, was Bali’s special guest designer.

Oliver Tolentino with the late Andre Kim

“Andre Kim flew in a 727 jet’s worth of Korean celebrities and dignitaries, including South Korea’s deputy prime minister, and he showed 110 pieces while confetti snow fell for almost an hour. It was very impressive,” the designer said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Kim passed away since that show, but if you mention his name to Koreans, he’s an icon in their fashion industry. I was honored he watched my show and personally complimented me afterward. He also was a judge when I won 1st prize in a Carnivale parade contest. Now that I’m going to show in Korea, I’m so pleased to have that nice memory and personal connection.”

On the other side of the world, Filipino fashion designer Edgar San Diego is preparing to showcase his designs and artworks in New York and Hawaii. His solo fashion and art exhibit, dubbed “Hibla at Pinta,” will run from May 23 to 25 at the Philippine Center in New York. Edgar's collection will feature creative designs of the terno, barong tagalog, baro at saya, kimona, native Mountain Province woven materials, and t’nalak from Mindanao.


Edgar San Diego; 'Hibla at Pinta'

An established fashion designer of over 40 years, Edgar started his long romance with the art of painting by incorporating delicate flora into his beautiful Filipiniana gowns. “Hibla at Pinta” is made possible with The Philippine American Friendship Community, Inc. (PAFCOM) in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of New York. With this exhibit, Edgar

shares his talents and experiences with first-, second-, and third-generation Fil-Ams and supports the Filipino arts and culture in the US and the Philippines.

After his run in New York, Edgar will present the same fashion art exhibit on June 17 at the  Hilton Hawaiian Village  Resort Tape Ballroom. This is presented by The Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCCH) in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day. 

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