Filipino designers flex their styles in Manhattan Fashion Week

Those displaying their creations include designers Velzon Hizon-Velez,

Carol Tanjutco

Carol Tanjutco

Philippine Daily Inquirer


(From left to right) From Velzon Hizon-Velez Collection, Simoun Andres and Thad Carreon creations respectively. INQUIRER/Carol Tanjutco

October 25, 2022

NEW YORK – After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Manhattan Fashion Week came back for the Fall season, with Filipino designers flashing their unique creations.

Producer-designer Velzon Hizon-Velez got busy preparing 25 of his adult models and 15 child models at VHV Modeling School for the runway. Some of the models’ parents joined the ramp in an afternoon Filipino American Gala. Four other designers joined Velez for this autumn collection.

Velez encouraged children, teens, LGBTQs and plus-size models to gain confidence and to be proud of their cultural heritage. For the first time, he also staged parents of the models in Filipiniana outfits at the gala.

Six months ago, Velez established a fashion and talent school, VHV Talent Management Services, in his hometown of Dinalupihan, Bataan. He offers modeling classes and face to face musical lessons such as voice, piano, drums, violin, guitar and ukulele, which are also available online. He expanded his talent school to include drawing and performing arts, dance and academic Math tutoring. He will soon open a branch in Quezon City in partnership with Studio 8 Academy owned by Dave Ocampo, president of Designers Circle of the Philippines.

Velzon Hizon-Velez swimsuit and evening collection paraded by his VHV talents at Lavan541 New York City. INQUIRER/Carol Tanjutco

Simoun Andres, a designer from Pasig City, was a former HR Supervisor and a laundry shop owner but always had an eye for fashion. His mentor, Ramily Santillan, a seasoned seamstress from Bacolod City, taught him the basics of garment-making. After creating an ensemble for his sister in a beauty pageant, he continued his fashion journey by designing wedding gowns for friends.

Andres decided to enhance his skills and focus on fashion design full time, going on to produce wearable art pieces and becoming a sought-after fashion designer in the industry. “Limitless possibilities await those who return to their origins, and intensively prepare for the future that awaits,” said Andres who continues to enhance his skills.

Thad Carreon’s Collection f/w 2022 is dynamic and simple but elegant fashion. Each of his pieces is versatile and wearable all day, with dresses turning into evening attires with minimal twists and tweaks. His sensible and timeless masterpieces are attention-grabbers, projecting versatility and simple but classy elegance. Carreon showed 20 different styles for Fall-Winter fashion. He plans to expand market outside the Philippines with more fashion shows.

Jail Jeans by designer Chris Jasler (left photo by RJ Ensalada); Samay Designs by Antonio Vacacela. INQUIRER/Carol Tanjutco

Jail Jeans was founded on October 20, 2008; the collection is called “79 Karen Reset Collection.” Designer Chris Jasler explained, “The inspiration of my collection is based on my loving sister’s dance movements, her posture and the color combination of her costumes. She was a professional Latin dancer, but she passed on earlier during the Covid-19 pandemic. This collection is my way of saying I love her so much, I’m thankful for the time we shared and we all miss her dearly.”

The vision of Jail Jeans is to bring the collection to New York, London, Los Angeles and Japan. Jasler wants a store that will carry an all-Filipino denim brand. For the theme of his show, he used an upbeat drums remix, as VHV models paraded 15 women’s wear and 15 men’s wear items.

Another designer from New York joined the show, Samay Designs by Antonio Vacacela. His Latin style is a modern take on his native roots from Ecuador. VHV Collection was accompanied by saxophone music. Check out the Youtube video:

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