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Filipino Designers Revive Manila’s Fashion Glory at ‘Rampa Manila 2024’

Rampa Manila

The Malate District in Manila was once the epicenter of creativity and fashion from the 1970s to the early 2000s, serving as the home to iconic designers such as Pitoy Moreno, Ben Farrales, Aureo Alonzo, and Christian Espiritu. It was also where renowned designers like Inno Sotto, Barge Ramos, Joe Salazar, Frederick Peralta, and Auggie Cordero honed their craft. In an effort to revive this golden age of Philippine fashion, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, along with the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Arts of Manila (DTCAM) Director Charlie Dungo and Creative Director Bang Pineda, have launched “Rampa Manila.”

The fashion extravaganza, which had a successful inaugural run in 2023, is set for its second edition on June 19, 2024, at the Bulwagang Antonio Villegas in Manila City Hall. The first “Rampa Manila” featured top designers Albert Andrada, Marlon Tuazon, Puey Quinones, Jo Rubio, and Michael Leyva. This year’s event will showcase the work of Val Taguba, Marc Rancy, Neric Beltran, Jhobes Estrella, and Anthony Ramirez. Additionally, fresh talents such as Dhenyze Guevara, Joanna Santos, and Morisette Magalona will take the stage to exhibit their unique styles.

Rampa Manila

Celebrating Manila’s Fashion Capital Status

“Manila is the fashion capital, because of Divisoria,” said Creative Director Bang Pineda, who played a key role in selecting the designers for the event. The 2024 theme, “Texture, Textile, and Technique,” emphasizes the artistic innovation and craftsmanship integral to Filipino fashion.

However, the once-bustling Divisoria has lost some of its charm in recent years. Mayor Lacuna noted that designers have shifted to other sources for their textile needs, sometimes even importing materials from abroad. With “Rampa Manila,” she hopes to change this perception and encourage designers to return to Divisoria for inspiration and resources.

“It’s the local government of Manila’s way to help our stakeholders doing business here. We’re trying to invite designers and future designers to go back to where it all started,” Mayor Lacuna said, reinforcing the importance of revitalizing Manila’s fashion scene.

Rampa Manila

The Stars of ‘Rampa Manila 2’

Among the headlining designers for “Rampa Manila 2” is Anthony Ramirez, whose fashion-forward style is adored by celebrities like Liza Soberano, Francine Diaz, Jasmine and Anne Curtis-Smith, Jennylyn Mercado, and Nadine Lustre. Jhobes Estrella, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, is a favorite among politicians and congressional wives, with a design range that spans from traditional to contemporary.

Marc Rancy, with dual degrees from Paris and Milan, has been creating stunning pieces for Filipino celebrities like Ellen Adarna, Jodi Sta. Maria, Lovi Poe, and Ivana Alawi. Neric Beltran, known for his avant-garde style, has dressed luminaries such as Catriona Gray, Vice Ganda, Heart Evangelista, and Marian Rivera.

Val Taguba, whose impeccable craftsmanship was perfected in the Middle East, has created iconic pieces for beauty queens like Rachel Peters, Celeste Cortesi, Nikki de Moura, and Chantal Schmidt. His dramatic designs, like the black wedding gown worn by Maja Salvador in the teleserye “Wildflower,” have become memorable moments in Philippine pop culture.

Rampa Manila

Future of Filipino Fashion

“Rampa Manila 2” will also provide a platform for new talents, including Dhenyze Guevara, Joanna Santos, and Morisette Magalona. Guevara, a cum laude graduate from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, focuses on designs for eccentrics, while Santos is a fashion design student with her brand, Anna Ma. Magalona, an architecture graduate from Bato, Camarines Sur, brings his distinct perspective and innovative techniques to the fashion scene.

“Rampa Manila 2” coincides with Manila’s founding anniversary, adding a celebratory touch to the event. “Bilang pagdiriwang ng araw ng Maynila, tamang-tama lang na sa taong ito ay ulitin natin ‘yung ‘Rampa Manila 2.’ Dito po kasi sa Manila, maraming batikan at magagaling na mananahi, and of course, mga bagong talento,” Mayor Lacuna said.

As the stylish mayor concluded, “Our ultimate goal is to elevate the level of the fashion industry, not just in Manila, but across the Philippines, and to inspire young people who aspire to enter this industry.”

With its blend of established designers and emerging talents, “Rampa Manila 2” aims to bring back the glory days of Manila’s fashion scene, reaffirming the city’s status as the country’s fashion capital.


Read Also: Neil Felipp: Crafting Strories with Minaudiére Creations


Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
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