10 Davao designers to participate in Miss Universe fashion show

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Jan) – Ten Davao designers are confirmed to participate in the upcoming Miss Universe ancillary event in the city.

The 10 designers received confirmation letters from the Department of Tourism last January 11. The announcement was made by the DOT to the group of 10 through a letter dated January 10 and signed by DOT XI regional director Roberto Alabado III. The correspondence indicated that recipients are to be part of the Mindanao Tapestry Fashion Show on January 19 in SMX in Lanang.

“We already received from the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) the list of selected local designers who will be part of the show,” Alabado said.

The MUO chose seven designers from the Davao Fashion and Design Council Foundation, Inc. (DFDCFI) and three independent designers.

“Our portfolio was sent last December 17 and it was received by the organizing group. It was also shared in an email with DOT undersecretary Katherine de Castro,” said Emi Englis, fashion educator, designer, and one of the council members of the DFDCFI.

The following are the designers from the DFDCFI: Alfonso Boy Guinoo (honorary member), Aztec Barba, Dodjie Batu, Emi Englis, Egay Ayag, Benjie Panizales, and Edgar Buyan. The other three designers in the list of 10 are Wilson Limon (the youngest in the 10), Silverio Anglacer, and Kenny Ladaga.

“Our designs will be inspired by Bagobo tribe aesthetics since we want our pieces to represent Davao,” Barba said in an interview. “The council will showcase a cohesive and strong collection.”

Englis added that the neo-ethnic inspired dresses will also be inspired by the Mandaya tribe. “No specific candidates have been assigned to us yet,” he said.

Englis detailed that they will interpret the artisanal heritage by their partner community, the Bagobo women in Lubogan, Toril. Meanwhile, Guinoo will feature a “cross-cultural collection.”

Barba added that the fabrics that they will be using will be a mixture of modern and handwoven materials.

The 10 designers have to submit to the MUO their design sketches for reference and the fitting will be done in Manila on a date that is yet to be determined.

“Our dresses are ready and only need some finishing,” he said.

“I am honored and happy to be chosen to dress up one of the Miss Universe candidates who will visit Davao,” said Limon, 24, the youngest in the group. “I am also happy to be an instrument to showcase the artistry of the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe.”

Limon said he will create a simple silhouette for his dress that will feature the intricate beading details of the Bagobo tribe.

There are also 14 Davao designers who will be participating in the foyer pre-show. The 14 designers are Ronnie Nacua, Richie Delos Santos, Toffy Ledesma, Nicky de Asis, Steffy Dacalos, Windel Mira, Grand Crizzel Ravacio, Joey Hambala, Chard Pulate, Bamba Limon, Gil Macaibay, Mark Yaranon, Pepe Quitco, and John Bonniedick Adaza.

Last December, disgruntled designers released a statement after being excluded from the show that is supposed to highlight Mindanao fashion. DOT announced to cancel the event to prevent further controversy but later decided to push through after a consultation with designers. It was agreed that 10 Davao designers will be part of the show alongside Renee Salud.

“There will be 10 candidates that they will dress up, they have agreed on that already,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said in an interview with Davao reporters last December.

Designers handpicked by the Miss Universe organizers will be the only ones who will dress up the 10 candidates. (Davao designers earlier eyed to dress up at least half of the 30 Miss Universe candidates who will visit Davao). (Jesse Pizarro Boga / MindaNews)