5 Pivotal Moments Revealed in Francis Libiran’s Design Origins on MEGA: The Next Move

5 Pivotal Moments Revealed in Francis Libiran’s Design Origins on MEGA: The Next Move


Francis Libiran shares his dedication to fashion, as well as his golden rule of style on the third episode of MEGA: The Next Move 

On the third episode of MEGA: The Next Move, the spotlight turns to Francis Libiran as he dives from the inception of his fashion fascination ignited by red carpet spectacles to a transformative impulsive investment that marked the genesis of his career. The designer’s journey unfolds with a retrospective resonance that begins in his childhood and then gleans insights into his perpetual learning mindset on the occasion of his 25th year in the industry.

Renowned designer Francis Libiran with MEGA Editor-in-Chief Peewee Reyes-Isidro
Here are five highlights from MEGA: The Next Move’s third episode.

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1. His fascination for fashion started at 8 years old

Libiran’s fascination with fashion ignited while watching red carpet events. The graceful movements of gowns stirred his amazement, prompting a deeper exploration through magazines. In his room, a ritual of opening a magazine, savoring its scent, and delicately turning each page unfolded. This solitary act became a catalyst for imagination, leading him to envision designing for specific individuals. “What if I designed something for this particular person?” This contemplation marked the inception of his journey as a designer in fashion. 

5 Tells On Francis Libiran's Origins on MEGA: The Next Move
Libiran in an all-white suit; On the podcast, he reveals his mother was his muse

The designer’s inspiration begins with the woman who knows him best—his mother. As a child, his consultation is a collaborative dialogue where his insights become influences through his early creative endeavors. His discerning eye and thoughtful suggestions laid the foundation upon which his artistic sensibilities were nurtured. “Anything creative, my mom would always consult me. Maybe she saw, at a young age, that I am very creative already.” As a child, he might not have fully grasped the depth of her influence, but looking back, he acknowledges that his mother was the initial muse.

2. Francis impulsively invested all his savings to enroll in fashion school

Although the designer couldn’t picture himself in the white coat of a medical doctor, his parents, like all parents, held hopes for him to tread that path. Yet, the mind of a child, particularly one inclined toward creativity, struggles to grasp such expectations. Consequently, he embarked on a different design journey—architecture, where the ropes of discipline and the foundation of his skills were laid.

5 Tells On Francis Libiran's Origins on MEGA: The Next Move
Libiran dresses up one of his brides; On the podcast,the designer emphasizes that following your passion is worth it

After dedicating two years to an architectural firm in Makati, a pivotal realization struck: “What am I doing here?” In a spontaneous surge, he swiftly submitted his resignation papers. This impulsive decision propelled him to invest all his earnings and savings the very next day to leap into the realm of fashion school. Reflecting on that initial day of school, he recalls, “I enjoyed it so much.” This impulsive move, guided by passion, turned out to be an investment with a remarkably high return. Libiran emphasizes, “It was worth it. No amount of money, if you’re following your passion, is equivalent.”

3. He hesitated in launching a namesake brand

During Libiran’s student years, the concept of establishing a brand took root in collaboration with a business partner. The chosen moniker, Ngork, held a deliberate touch of foreign appeal, from a personal expression. In the balancing act of academia and business, the partner steered the operational ship, allowing the designer to immerse himself in the creative currents. However, his original partner decided to live overseas.

5 Tells On Francis Libiran's Origins on MEGA: The Next Move ARSI BALTAZAR
Francis Libiran with his business partner, Arsi Baltazar

Arsi Baltazar, the new business partner entrenched in show business, entered the scene. He suggested an idea: “Francis, why don’t you just use your name?” Skepticism momentarily clouded the decision. Despite reservations, Baltazar insisted, “Francis, your sketches are really nice.” Thus, a journey outside the comfort zone began, culminating in the bold placement of “Francis Libiran” on the side of sketches—a move that would define the brand’s identity. This shift marked not only a change in nomenclature, but a transformation in perception, evolving from hesitation to confidence as the Francis Libiran brand emerged as a recognizable force.

4. Francis Libiran’s golden rule of style

Venturing into personal style, Libiran’s philosophy is deeply ingrained with emotion. As he prepares for work, feelings assume a paramount role. If it fails, he finds myself engaged in repetitive actions. “Every time I try on something, and if it doesn’t feel good, I try to change itz Sometimes, 10 times.” The crux lies in the connection. “As long as I feel good with what I’m wearing, then that’s it.”

Francis Libiran has to feel good with his clothes

5. He continues to evolve with the audience

On the occasion of his 25th year in the fashion industry, Libiran reflects on a journey marked by perpetual learning. The industry, for him, is a boundless source of knowledge, and his passion for his craft propels him to innovate continually. His approach is one of constant evolution, where aesthetics undergo a shift, and technological advancements become integral.

5 Tells On Francis Libiran's Origins on MEGA: The Next Move MANILA LUZON
With drag artist Manila Luzon, host of Prime’s Drag Den
5 Tells On Francis Libiran's Origins on MEGA: The Next Move R'BONNEY GABRIEL
With Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel

In the ever-changing landscape of fashion, the question arises: Is it crucial for a designer to evolve alongside their audience? The designer asserts the significance of staying relevant. He emphasizes that, as a designer himself, embracing evolution is not merely a choice, but a necessity. In the contemporary era, rigid adherence to a set aesthetic is impractical. Instead, designers must synchronize with market trends while infusing their distinctive aesthetic. Whether incorporating laser cutting techniques or integrating 3D printing into patterns, the key lies in weaving the contemporary into a unique design narrative, ensuring a continuous dialogue with the audience.

5 Tells On Francis Libiran's Origins on MEGA: The Next Move
Francis Libiran asserts that evolution is a necessity, as seen in his 25th anniversary collection

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After a quarter of a century, Francis Libiran stands as a globally renowned fashion designer. As he sets his sights on the horizon with the anticipation of a ready-to-wear line, it is no surprise that he will continue to evolve his brand, his name as a designer, and what it can be for Filipino fashion.

Photos: FRANCIS LIBIRAN and ARSI BALTAZAR (via Instagram)

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