It’s All About Vintage Fashion With Rising Young Designer Rich Fortu

It’s All About Vintage Fashion With Rising Young Designer Rich Fortu


Young designer Rich Fortu on romance, nostalgia and her first major breakthrough in fashion

This is an excerpt from MEGA’s February 2023 issue

Designer Rich Fortu

It’s a vintage romance story with rising designer Rich Fortu—how does love look like in the 1900s?

Fresh out of highschool in 2015, Fortu had the ultimate dream of attending the SoFA Design Institute in Makati for college. But back then, she wasn’t capable of enrolling in such a school in the city, so she instead took architecture for two years in Batangas. Eventually, she realized that she couldn’t see herself pursuing the course in the next three years. She then decided to test the waters and find out how it’s really like in fashion. 

Fortu enrolled at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines for a couple of months, all the while collecting fashion magazines, “DIY-ing” clothes, continuing to draw—which was one of her hobbies then, and familiarizing herself with fashion brands. 

“I actually had a good cry on my first day of using a sewing machine in my boots thinking, ‘What did I get myself into?’” Fortu shares. 

Designer Rich Fortu

Justifying a designer’s identity is tough, but post-fashion-school, Fortu looks back on all the work she has done trying to capture what makes everything singular in core, and it all points to the distinct fusion of romantic nostalgia and contemporary design—a juxtaposition of concepts. It’s about injecting a sense of modernism to create a balance between these contrasting ideas without compromising sophistication and wearability.

Whether it be a moodboard, Pinterest deck, or good old research, Fortu notes that what’s really important is to start a creative process with a backbone. After digging deep into her concept, she personally gives herself a few days to just take it all in. From there, she works with whatever’s left in her mind because it means that these are the ones that struck her the most. 

Designer Rich Fortu

Distinct, romantic, and contemporary—this is what Fortu wants her brand to embody. As she starts her journey as a young professional in the industry, she wants to present a collection that speaks most about her identity as a designer.

Photography DENIS SULIT
Creative Direction NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Beauty Direction MIA CASTRO


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