MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024: Top 6 Finalists

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024: Top 6 Finalists


Get to know the innovative spirit of these 6 finalists and their potential to lead the way forward in Filipino fashion

Seeds are often sown in the fertile grounds of imagination, where they take root and sprout into the blossoming landscape of creativity. In fashion, these seeds find fertile ground in the minds of budding designers, nourishing their passion and propelling them toward expertise. Now, as the buds begin to unfurl and the petals emerge, the MEGA Young Designers Competition reveals its Top 6 finalists—each one blooming to the transformative potential of changing the future of Filipino fashion.

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Renz Reyes

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024 finalist Renz Reyes

Renz Reyes’ designs are characterized by distinctive utilitarian details that imbue each piece with a sense of functionality and purpose. With a focus on denim craftsmanship, Reyes has established a reputation for creating standout denim pieces that bear his unique imprint. “I’ve been doing denim for a bit—I think a lot of people associate me with denim pieces, but at the core of my aesthetic is the use of textiles and embroidery. I try to see there’s some sort of embellishment and textile design in whatever I make,” Reyes says.

With a strong interest in fashion, the designer enrolled in short courses to focus on technical training

With a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts under his belt, Reyes harbored a longstanding interest in fashion that he was eager to explore further. Recognizing the synergy between his artistic training and the creative potential of fashion design, the designer wasted no time in enrolling in a short course to acquire the technical skills necessary to translate his vision into tangible garments. By leveraging his background in fine arts and supplementing it with specialized training in fashion design, Reyes positioned himself to pursue his creative aspirations with confidence and conviction.

Reyes has an eye and passion for evolving the artistry of embroidery

Renz Reyes sees himself at the forefront of a burgeoning movement towards innovation and creativity. With a discerning eye for detail and a passion for embroidery and embellishment, Reyes is committed to pushing the boundaries of traditional techniques and exploring new avenues of expression. He believes that the current landscape of Filipino fashion is ripe for evolution, with many designers embracing the artistry of embroidery in their designs. However, Reyes seeks to distinguish himself by experimentation. “I’ve always wanted to showcase embroideries in a way that’s quite different and not what you’ve seen right now. There’s a lot of classic embroidery, but I want to show new techniques and fabrications,” he states.

Dino Bancoro

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024 finalist Dino Bancoro

Dino Bancoro’s design aesthetic is characterized by its edgy sensibility, formed by a deliberate juxtaposition of streetwear and couture elements. “In 2017, I had this idea of combining streetwear and high fashion couture. Today, I realize I should make it into a reality.” He aims to carve out a distinct space—one that celebrates the intersection of diverse influences.

Started as a hobby, Bancoro turned fashion design into a career

At 12 years old, Bancoro was captivated by a Christian Dior gown, unaware of its designer origins but drawn to its beauty nonetheless. What began as a mere interest and hobby soon evolved into a full-fledged pursuit as Bancoro immersed himself in fashion magazines and began experimenting with garment construction. It wasn’t until 2015, however, that he made the conscious decision to pursue fashion professionally. Starting with crafting jackets for clients, Bancoro gradually transitioned into couture four years ago, driven by a deep-seated love for artistry.

Bancoro started practicing the art of couture four years ago, as he seeks to redefine what Filipino fashion can be

Bancoro sees himself as a trailblazer, poised to redefine the landscape with his fashion-forward designs. He believes he can introduce fresh ideas that have yet to be explored. “I think I can share ideas that are fresh and never been shown before, especially in the Philippines and worldwide.”

Sandro Dela Pena

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024 finalist Sandro Dela Pena

Sandro Dela Pena’s design aesthetic is characterized by its conceptual nature, rooted in narrative and storytelling. Each of his creations is imbued with a unique and compelling narrative. His approach to fashion is dynamic and ever-evolving, reflecting his constant exploration of new ideas and concepts.

The designer’s approach is rooted in conceptual nature through storytelling

With parents in the garment industry, Dela Pena’s journey into fashion was practically preordained. Growing up surrounded by these specific sights and sounds, he developed a deep appreciation for the artistry that goes into the construction of garments. Fashion became not only a profession but also a way for Dela Pena to honor his roots and pay homage to the industry that has shaped his life in more ways than one.

Dela Pena is committed to adhering to sustainable practices

Sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of Sandro Dela Pena’s vision for the future of Filipino fashion. Recognizing the importance of these principles in today’s rapidly evolving industry, Dela Pena is committed to integrating sustainable practices into his brand’s ethos. “Especially nowadays, being sustainable and innovative is a great help for Filipino brands to strive. It’s something I can work on as a brand in the future.” By prioritizing eco-friendly materials, ethical production methods, and conscious consumption, he aims to promote environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Vic Fajatin

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024 finalist Vic Fajatin

By celebrating the human form through made-to-measure womenswear, Vic Fajatin seeks to highlight the inherent beauty and versatility of the human body, while also exploring the interplay of texture, shape, and hue. By employing these techniques with a dedication to craftsmanship, the designer’s garments are crafted to accentuate the unique curves and contours of the wearer.

Fajatin celebrates the female form with versatility to highlight the personal curves and individual contours of the wearer

The decision to pursue fashion design was influenced by the encouragement of his mother. With a desire for a career in the industry, Fajatin followed his mother’s advice and enrolled in the creative course. Despite the initial uncertainty, the designer’s innate passion for design allowed him to explore the world of fashion, recognizing it as a platform for fulfillment.

Fajatin aims to aid the construction of jewelry design with garment construction

By experimenting with various techniques and conducting extensive research, Fajatin aims to refine his brand’s aesthetic and introduce novel concepts, one that includes the integration of jewelry design with garment creation. Through this interdisciplinary approach, Fajatin seeks to carve out a unique space that offers fresh perspectives and pioneering new trends that resonate with audiences both locally and globally, inspired by his hometown.

Prince Padilla

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024 finalist Prince Padilla

Prince Padilla’s creative ethos is marked by a pursuit of originality. He enters each project with the singular goal of crafting designs that defy convention, whether through groundbreaking silhouettes, captivating textures, or the fluid movement of garments on the body. “I always come in with the intention of doing something that I hope has never been seen before,” he remarks. “I think that’s the primary driving force behind a lot of my work.”

The designer’s design inspirations lie in the backdrop of the cityskapes of London

His foray into fashion feels almost predestined, adjusted by his early exposure to the scene of Manchester and his educational background in Fine Arts in London. There, Padilla found himself surrounded by a community of creatives, decked out in exploratory fashion. The influence of his environment led him on a path that he embraced wholeheartedly as he found himself drawn deeper into its pull.

Prince Padilla envisions injecting boldness to the local fashion scene

In envisioning the future of Filipino fashion, Padilla sees his brand as a response to the existing landscape and a platform for diversification. “The brand is essentially a reaction to the current Filipino fashion landscape that we have here. I think it’s important to diversify the visual offerings that we have here through clothes.” Recognizing the importance of expanding visual horizons through clothing, the designer aims to inject a sense of boldness into the Filipino fashion scene, drawing inspiration from the risk-taking approach of London, known for its fearless stance to sartorial expression. “I think it’s working so far. I want to bring diversity.”

Akio Barreiro

MEGA Young Designers Competition 2024 finalist Akio Barreiro

Art, music, and cinema are influential to Akio Barreiro, resulting in an eclectic yet coherent style through a hallmark approach. “I take a lot from tailoring; I think that’s one of my signatures,” he says. Additionally, his designs reflect the rebellious spirit of punk music and the offbeat charm of unconventional films, particularly those by his favorite directors. By combining these disparate influences, Barreiro creates garments that offer a Filipino perspective on contemporary fashion based on international media.

Barreiro takes on influences from art, music, and cinema, such as the documentary featuring Yohji Yamamoto

The decision to pursue a career in fashion was inspired by a transformative moment during high school. Initially drawn to film studies, Barreiro’s path took a different turn after viewing a documentary, Notebook on Cities and Clothes, by German director Wim Wenders. The documentary, which profiled Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, left a profound impression on Barreiro and sparked a newfound passion. Barreiro realized that fashion held the potential to be his true calling. In that pivotal moment, his trajectory shifted, setting him on a course toward a career he didn’t once realize. “When I saw that, I thought this might actually be it for me. I might do this instead. I think that documentary basically changed my life, and here we are.”

Individuality is the foundation of his creativity, drawing from his experiences and perspectives

Barreiro stresses the importance of his life experiences and perspective. With a diverse and niche audience already drawn to his work, Barreiro sees his role as a designer as one of communication and connection with this specific demographic. “I can’t say if I can say I can change Filipino fashion, but if it happens, it happens.” While Barreiro remains humble about his potential to effect widespread change, he recognizes the value of individuality in shaping the future direction of the industry. “Maybe we need to have more niche designers out there.”

These six designers embark on their respective journeys, carrying with them the seeds of creativity and innovation. Just as flowers flourish, so too will their designs continue to evolve. With each stitch and silhouette, they shape and influence the future of Filipino fashion on the global landscape. As we eagerly anticipate the unveiling of their collections, we are reminded that the true beauty of design lies in its ability to inspire, transform, and transcend boundaries—much like the petals of a blossoming flower reaching for the sun.

This article will be updated as MEGA reveals the rest of the finalists in the following days.


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