What makes PHx Fashion Group different? Knowing that what’s more is not always better
This story is from MEGA’s February 2024 Issue
“In my case, I met their clothes before I met them—I was their client,” Trickie Lopa laughs as she talks about how she first knew designers Seph Bagasao and Esme Palaganas. “And then, the two were talking about common issues of designers.”
Conceptualized and led by Bagasao and Palaganas, with the support of Lopa, PHx Fashion Group enables a creative business environment through education and market incubation. It all started when they, as a group of designers, were doing a show abroad and didn’t know what to do right after. Good press was there, but there’s no business side to it. What will ensure their brands’ sustainability?
“If you want to move forward as an industry, why not include more designers who can benefit from it?” Bagasao expresses. “There are a lot of creatives here, but they don’t have the proper process of pushing their brands into something viable and sustainable.”
From the initial 13 designers who joined during the first PHx Fashion Conference in 2019, the inaugural designer-led initiative has 24 local designers in the current batch, exposing them to workshops, creative talks, panel discussions, and portfolio reviews.
“There’s a space lacking for the kinds of designs we and our peers are doing,” says Palaganas as she talks about PHx Station. “In terms of the selection process, we’re really on the ground. If you look at the racks, there’s really no singular theme or category. It’s really an expression as pure as possible from the designers.”
PHx Station serves as the culmination of the mentoring process and fashion journey during the PHx Fashion Conference. A batch of Filipino designers get to showcase their brands in pop-ups as well as host branded events in the course of their run at PHx Station.
Lopa adds that because of their relationships with designers, they know who’s up-and-coming, who’s performing well, and who’s experimenting: “That’s why we choose designers with the same philosophy, those who are willing to push contemporary fashion design and gain business experience. The station has also proved to be a place of discovery for a lot of people who follow fashion.”
The group acknowledges this universal truth: Not all designers have something to say. This is why they choose brands who have their own language and can communicate it properly. It’s not a matter of who’s established or who came from a certain place—not about what’s more but what’s better.
“If you’re doing good work, we’ll find you wherever you’re from,” Lopa says.
Bagasao also stresses that as they go along, they will respond to the industry’s needs, especially in terms of relevance. What’s next for PHx Fashion Group in 2024 is still in the works, but they will definitely continue to be a platform to discover designers and for designers to discover themselves.
“We’re listening, we’re looking,” ends Palaganas.
Get to know the mission of PHx Fashion Group in MEGA’s February 2024 issue, now available on Readly, Magzter, Press Reader and Zinio.
Creative Direction JONES PALTENG. Photography JOSEPH PASCUAL. Sittings Editor MARIAN SAN PEDRO. Fashion Production BITHIA REYES. Special thanks to MOCHA ARUCAN.