‘Filipinxt’ To Mount Maiden Runway Show in New York

By Marane A. Plaza

BGC, Philippines — A new platform for Filipino fashion designers dubbed as “Filipinxt” is poised to grab international attention with the staging of its first runway show in New York.

“Filipinxt” is a play of words, combining the gender-neutral -x suffix with “Filipino” and “next”— formed in a bid to represent Filipino creativity globally on all fronts, declaring “the new era of Philippine fashion.” Led by Filipinos for Filipinos and the world, the grand fashion presentation brings Manila to Manhattan as it celebrates Pinoy style and culture.

The Big Apple is one of the major fashion capitals in the world, a dream destination for many Filipino fashion designers. Creativity thrives everywhere in New York, where the industry’s biggest brands and personalities make their mark. New York-based fashion designer Bessie Besana and restaurateur Rob Mallari-D’Auria, the force behind the “Filipinxt” group, know these all too well.

“Our goal is to bring the ingenuity of Filipino talent and, hopefully, get them recognized by the mainstream market,” Bessie shared in a statement. “We want to bring this to the New York Fashion Week scene.”

“This is the time for Filipino designers and brands to step up, to be on par with New York Fashion Week,” Rob said. “We have the talent; we have what it takes to conquer the global stage. We just have to do it right. With the people we have now in ‘Filipinxt,’ we can make it happen.”

“‘Filipinxt’ is a vehicle to give Filipino artists of all sorts a platform for a global career,” Rob added.

The “Filipinxt” runway show will take place at the historic 4W43 Building on May 5, 2024.

Designed by Clarence S. Luce for David H. King Jr. between 1890 and 1891, 4W43 is a landmark for New Yorkers, a stone’s throw away from Times Square in midtown Manhattan. The Renaissance Revival architecture is the perfect backdrop for the Filipino design talent and fashion craftsmanship.

For its maiden show, “Filipinxt” will present the collections of four Filipino designers: Project Runway Philippines alumna Veejay Floresca, Davao-based Wilson Limon, ballgown couturier Michael Leyva, and New York-based designer Bessie Besana.

Project Runway Philippines season 1 contender Veejay Floresca has been known for her minimalist, feminine and contemporary work. Now based in Los Angeles, California, the local fashion glitterati are curious to know the new offerings from Floresca.

Davao’s Wilson Limon of local brand NiñoFranco is known for the modern play on local tapestries, masterfully showcasing Filipino indigenous fabrics in wearable sihlouettes.

Michael Leyva has been celebrated for his classic, outlandish, opulent ballgown pieces seen all over the globe worn by fashionistas with discriminating tastes.

Bessie Besana has been known for dressing up celebrities and beauty queens with his intricate couture creations.

Apart from Bessie and Rob, also on board is Yancy Trinidad, an experienced producer and creative director. He will be directing “Filipinxt,” which will feature a grand twin runway to best present the collections. Meanwhile, Filipino documentarian Kenneth Anderson will chronicle what goes on and behind the runway to give everyone an all-access view of “Filipnxt,” from its creation down to its final moments.

“We are not only showcasing the designers because the director of our show is also a Filipino,” Bessie mused. “We are also tapping other Filipino talents in the community. We are not only limiting ourselves to the Filipino designers. We want the Filipino talents in different areas to be showcased in this show.”

For more information, follow Filipinxt on Instagram @filipinxt.show and Facebook. Contact +1 917 724 6061 and info@manilatomanhattan.com for more details.

Image Source: Filipinxt, Michael Leyva