We got up close and personal with three young fashion designers in Iloilo City. Read on and get to know them as well as peek behind the world of fashion.
Binky Pitogo. Though she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Food Technology from University of the Philippines Visayas, Binky always had a passion for fashion. As a young girl, she loved dressing up Barbie dolls and making clothes for them by herself.
Sidney Eculla. Sidney was seemingly headed for a different career before discovering his love for fashion and design. Sidney graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Communication Arts from St. Paul Seminary in Manila.
Paul Conte. Paul took up Political Science in West Visayas State University. At 18, he joined a fashion design contest and won, and the rest is history.
How did you get into fashion design?
- Binky: I started designing accessories and clothes and sold them on Multiply. My certificate course in Clothing Technology from the School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFa) augmented my skills to further my career in fashion design.
- Sidney: My passion for designing clothes started when I was given the chance to be a production designer in our school play. I knew that one day I would make a living out of it. In 2007, I worked as an assistant for Manila-based designer, Edgar Allan, which really helped me by exposing me to the world of fashion design.
- Paul: I joined the Robinson’s Place Iloilo’s Design Lab 5th Run back in 2011 and I won. People with passion win.
How is it being a fashion designer?
- Binky: We work according to our passion. At the end of the day, you love what you do. I am committed to making my clients happy.
- Paul: I feel very fortunate to have found a career where I could follow my passion.
- Sidney: I find that sometimes it’s really more about the connections we create, how we treat our clients, and the satisfaction they demonstrate in wearing our creations.
What is your specific style or do you cater to a particular field in fashion?
- Paul: I go for more of a femme luxe look.
- Binky: Wearable. I believe that what we wear says a lot about who we are.
- Sidney: Bridal.
Have you ever had a wedding cancelled?
- Paul and Sidney: Yes! (laughter ensues)
- Binky: No.
What advice would you give aspiring designers?
- Binky: Work your way through your dreams. If you just keep on dreaming but not do something about that dream, nothing will happen.
- Paul: Be yourself. Do more of what makes youhappy
- Sidney: Cultivate your craft, character, and relationships with people.
Paul Conte won as grand winner in the 5th iteration of Iloilo’s Design Lab held in Robinson’s Place Iloilo. Celebrities like Heart Evangelista and Lovie Poe have worn his creations. His shop, Paul Conte Atelier, is located at Times Square Building, General Luna Street, Iloilo City.
Sidney Eculla worked as an assistant for Manila-based designer Edgar Allan in 2007. He started to make a mark in the international scene when he was chosen to dress 20 candidates for the evening gown competition in the 2017 Miss Universe New Zealand beauty pageant. He’s been commissioned as the pageant’s gown designer ever since. He currently owns a shop in 568 Quezon Street, Iloilo City.
Binky Pitogo has a certificate course in Clothing Technology from the very prestigious School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFa), a design institute in Manila that specializes in design education. Aside from making custom pieces, Binky sells her RTW line through her Instagram account @shopbinkydoodles. Her shop Binky Pitogo Fashion Studio is located at SanMars Point Building, General Luna Street, Iloilo City.