Thursday, June 13, 2024

Fashion Icons Quiñones & Bacudio Inspire iAcademy To Merge Style With Culture & Business


Fashion Icons Quiñones & Bacudio Inspire iAcademy To Merge Style With Culture & Business


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The fashion world is abuzz with the ingenuity of two of the Philippines’ brightest stars: Puey Quiñones and Avel Bacudio. Each with a unique approach to fashion, Quiñones and Bacudio, have reached their level of mastery and found their niche, making waves both locally and internationally. They have set new standards for elegance, sustainability, and artistry. Last May 22 and 31, 2024, fashion students listened in awe as the seasoned designers shared what their journeys have been like and provided much-needed wisdom and advice to fashion students of iACADEMY.

Puey Quiñones: Defining and Redefining Your Designer Brand

Born in Bobon, Northern Samar, Quiñones always knew that he had an innate talent for fashion. He began as an assistant to Dennis Lustico and moved to work in Bergamo, a men’s fashion apparel brand. In 2001, he began his own fashion house and eventually found his way to Los Angeles. Today, he is a Creative Director for the global bridal company Coco Melody, while also managing his own eponymous brand “Puey Quiñones Los Ángeles”, which offers ready-to-wear and couture to a mid-to-high-end range of clientele.

Quiñones designs for celebrities, media personalities, and politicians. He has also launched collections in LA Fashion Week, Goldenberg in Malacañang, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and collaborations with the likes of Diagold, a prominent international jewelry brand. But what is most notable in his journey is his experience in building and reinventing fashion brands to keep relevance in a trendy and capricious market.

“Branding is a form of expression and style”, Quiñones points out. Defining your brand starts with being different and knowing what you and your company strongly believe in and aligning it with your main target market. Fashion is also a real business and more than just making beautiful clothes, it is also more about really understanding your customer. He couldn’t stress enough the need to constantly evolve and reinvent your brand. “In couture, you create the trend. In ready-to-wear, you follow the trend, and in manufacturing, you follow the brief of the client”, he adds.

A fashion brand does not only start and end with the clothes you make. “At Puey Quiñones LA, we treat branding as one key to our success- from staff training in handling our high-end clientele to the look and the overall ambiance the atelier offers”, notes Quiñones. Alongside his evolution is his fair share of mistakes and challenges, Quiñones opened up and shared with aspiring designers. Despite setbacks, Quiñones received enough support from people who truly believed in him. He remained focused and steadfast in his desire to continue his fashion practice. Fast forward to present, Puey’s aesthetic of clean lines, bold structures, and exquisite attention to detail continue to enchant fashion enthusiasts and critics alike in the Philippines and abroad.

Avel Bacudio: Fashion, Heritage, Advocacy

Avel Bacudio changes the game for fashion as his designs take root from his deep appreciation and respect for Filipino culture and traditional fine craft. Using natural fibers, handwoven fabrics, and intricate stitch designs made by local weavers and communities of artisans, Bacudio continues to transform traditional heritage into contemporary masterpieces that resonate with a global audience.

Born in Bicol, his humble beginnings in Buhi as a janitor eventually led him to courageously pursue his informal fashion practice with his mother as his inspiration. Years later, Bacudio got his formal training at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In 2014, he was named “Asia’s Most Influential Designer” at Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week. In addition to his design prowess, Bacudio is also known for his philanthropic efforts as he uses fashion as a platform to support social causes like the NLAB School for the Blind.

Inspired by creativity, love for culture, and the desire to support culture-bearers and other-abled communities, Bacudio skillfully transforms indigenous and handwoven materials into pieces with wearable and unconventional silhouettes for the modern and fashionable Filipino. Some of his recent creations include the use of the weaves of the Bagobo, T’nalak by the T’boli, intricate embroidery from Lumban, and Inabel from Ilocos Norte. Bacudio seamlessly aligns his passion for fashion with his advocacy to preserve the art of weaving that has been passed down from generation to generation.

“Kailangan natin mahalin ang kultura natin na pinamana sa atin ng ating mga ninuno, para mapamana din natin sa ating susunod na henerasyon”, Bacudio reminds the youth today to use sustainable practices within the fashion industry.

Bacudio’s influence extends beyond the runway; his commitment to nurturing the next generation of fashion innovators has solidified his role as a leader and visionary in the fashion community.

iACADEMY: Merging Design, Business, Technology, Culture and Sustainability in Fashion

As fashion continues to evolve, iACADEMY is at the forefront of shaping the next generation of game-changers in the industry. The updated Fashion Design and Technology (FDT) program exposes and immerses aspiring fashion professionals in the traditional, technological, and sustainable methods of designing, communicating, and conducting fashion business. Through its unique programs such as the School of Design and Arts Co-Teach, students not only learn from guest experts but slowly connect and build their network in the fashion industry.

iACADEMY continues to innovate and personalize fashion education by intentionally aligning student interests to lessons practiced in the fashion workplace to create “Fashion for Good.” iACADEMY is the only Philippine partner of CLO, one of the leading providers of 3D fashion design software, which allows aspiring designers to create and alter true-to-life 3D garments before they go into production. iACADEMY’s FDT program continues to pave the way in preparing fashion graduates who are ready to transform the way we design, produce, use, and reuse fashion products.

Throughout the years since its introduction in 2011, the FDT program has produced graduates who have become fashion designers who started their brands and businesses and managers and designers in Philippine and international retail stores and manufacturing. Its alumni, Eugene Malabad and Ish Barrozo have been recognized by Preview and MEGA as young designers to watch out for. And with the mentoring and authentic encouragement provided by its roster of award-winning design teachers, FDT students and alumni continue to make waves in the fashion scene, most recently, with Vic Fajatin, becoming one of the top 6 finalists at the MEGA Young Designers Competition. Find out more about iAcademy (link: and its Fashion Design and Technology program (