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Quarter life success

Filipino fashion brand Bayo celebrates 25 years in the industry by launching a new collection, honoring accomplished Filipinas, and giving back

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By Liza Ilarde

@ilardeliza on Instagram

  • Kylie Verzosa closes the FL x Bayo runway show

  • Bayo’s Leo and Anna Lagon

  • Francis Libiran’s second collection for Bayo features Art Deco elements, sporty details, and the colors of the flag

  • Francis Libiran

  • Lea Salonga

  • Janella Salvador

  • Roseanne Bautista

  • Lisa Macuja-Elizalde

  • Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala

  • Reese Fernandez-Ruiz

    Last September, Bayo celebrated its 25th anniversary as one of the top Filipino fashion brands. At the event, held at The Peninsula Manila, Bayo’s VP and chief creative officer Anna Lagon admitted that local brands, theirs included, felt threatened when established international fashion labels started popping up in the country one by one. “To be able to not just survive, but also aggressively expand our retail footprint, is enough [reason] for us to celebrate,” she said. “Today we have doubled our number of branches from about three years ago.”

    Anna  also  acknowledged  the importance of accepting that they cannot—and should not—compete with these “global giants. We have to find a level where we can co-exist with them. We may not have their financial muscle, but what we do have are loyal, indefatigable, dedicated, and inspired people who we feel are the greatest assets of this company.” Those people she spoke of are the employees who have been with them for years, the loyal clientele here and abroad, and the 25 successful women they chose to represent who and what Bayo is: Filipino and proud.

    As part of their Made In The Philippines campaign, each of the 25 Bayo women were photographed and featured in an exhibit of black-and-white portraits at The Peninsula’s Upper Lobby. Among these accomplished  individuals are fashion entrepreneurs such as Roseanne Bautista of Fino Leatherware and Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags2Riches, activists such as Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala of ICanServe Foundation and Alexandra Eduque of MovEd, artists such as Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Olivia d’Aboville, and businesswomen such as Olivia Limpe-Aw of Destileria Limtuaco and Pinky Yee of Goldilocks. Also included are three generations of Bayo brand ambassadors: singer/actress Janella Salvador (who performed at the event), Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa (who walked for the fashion show), and Ms. Lea Salonga (who will soon be seen on Bayo billboards for the holiday campaign).

    That night, Bayo CEO Leo Lagon also announced the launch of the Bayo Foundation. “Our mission is to preserve our Filipino heritage and to provide homegrown opportunities,” he said. “We shall endeavour to support worthwhile activities that will allow local talents to hone their creative skills.” One way they plan to do that is to open the facilities of Bayo to young designers and fashion students in order to prepare them for their future. “Scholarships for poor but deserving students in the field of fashion will also be readily available,” he added. The brand also intends to support the advocacies of the 25 Bayo women.

    The highlight of the celebration was the launch of the second collaboration of Bayo with their designer-in-residence Francis Libiran via a fashion show. The 45-piece collection dubbed FL x Bayo was inspired by Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. “I had every Filipina in mind while I was designing the collection,” said Francis. “Bayo and I share the same vision: to take the Filipino’s beauty, talent, and craftsmanship to a whole new level.”

     

    FL x Bayo collection is available at select Bayo stores and online at www.styleshops.com.ph

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