With a career spanning over 25 years in fashion, fashion designer Rajo Laurel is a force to be reckoned with because of his amazing love for life and the arts. Of course, he is also known for uplifting the local fashion community on the global stage. Its no wonder he has been very vocal and active in helping the fight against Covid-19, by speaking in fashion webinars and producing personal protective equipment. Tonight, Laurel is leading the way for Philippine fashion, rallying members of the industry as it enters a new era with a timely live airing of the #RajoRunwayOnline show on Facebook.

“The entire fashion industry is basically on hold. This is deeply dangerous as our industry is responsible for hundreds of thousands of individuals who rely on our work for their livelihood. We must continue because life must go on. Perhaps for now this [virtual show] is the way,” the designer shares exclusively to Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “We have to think out of the box and push our industry forward. We have to find ways to begin, and begin strong. We have to believe that as creatives, we will find new ways to tell our stories and share experiences.”

In partnership with fashion director Robby Carmona and his events company Saga Events, the very first virtual show of Rajos will be a means to reach out and connect with the whole Philippine fashion industry. “This was the brainchild of my good friend Robby. It was his idea as a means to inspire our community in these challenging times, and to reestablish and forge relationships with friends, clients and colleagues,” Laurel says. “He asked me what I was doing for my birthday. I said I was supposed to launch my newest collection called Hacienda last March 13, two days before the official lockdown. He then asked if I wanted to do a fashion show, and that’s when the seed of the idea was planted.”

With 20 looks broken down into 15 female and file male styles, the Saga-produced show will feature a mix of live and taped portions. For makeup and hair, the fashion designer tapped his sister Gela Laurel and longtime collaborator Jing Monis. Both created tutorial videos featuring their main looks, which were sent to the models of Mercator Model Management for execution. “The collection is readily available as we are presenting the ready to wear collection of The House of Laurel,” Laurel says. “We have partnered with Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Kaye Tinga of the Red Charity Gala, and they will be distributing a portion of our sales and donations to their various philanthropic endeavors such as the Philippine Red Cross and others.”

Will this be the future of fashion shows? Laurel answers with a yes, for now. “At the moment, given our current restrictions, perhaps,” he says. “This will certainly change, however, once we find better solutions. This is how we all should proceed for now as we don’t want to spread the virus further.”

#RajoRunwayOnline goes live tonight on Saga Events’ Facebook page at 6pm. For orders, send a direct message to House of Laurel Instagram page to receive lookbook.

Source: Manila Bulletin (