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Levenson Rodriguez on kindling the spark of the positivity through art and fashion

Levenson Rodriguez on kindling the spark of the positivity through art and fashion


Fashion has become one of the primary ways in which people express their personality and in which they distinguish themselves from those around them. With every New Year which comes and goes new styles arrive on the scene. The desire to express one is something that was present all through human history. And as we transition to the new normal, this group of creative minds is thinking about how to rekindle the fire of the local fashion industry.

An overview of the effect of the pandemic on the fashion industry?

According to Levenson Rodriguez of the Fashion Designers Alliance (FaDAL), their industry really took a blow from the pandemic. There’s no big weddings, no tapings, fewer photoshoots, and no events at all. Even those big local designer shops in Greenbelt filed bankruptcy. As for him, he launched a Virtual Learning Series around June and thankful that it’s doing well. He also started Limited Engagements wherein he invited people who are willing to teach and share their knowledge.


Meanwhile, other designers are surviving by designing masks almost every two weeks. There are also others who were able to come up with a food business. They are all staying afloat by supporting one another. But an idea emerged during this pandemic. Levenson Rodriguez said that they wanted to do something to remind the consumers that they are still alive. That they can do beyond masks and PPEs. But he knows that he cannot do that alone.

Stirring the minds of the young artists

Restarting the pulse of the Philippine fashion industry is a lot of work and collaboration of ideas. So a decision to change the drive of the alliance was made. He added, “I’ve thought of changing the alliance thrust from discovering up and coming designers to THRIVE and INSPIRE with seasoned fashion designers – I believe it would have a much stronger impact to inspire young creatives – us getting together to keep the excitement alive. To not ride it out but change the fashion narrative.”

In choosing the designers for this mission, they selected individuals from different times of seniority. By doing this, they will get a wider perspective for the upcoming projects of the alliance. Most of them won fashion competitions in the past and had fashion shows in the international scene. Levenson even said,” These are designers whom I think highly of. Designers I know who has the same passion as I do for this industry we love. Aside from their creative expertise, they also excel in their marketing skills.”

Estien Quijano

Julius Tarog

Roel Rosal

Louis Claparols

Jeffrey Rogador

Odelon Simpao

Russel Villafuerte

Vin Orias

Tipay Caintic

Ehrran Montoya

Julianne Paran (FaDAL Baguio)

Xioti Chiu (FaDAL Mindanao)

Fashion Designer’s Alliance collaborates with Niccolo Cosme for the “Banig” campaign

The alliance also has a new partnership with Niccolo Cosme’s Banig campaign to unleash the skills of the new designers. Levenson explained that Niccolo Cosme is perfect for the job since he’s famous for his skills photo editing and creative graphics. Not to mention, he was able to interpret the creative brief with a very unique concept. Banig is quite Filipino, and it will support local workers. The weave pattern is like symbolism on how all of the people in the fashion industry are connected.

Niccolo suggested launching the Banig concept as a public campaign and as a FaDAL’s initiative. This will bring awareness of the impact of the pandemic on the industry to a wider crowd. Aside from that, a portion of the registration fee will go to a cause that supports weavers and dressmakers who lost their jobs.

As for now, FaDAL is doing what it can to keep the industry alive. The Philippine Fashion Coalition will get data on all local creatives and seek help from the government. Meanwhile, Fashion Accessory Makers Philippines will bring them all together to help promote one another. Levenson wants to impart this message to all young fashion entrepreneurs:

“Let’s all take it one step at a time. Let’s keep doing what we love doing. We are all in this together, Let’s be more creative in times of crisis because fashion gives positivity in trying times. Let’s all together change the fashion narrative.”

As Levenson Rodriguez tells his students during VLS, “People will want to dress up again”.  Do you guys agree?

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