Philippine Fashion, ever since it began, has always been characterized by a combination of foreign and native garments and styles. This is very much true today, when the most iconic fashion designs, all coming out in Philippine Fashion Week; express their latest designs which are very much influenced by European and American fashion designs and statements. The foreign influences can be tracked all the way to our influence of foreign media, particularly Hollywood. One particular Filipino designer, JC Buendia, talked about his influences which were all famous Hollywood figures, (i.e. Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Wallis Simpson and Diana Vreeland).

Because of these influences, which also dictate the consumer preferences, the Philippine Fashion scene is very much dominated by foreign brands that set up shop locally. Several examples of these, such as Forever 21, Top Man, Uniqlo, and Cotton on, have all been setting up stores in the Philippines, at rapidly increasing rates in union with massive retailers like SM and Ayala. More importantly, however, these same shops have been setting up manufacturing in the Philippines, which in itself is a good thing, because it provides a lot of jobs for people who, alternatively, would have been unemployed. However, these foreign-owned manufacturing plants can also be seen as competition to local manufacturing plants, which are barely thriving as it is.

In the Philippines in the first quarter of 2013 you see a 31.3 percent rise of the industry sector of the GDP. This means that there are a lot more jobs as well as a rise in technology in the different factories, malls, and building around the Philippines. This shows that the industry sector, in itself, is thriving. Unfortunately this doesn’t really speak well of the Fashion Industry in itself. While the Industry sector is thriving, a lot of the factories, new developed technologies, and job openings, are coming from the foreign brands stated above, in fact these brands have been experiencing massive growth. Because of the rise of these brands, there’s a lot more competition in the Philippine Fashion scene and the local brands, which are using competitive material and quality, are not able to compete. A lot of this can be linked to the individual, middle class, Filipino consumers’ preference, which in itself is very much driven towards foreign products.

Though the Philippine Fashion Industry is put in jeopardy, however, the rise in the Industry sector of the Philippines shows that these foreign brands still contribute a substantial amount to the development of the Philippines.


Aquino. Coromina. Mendiola

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