Philippines’ leading clothing and lifestyle brand, BENCH continues to create, promote, and love local this year with the holiday round of its biannual Bench Fashion Week.Following its Bench Body presentation at New York Fashion Week: Men’s last July and preceding another highly-anticipated Tokyo Fashion Week show happening this October, Bench mounted the all-new season of its very own Bench Fashion Week, a style showcase that ran from September 7-10, 2017, with its first three days putting the spotlight on some of the country’s most recognized brands and designers.
Its fourth day served as the culmination of the first ever Bench Design Awards, where 10 young, up-and-coming fashion designers presented their own collections of 8 looks for a chance to join Bench at the Asian Fashion Meets Tokyo show of Japan’s most popular fashion festival, Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, on October 22.
The four-day Bench Fashion Week was again held at The Playground of the Bench Tower in Bonifacio Global City, and was nothing less than an exciting preview of what we can expect from local retail favourites Bench, Human, and Kashieca, with intimate wear label Bench Body joining the mix as it unveiled an exciting collaboration with Filipino-Canadian supermodel and returning brand ambassador, Paolo Roldan. Bench’s global partner brands American Eagle Outfitters, Cotton On, and Vero Moda were back on the BFW runway as well.
After last season’s highly successful partnership with young designers Sassa Jimenez, Ziggy Savella, and Rik Rasos and Pat Bondoc of Proudrace, Bench is now sharing the stage with designers Rhett Eala and Jerome Lorico, and sustainable local brand PIOPIO.
For Holiday 2017, we were treated to tough, tailored pieces inspired by North African culture from Jerome Lorico, delicately crafted men and women’s formalwear via Rhett Eala, and youthful, fiesta-inspired pieces from PIOPIO.
This season, we also looked forward to the final stage of the first ever Bench Design Awards – an initiative meant to put the spotlight on undiscovered local talent. This was an open call for designers nationwide– 10 of whom were selected, after a rigorous screening process, to present their own collections at Bench Fashion Week for a chance to represent the Philippines at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo (AFWT).
This year’s finalists were Bea Samson, Esme Palaganas, Banggo Niu, Wilson Limon Jr., Jennifer Contreras, Diorelle Sy, Ched Dalogaog, Yves Camingue, RJ Santos, and Jaggy Glarino. With the help of organizers from AFWT, three of the aforementioned designers were hailed as winners at the September 10 showcase and will fly to Japan in October to present alongside Bench at the Asian Fashion Meets Tokyo S/S 2018 show.
The winners were Jennifer Contreras, RJ Santos, and Jaggy Glarino. They were each awarded airfare and accommodation for their participation at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, as well as intensive training in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan and the overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA). They also joined Bench at a pop-up store called The Container at Laforet for 8 days, which coincides with Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo from October 16 to 23 of this year.
Some things, as they say, get better with age. Watch out for more surprises as Bench continues to celebrate its 30th year in the biz. Stay in the loop via @benchtm on Instagram and Twitter, and hit like on http://facebook.com/benchtmofficial.