A FILIPINO fashion designer based in the United States has given a fresh take to Davao Region’s banana fabric.

Carl Andrada is a Capiz-born fashion and costume designer who has been practicing his profession in Los Angeles, California since 2015. While being away from his homeland, he never forgets to continue promoting his culture. Recently, he used the fabric produced by MUSA of Tagum City-based Joy Soo in designing an outfit for the photoshoot of Ms. Universe 2020 contestant, Ms. Mauritius.

“It was after the Miss Universe pageant, I invited her to visit LA and she was gracious enough to do a photoshoot since she wore some of my creations during Miss Universe. One of which was made from a Mindanao fabric,” he shared.

As an advocate of Philippine fabric, it was not difficult for him to fall in love with MUSA. He believes that Philippine-made fabrics need to be seen worldwide, not only in Philippine costumes but in regular clothes as well, such as gowns, shirts, and dresses.

“We have an abundance of fabric in the Philippines that we have to showcase. That is why, I let Miss Mauritius wear one of my earliest designs made out of MUSA to show to people how nice and elegant a fabric it is, and that it is truly of world-class quality,” he noted.

With his growing love for MUSA, he is planning to produce a collection of 15 to 20 designs out of the banana fabric. These exciting pieces are expected to be part of SS2022 LA Fashion Week this October to formally introduce MUSA in the US. And this is surely a piece of great news for Soo, who is one of the newest graduates of the Department of Trade and Industry 11’s Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program.

“The fact that Musa is an advocacy, and it helps and supports underprivileged people and their respective families, this made me realize to embrace it. I feel that in my own little way, I could open doors of opportunities for MUSA and the people behind it,” he said about his shared vision with the local entrepreneur-designer.

Andrada’s designs are anchored on the uniqueness of the materials he uses. With MUSA being unconventional and available in vibrant colors, he is keen on making more wearable pieces out of it.

To those who want to make it big in the industry someday, the brilliant designer had this advice: “Never stop learning and you should always seek knowledge because the world is full of opportunities. You have to prepare yourself in the very quick changing times. Never imitate someone, be original. Find that uniqueness in you and be kind. And finally, love and embrace your chosen craft.”


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