Two years ago, the local retail giant Bench launched the Bench Design Awards. It breathed new life into the industry, helping launch young design talent onto the global stage. The competition continues to solidify its support for the local design arena, as well as strengthen ties with Japan, where the winners of the competition get to showcase their designs at the Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo.
On the last day of Bench Fashion Week on Sept. 1, the jury night of the design awards took place. It was judged by an international panel composed of Japan Fashion Week Organization director Kaoru Imajo, Tokyo-based runway and fashion show producer Shigetaka Kaneko, Philippine consultant for Tokyo Fashion Week Teresa Ortiz-Matera, New York-based designer Willy Chavarria, Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro, and of course, Bench chairman Ben Chan.
Three designers emerged victorious: Jace Quiambao, Antonina Amoncio and Bon Reyes. We took a closer look at their collections and their inspiration, all equally worthy of an international stage.