Young designers also get to show their style at PHx Station pop ups

YOU CAN make a dress, but can you sell it? A series of talks in November aims to equip fashion designers with business skills — just enough to get themselves launched worldwide.

The PHx Fashion Conference will be held on Nov. 17 to 19 at the Ayala Museum in Makati. The talks will include sessions and workshops about fashion business strategies. The conference will feature designer conversations, sessions on the best practices in the international fashion trade, a talk on brand identity and intellectual property, plus other topics intended to help fashion brands kick-start their journeys to adopting elevated standards.

Furthermore, PHx is also holding PHx Station, a three-month popup which introduces the clothes made by young designers Alexie Nethercott, Aire, Apara, Bagasáo, HaMu, Idyllic Summers, Jerome Lorico, Jill Lao, Jude Macasinag, Kelvin Morales, Le Ngok, Liliana Manahan, Neil Felipp, Nicolo, Novel, Randolf, and Renz Reyes, among others. PHx Station is also collaborating with fashion schools College of St. Benilde, iAcademy, and SoFA, wherein a fashion student selected from each school will have the opportunity to present their collections at each batch of PHx Station. PHX Station will run from October to January 2024 at Greenbelt 5.

Back to the conference: Paris-based Filipino-British designer Norman René de Vera will open it. Mr. De Vera, who started his global fashion journey at the London College of Fashion, previously worked with Celine, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Versace, and Calvin Klein. He is currently the design and image director for French legacy brand AZ Factory. Meanwhile, TFC Press founder Philippe Terrien and his wife, former fashion editor Giselle Go, will hold talks on business development and other related topics, considering collaborations TFC Press has done with brands like Dries Van Noten, Aesop, Carven, Emilio Pucci, and Courrèges (not to mention developing their own skincare line). Select participants will also have their portfolios assessed and reviewed by TFC Press.

Trickie Lopa, PHx co-founder, told BusinessWorld during the event’s press launch on Sept. 12 in Makati, “We realized that the whole point of the PHx group is really to propel these fledgling fashion labels to operate at a global standard,” she said.

On that note, creatives (like fashion designers) aren’t exactly known to be very good in business. Designer Seph Bagasao, also a co-founder of PHx, said, “It’s not very common for creatives to handle their business, but it will help to know the basics, and that’s something you impart to your team.”

PHx co-founder Esme Palaganas explained to BusinessWorld why they started the conferences (the first series was held in 2019, focusing on making it in Japan): “We felt like this kind of information we’re exchanging; it needs to be out there. We had our own struggles before.”

By developing more fashion designers, Ms. Palaganas hopes to create a more vibrant clothing ecosystem. “The Philippine fashion industry isn’t just defined by one name, or three names. To be an industry, you have to have a lot of names. That’s healthier for us.”

Follow for more details on registration and other announcements. — Joseph L. Garcia