A NUMBER of Filipino fashion designers have made it big beyond the country’s shores: among the best known are Michael Cinco, Francis Libiran, Rocky Gathercole, and Lesley Mobo.

While also made a name in the international scene, Resty Lagare is relatively unknown to Filipinos.

He is currently the resident fashion designer of Lovely Fashion, one of the biggest haute couture stores in Kuwait. He has dressed up celebrities for the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards, and his creations have been showcased in New York Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, Phoenix Fashion Week, and the TV show Germany’s Next Top Models, among others.

A native of Butuan City, he left in 1991 to pursue his dream to become a designer and he is coming back to give back via a charity fashion show in his home town.

“I vividly remember that I was on the boat from Nasipit and then I looked at Butuan to bid goodbye. I told myself that I will come back one day when Butuan can be proud of me,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.

A high school graduate from the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan, he dropped out of college to work for a garment factory in Manila before going to Dubai.

The Resty Lagare Charity Fashion Show will be held on May 20 at the LMX Convention Center in Butuan. It is produced by Butuan-based social enterprise One Closet and all the Rotary Clubs of Butuan (Rotary Club Area 3I and 3J).

Isabela Blancas, the 15-year-old founder of One Closet, was quoted as saying in the press release, “It was not difficult to convince Tito Resty to come home. He agreed to return on the condition that we put up a charity fashion show.”

The event aims to raise funds for two shelters for disadvantaged children, namely the Gesu Eucaristico Children’s, Inc. for abused girls in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte which is run by the Sisters Disciples of Jesus in the Eucharist; and Balay Silonganan, a home for abandoned and neglected children in Barangay Pinamangkulan in Butuan which is run by the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima.

All of the event’s profits will go to the beneficiaries.

“I’m very excited about the show because we are helping marginalized kids who are close to my heart,” Mr. Lagaren was quoted as saying. “My parents worked hard selling fish in the market to provide for our family. I felt that I was so blessed. My heart goes out to kids who were abandoned or abused.”

Aside from Mr. Lagare, local fashion designers Dannah Mae Paclibar, Edzel Macion, King Aranchado, Kim Amora, and Johnbert Hubabib will be showing their creations in the charity event.

“With this event we get to show the creativity of Butuan’s fashion industry to attract both clients and investors,” said Mr. Lagaren. “I, myself, is looking for investment opportunities to help my fellow Butuanons.

“My first show in the Philippines has to be in Butuan. I’m glad that generous organizations and individuals are helping us with the show.”

For tickets and sponsorships, contact Frederick Blancas at 0917-863-2070.