With a keen eye for detail and an understanding of form that could only be built by years of experience, Avel has established himself as a fashion mogul on both local and now, international style scenes. Now on his 20th year in the industry, this Bicol-born designer has shown no signs of resignation. Less than a year after being recognized as Asia’s Most Influential Designer, he went full force with fashion profile shows in San Francisco and Paris in September of 2016 the perfect way to ring in his two-decade anniversary.
An extensive collection of neutrals, ruby and print, Avel showcased a spectacle in the form of his 80-piece collection in San Francisco’s Santa Clara Convention Center for the benefit of abused children.
Invited by none other than Jimmy Choo himself, Avel made his way to France not a week later for the Mercedes-Benz Stylo launch, where he put his dystopian Vinyl collection on display.
NOT QUITE THE FAIRYTALE
Even with his career soaring to new heights, Avel remains well rooted and humble a breath of fresh air in an industry so inclined to keeping up appearances. After leaving his hometown of Buhi, Camarines Sur for Manila as a wide-eyed 17-year-old, Avel developed big dreams of crafting garments for women. With the help of his sister, he took up a degree in fashion design. However, young Avel chose not to see his schooling through. Drop-out
“AVEL REMAINS WELL ROOTED AND HUMBLE-A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN AN INDUSTRY SO INCLINED TO KEEpING up appearances” aka, he admits firmly, explaining his choice to pursue career opportunities and learn the ropes as he went along. It was a choice well made, what with the doors that eventually opened: multiple awards, an opportunity to participate in Inno Sotto’s famed Fashion Watch and the chance to set up his own shop on Kamias Road, now an exclusively by-appointment atelier. Building from the ground up, Avel gained knowledge of fashion under his own steam. He credits his stint as costume designer for ABS-CBN’s Wanspanataym as his optimal training ground. Of course when you come from the province, you do not know anything about Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. But, that’s what the show was about! Those were the kinds of characters they had, so I had to learn about them on my own, he shares. It was with this very fervor that Avel faced all his projects: with resolute drive and a head-on mentality. With a sense of justifiable pride, he recounts, Regardless of what they made me do, kinaya ko lahat.
THE WAY UP
In spite of his upmarket clientele and international recognition, Avel shares that it is the little things that are most gratifying: a simple thank you, or seeing that his customers have fallen in love with his designs. Honestly, I never feel that sense of accomplishment, because it is not about how much money you earn. When people tag me on Instagram to thank me that’s when I feel most rewarded, he admits.
Looking ever forward,
Avel intends on seizing the unexpected. Taking a detour from his illustrious high-fashion direction, he prepares to launch SHARE x AVEL, a charitable retail line intended to help children in need. Many other designers are focused on couture, so I asked myself why I should follow in their lead, he explains regarding his choice to bring a lesser-known side of his designs, as well as a friendlier price point, to the table.
But what is celebrating an incomparable stronghold of two decades in a highly fickle industry without a display of glitz and glamour on a grand scale? While keeping his tireless focus on his RTW line, his made-to-orders and his growing reach abroad, Avel Bacudio is gearing up for a book launch (a collection of his most memorable works,
editorials and quotes) and a gala presentation sometime next year. It will be a rundown of what is signature to me denim, ready-to-wear, pieces in red, purple and of course, black, he shares over a hearty Italian dinner. Kinakabahan ako but I’m looking forward to it, he reveals.
With 20 years of tenure behind him, Avel pushes on with unrivalled momentum, bigger aspirations and the same down-to-earth cast of mind he started with.
Avel Bacudio Fashion Designer 2016 Photo Gallery
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