MEGA Magazine April 2017 : Designer Profile

When asked to describe the Renan Pacson man/woman, the young designer is quick to reply: “Pedestrian,” he says, “but living in 2049”. Fashion is a forward thinking business and clearly, Pacson is about 32 years ahead of the curve.

In his most recent showing at this season’s Manila Fashion Festival, the MEGA Young Designers alum took the audience on a trip to a dystopian society where modern day street wear took center stage, peppered with a whole lot of gender fluidity. “It is more of a movement versus being just another trend,” he shares. “I will continuously push to blur the lines of gender in my own little way.”

Pacson’s vision of a gender-neutral fashion aesthetic is just one of the many reasons why he is on the list of Manila’s brightest design stars. Not only is he able to create pieces that capture the mind’s imagination, his work is able to transform the most basic items of clothing into something worthy of their own stage.

Simply put and as he relates, “My designs should feel like an extension of myself. I like comfy and familiar pieces, and I enjoy the challenge of elevating regular pieces and thinking of a way to make it different whilst maintaining its familiarity and mundaneness.”

Having had an affinity for fashion from the get-go, Pacson graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Clothing Technology, which he followed up with courses at SLIM’s. Straight out of college, he flew to Dubai where he worked as a visual merchandiser before eventually landing an assistant designer job at an haute couture boutique.

Finding his way back home, Pacson made his debut at the MEGA Young Designers Competition in 2012 with his o-yoroi collection, which won him the coveted first place. Since then, the young designer has seen success overseas, participating in events such as the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo and the International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week, to name a few.

Fast forward to 2017 and Pacson serves up another thought-provoking collection. In The Replicants, the designer gives us a glimpse into the future he imagines: A cyborg era where hardened street wear meets the softness of drape.

Key pieces from the collection include knitted piña numbers splattered with paint to look like mercury spill, layered and twisted bomber jackets and draped bottoms that can be worn in more ways than one.

The artistry in his last collection is uncanny, finally giving Filipinos street wear a voice of its own, which begs the question: Where does he draw his inspiration from? His answer: “Manong tricycle driver in a layered outfit.” Genius.

But of all the things that we love most about young Renan Pacson is his inability to shy away from his brave aesthetic season after season. “When I did o-yoroi, my finale collection for MEGA YDC, that’s where I felt I found and felt comfortable with my own aesthetic.” he says.

While Pacson continues to make strides in the local fashion industry, the promise of going global isn’t too far off. He shares, ” I plan to grow it [the business] organically but I want to fortify my client base on my own turf before expanding further.” For starters, his pieces are available for purchase in Europe at Rosier 41 in Antwerp.

While his successes are nothing short of remarkable, what is most impressive is his ability to keep his feet planted firmly on the ground, to that, his advice to up-and-coming designers is: “Keep it real. Stop whining. Start doing. Never feel entitled.”

Pacson’s star is shining brighter than ever. When asked what song best describes his life right now, he says “Feeling Good by Nina Simone.” and we couldn’t agree more.


Written by Ria Gamboa

Photography by Erwin Canlas

Styling by Jebby Fronda

Model : Cassie Reyes of Elite Manila

Make up by Anton Patdu

Hair by Mong Amado

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