Fashion and Beauty

Boyet Fajardo marks 44th year as fashion designer despite pandemic, disability

Earl D.C. Bracamonte - Philstar.com
Boyet Fajardo marks 44th year as fashion designer despite pandemic, disability
Fashion designer Boyet Fajardo with his seasoned models Alvin Fortuna and Katherine Von Moya, whom he had worked years back during their teens. Joining them is beauty titlist and supermodel Joy Castillo-Pasidis, who had her modeling stints in Europe before the pandemic. Photo shot in Tagaytay Highlands..
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines —  Sixty years is the sum of one's existence biblically, and beyond that is a gift from heaven. In Eastern astrology, 60 is also the completion of the 12-year animal calendar when all have passed through the elemental cycles of earth, wood, water, air, and fire.

This year, fashion designer Boyet Fajardo has attained both as he celebrates 2022 as a sexagenarian. His fashion label, Moda Concepto, has endured the ups and downs of the ready-to-wear (RTW) market for over four decades, most especially during the very trying times of the global pandemic. 

"My calling, as I see it, is more of an advocacy for PWDs (Persons with Disabilities). Earlier in life, I was ostracized because of a congenital hand deformity. That, and my being a member of the LGBT community. I've been a staunch supporter of the Epheta Foundation. Some of the instruments I've donated to them have saved many from their blindness. It was my way of giving back. I've experienced temporary blindness before but luckily regained my eyesight back."

Moda Concepto, Boyet's thriving fashion label, has bravely broken ground in markets not usually catered to by most fashion brands and labels.

"But we almost closed shop last year. Businesses had no global support. At the height of the pandemic, we had to downsize but when circumstances got better, I got all my staff back. I had to sell some of my vehicles and some watches from my personal collection. A sold property made me save my venture from closing."

Boyet claimed to have pioneered the "Plus" category - these were the sizes 10 to 20 for curvy women. Boyet ended up in the RTW business because of her mom, the late Margarita Cunanan, who was an accomplished seamstress. Everything he learned, he learned from his mom. And so at 16, he worked as an illustrator for Goulee Gorospe. From there on, Boyet, slowly but surely, built his fashion house.

Fabulous at 40

"Fabulous at Forty" is Boyet's new line, in celebration of his 40 years as a fashion designer. The new label is for accomplished men and women who have found the balance in life. Between the exercise of their respective careers and their family and home lives, these people know how to manage the many aspects of their lives. 

For his new line, he has employed middle-aged models for this campaign. These 40-something lookers have retained their youthful looks, belying their true ages.

For his recent bridal shoot, Boyet has assembled three models to wear his collection. His groom is Alvin Fortuna, an entrepreneur who dabbles in the movies. Alvin's filmography include such films as "The Lookout," "The Sin," the biopic "Hermano Pule," and Chito Roño's "Moonlight Over Baler."

Boyet has two muses as brides. One is Bodyshots 2000 winner Cathy Moya, who previously worked with Alvin Fortuna in a Natasha label campaign. The other is Mrs.Universe Philippines 2012 Joy Castillo, a mom of two who has modelled extensively in Germany and Greece before deciding to come back home to the Philippines.

Boyet graced the "Fashion Forte" show in Crowne Plaza Manila last March 24. Directed by Audie Espino, the fashion show also featured the designs of Nardie Presa, Jun-jun Cambe, Lalong Gandasila, MC Mikael Castillo, Carl Arcusa, Lorenzo Vega, Marianne Martin, and Maestro Ramon Santiago.

"Fashion Forte" brings Fajardo full circle in an industry that has nurtured his aesthetic sensibilities, as he also just celebrated his 60th birthday.

RELATED: A lesson in humility & forgiveness


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