Two’s a Charm
David Milan (The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Young designer Mark Bumgarner never went to fashion school. He was — get this — an award-winning racecar driver. Though still relatively new in the industry, he already has an impressive number of big-scale shows to his name — and is having another one on Jan. 18. He collaborated with client-turned-friend, actress-turned-painter Love Marie Ongpauco (a.k.a. Heart Evangelista) for a 40-piece collection. (Interestingly, Love Marie, like Mark, never went to a formal art school.) So what happens when two self-taught friends collaborate? In this YStyle exclusive, a behind-the-scenes look at some of the pieces that will be unveiled on Monday at Dusit Thani Hotel. We sat down with the designer and talked about his craft and future in fashion.

YSTYLE: How long have you been designing? 

MARK BUMGARNER: I started designing in 2012 just for fun. In 2013 I came out with my very first collection. It was around that same time that I quit racing and concentrated on fashion design. Fashion for me is so different from racing but I still get the same adrenaline rush every time I have a show or a bride walks down the aisle wearing my design.

At such an early age in your career, you’ve already done a handful of big-scale solo shows. What is your ultimate goal as a designer?

I think every designer’s goal is to be recognized globally. We live in a time where fashion and retail is increasingly becoming a global phenomenon. So it is my dream to be a recognizable Filipino brand across the globe.

Who are the local designers you look up to?







I really look up to Rajo Laurel. He has impeccable taste and a flair for business. He also gives me valuable advice about the industry, which I truly appreciate. I also look up to Michael Cinco, Ezra and Cary Santiago because of their couture techniques and for being ambassadors of Philippine fashion the world over. How they started in the industry and how much they have achieved so far is truly inspiring. And lastly, Inno Sotto for his unparalleled vision and talent.

Arrange these five words in order of personal importance: Price, Quality, Taste level, Trendiness, Wearability.

1. Taste Level

2. Quality

3. Wearability

4. Price

5. Trendiness

Describe your current collection in one word.

Enduring. I would like to think my pieces are timeless and classic and do not belong to a particular era or age.

Who is the Mark Bumgarner woman?

A Mark Bumgarner woman does not conform to trends or fads but is forward. She is her own style icon.

How did this collaboration with Love Marie begin?

I have been dressing up Love Marie for a while now and we’ve become really good friends. In the process of fittings some time last year, she thought of painting on clutches. That’s where the idea of painting on my dresses came in eventually.

What is the best and worst thing about working with Love Marie?

The best part about working with Love Marie is her dedication to her craft. She is so passionate about her art and at this very moment she is very inspired as well. I think that’s what I have learned from Love Marie. She is also very, very professional. I think the industry knows how professional she is.

The worst part about working with Love Marie is the fact that we have become really good friends so that work hours with her tend to be hangout sessions until the early mornings!  

What can people expect in your gala show on Monday?

They can expect to see a show of collaborative efforts not just between me and Love Marie but also all of our friends who helped us put this show together like Kat Cruz, Earl Semitara, Elmer Lapeña, Robby Carmona and many more. This truly is a passion project. It’s going to be very exciting.

Who do you want to collaborate with next, and why?

I don’t have any idea as of the moment but hopefully there will be more collaborations between me and Love Marie. Maybe on different kinds of products. Lets wait and see.

Who’s your dream client?

If she were alive, it would be Audrey Hepburn.



Styled by DAVID MILAN | Makeup by ANTHEA BUENO | Hair by MONG AMADO

Modeled by NATALIA G. of ELITE | Shot on location at MOZAIC LIVING

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