TORONTO – From June 9 to 14, Toronto again welcomed renowned Philippine fashion icons, visionaries, and rising stars for the return of Canada Philippine Fashion Week (CPFW). CPFW’s 2nd year was indeed bigger, filled with spectacular showcase of Filipino talent and culture, all for a good cause.
CPFW Executive Director and Founder Jeff Rustia said that, years ago, Canada Philippine Fashion Week was just an idea in his head that he wrote down on a napkin. Now, CPFW has become a travel destination event in Toronto after having brought 33,000 visitors and generated 5.5 million dollars into the City last year. This year, it has won FEO’s “Best New Festival of the Year” 2014 award, and are now being endorsed by both the Philippine and Canadian governments.
However, CPFW is not just about glamour and high fashion. Rustia dedicates everything to his late son Kol, who was born with Trisomy 13, a fatal genetic syndrome. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Kol Hope Foundation for Children to help thousands of children with Trisomy-related disabilities.
Some of the world-class fashion designers who supported the cause were Francis Libiran, Avel Bacudio, Shanon Pamaong, Noel Crisostomo, Renee Salud, Frederick Peralta, and Kim Gan. Up-and-coming designers also took part in the event to show the world their promising talent. Beautiful faces in the modeling industry, such as beauty queen Venus Raj, Asia’s Next Top Model runner-up Jodilly Pendre, and Philippine top models Karina Cabiling and Ria Bolivar, were also in attendance and graced the runway for charity.
The CPFW Model of the Year was also introduced this year, with 10 contestants (seven from Canada and three from the Philippines) who competed for the title. CPFW Male Models of the Year were Brodie Nero from Toronto and Manila-based LA Aguinaldo. The CPFW Female Model of the Year title was awarded to Carleton University student Anjelica Balatbat.
The whole week of fashion and philanthropy ended with the Canada Philippine Fashion Ball at the Royal York Hotel on June 14, Saturday. Francis Libiran’s latest collection debuted during the event. According to Libiran, Philippine embroidery was his inspiration for his 50-piece collection, but he gave it a modern twist to make the dresses wearable. The CPFW Showroom was also launched on the same day. The pop-up boutique is a non-profit initiative, which aims to promote designers from the Philippines and Canada in a retail environment.