London, United Kingdom – Award-winning Filipino fashion designer John Herrera participated in this year’s London Collections, organised by Oxford Fashion Studio as part of the London Fashion Week 2016. The runway show was held on the 18th of September at Devonshire Square, London.
Joining designers from Brazil, Norway and the UK, Herrera showcased his Amaya couture collection. The collection was named after a Filipino epic female character of an ancient kingdom in pre-Hispanic Philippines.
John Herrera started his company in 2006 with a specialisation in women’s eveningwear. According to him, he now “solely designs the haute couture and prêt-à-por·ter lines of the label.” He was also a previous headliner in the Fashion Philippines’ participation at the British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2015 (IFS) – the world’s largest public fashion exhibition for emerging designers. He was one of the chosen delegates that year to represent the Philippines under the supervision of the Center for International Trade and Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The Philippine Trade and Investment Centre London (PTIC London) promoted John Herrera’s show at London Collections as part of its continuous efforts to encourage Filipino talents and designers to compete globally.
His London Fashion Week 2016 collection exhibits a modern take on the butterfly sleeves, which are elements of the Philippine national dress. Staying true to the story of Amaya – a princess and a warrior who used her powers to lead her community and break boundaries of a male-dominated society, Herrera said that the collection is inspired by the appreciation of a working businesswoman who can stay fashionable while doing important things like saving the world and fighting for women’s rights.
Women are not only an inspiration for Herrera as a female workforce is an integral part of his business model. He hires and works with women from disadvantaged backgrounds. “I’ve made it a point to hire uneducated women, those without degrees, those who never went to college, and my team would teach them to turn their lives around,” he told Women in Leadership publication in an interview. He said that women empowerment is his life’s passion and he continue to do this through employing women who need it more than anyone else in the world.