Career speaking, 20 years may just go by in an instant if you don't have milestones to mark it. World-renowned, award-winning designer Francis Libiran—a fave in formalwear and bridal couture—has a lot of which spanning his two decades and counting in the industry. These milestones, he believes, happen literally everyday at work. "The love of designing and creating clothes inspire me to work. I believe this is one of the many reasons why I am still (here)," he tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle. "Knowing that there is always room for growth and innovation, we always try to surpass what we have done yesterday."
Francis studied architecture at the University of Santo Tomas—and it's exactly this background plus his love of travel, nature, patterns, and anything Filipino that has molded his signature aesthetic. Before this year, he has already carved his niche as a premier name in local and international fashion—a Metrowear Icon who has been featured prominently by Tyra Banks on American Next Top Model, among other laurels. This year, just in time to commemorate his 20 years in the business, Francis is bent to further the essence of his craft. His brand tailoring the barong our athletes will wear at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games opener this November is just one thing. His participation at the ABS-CBN Ball 2019 happening this weekend is another—and couldn't be more apt as it aligns strongly with his personal cause.
"Giving back to the community through supporting children’s education and welfare has always been an advocacy of mine," Francis says of the Ball, the country's biggest celebrity fashion event held for the benefit of the Bantay Bata 163 Program. "The fulfilling feeling of giving back and contributing to society is unparalleled. A significant part of being a successful designer is my role to give back. Growing big in business is a blessing, and helping the children in need is our way of saying thank you. So knowing that this year’s ABS-CBN Ball is supporting a similar advocacy makes me feel enthusiastic and overjoyed, giving me a sense of purpose in designing for a good cause."
[related: #RoadToABSCBNBall: For Celeb Fave Vania Romoff, Giving Back Is Always Fashionable]
For the Ball, Francis is dressing up Charo Santos-Concio, Maricar Reyes, Sam Milby, Jake Cuenca, and Seth Fedelin among others. (See other celebrities who have previously sported Francis in the gallery!) The designer, who always injects locally grown fiber and Filipino culture into his creations, is particularly enthused to do more of the same at the event given the Modern Filipiniana theme.
"We will be using local fabrics and classic silhouettes of Filipiniana and Barong Tagalog while innovating through combining them with different kinds of unique Philippine-inspired patterns and other indigenous materials," he shares. "With this, our designs present a modern take on the Philippine national dresses, and celebrate pure Filipino pride."
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Photos taken from Francis Libiran's Instagram account