Sunday, 27 October 2013


While there is a need to professionalize the modelling and design industry in any emerging city like Iloilo as it prepares for its cosmopolitan debut in 2015, I have thought of organizing an umbrella organization with models, designers in fashion and industrial design, show directors, models' agents, production experts, fashion photographers, stylists, fashion journalists, media and auxilliary professionals in the fashion and design industry.

This will give rise to the concept of an organization much like the Philippine Models Association of the Philippines ( PMAP) but this time I combine it with more power with the involvement of designers and its support systems. It is called i-RAMP for Iloilo International Runway Association of Models and Design Professionals. i-RAMP has been conceived three years back and now it is ripe enough to be launched formally in Iloilo City.
I-ramp conception, please click for link
As a founding member and three-time terms secretary of the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines ( FDCP) with Josie Natori, Inno Sotto, Lulu Tan Gan and among others, I feel returning home to Iloilo and reset my businesses here, I will be able to pull something to help the industry with FDCP as my  core inspiration.  I-ramp is one of them. Its future home will be at the fashion and design school i-fashion school, another pioneering project I started,  is now on construction in the city.All of which is to build the fashion and design industry apart from my works on creating manufacturing of design-led goods all over Panay Island and Negros.

So much like PMAP and FDCP, the two models of these organizations can help trigger development in the fashion and design business in the city. In one of our conversations over coffee with Iloilo's fashion show director Bombette Marin, this has been my dream since 10 years back. Now that I am settled in the city, I can work on it full time.

I have always shared the idea that New York City was built by fashion with its smallest streets busy manufacturing garments, jewelry and accessories which ripple off to fashion shoots, retailing, product activations,  launchings, publications and runway shows. Iloilo City is much like this today because of its huge market for people who need to dress up for work and attend occasions. It has an affluent and mass market that the fashion and design industry can serve it not as entertainers but as businessmen.

Models and the design professionals in the city are working on conditions that may need so much improvements including their talent fees. There must be some parameters that these very few talents may be protected to avoid the darker precedence which is we may be losing our best talents to migrate elsewhere. As well, the harmony of an industry is on the standardization of professional practices and its rates based on transparency and fairness.

i-RAMP will be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit and non-stock organization making it legitimate. It will be able to help those in the design and business community sustain itself through shared resources, collaborations, cooperation and interventions. Much more as an organization, it will be able to pull funds for projects to benefit the members and even the design society on a larger scope. The highest goal is to give work to those who needed them most like the far-flung creative economies in the design-led craft sectors.

Registered businesses of creative people like designers or fashion photographers as well as in tandem with national or global businesses who will promote their brands need models to image their points of view. This is how crucial models are--bringing the brand name into life. Yet, many may struggle as it is a business like no other that requires acceptable parameters and directions. 

I-ramp will gather the industry into a single movement. It is my hope that, ego-aside, the city can build a cohesive platform to create design that means business. Glamour in our work is lean, the hard work galvanizes realities into true meaning of fashion and design in our everyday life.

I-ramp will create projects to help its members create more business. It is not a social organization. It is meant to help build an industry towards a single movement....because no one can do it alone. 

I-ramp will convene its first core membership drive to models, designers  and members of the design community on December 2013. Those who are interested, you can message me in my facebook account for details. 

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