The fashion industry in the Philippines continues to be recognized internationally for its revolutionary concepts in clothing. It’s all thanks to the brilliant and creative minds of Filipino designers who defy the odds in the name of fashion.

Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines recently invited the country’s top designers for PRIDE: The Don Cristobal Runway Show Season 8, to feature collections for a night of fashion extravaganza, freedom, and individuality.

Inspired by beneficiary LoveYourself, Inc.’s advocacy on HIV awareness, fashion extraordinaire Don Cristobal showcased a collection that has a unique interpretation of different individuals battling with HIV. Meanwhile, shoe designer Jojo Bragais shared his expertise on pageant shoes, becoming one of the highlights of the event. His shoes have been worn by pageant queens from Binibining Pilipinas candidates to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

But for pet parents, the real showstopper of the night was the cats and dogs who strutted their stuff on the runway!

Pet-friendly fashion

Superstar chihuahua and New York Pet Fashion Show 2019 winner Coco Chanel – together with her human, designer Adrian Stephen Cabuhat – and designer Lau Fernandez exhibited the first pet jewelry brand of the Philippines: Shopawhowlique.

Adrian Stephen Cabuhat (Left) and Lau Fernandez with Coco Chanel channeling Shopawholique’s pet jewelry.

Established in 2018, Shopawhowlique (a play on words between shopaholic, paw, and howl) was created to provide pet-friendly outfits and accessories that are made from unique materials. The brand is also known for using original Swarovski stones.

Felines and canines were as fashionable as they can be on the runway as they showcased Shopawhowlique’s collection, inspired by Philippine mythology, tales, folklore, superstitions, and legends.

“We did that for two months, which is the first time we did a full collection for 18 pets – cats and dogs of different breeds, including aspin and puspins of different shapes and sizes,” Cabuhat said during an interview with Animal Scene. “[Though] we have two full-time jobs, [we] pushed ourselves to finish them on time, not to mention the challenge of [creating] a unique style.”

Cabuhat shared that competing in last year’s G Girl Productions fashion competition in New York inspired him and Fernandez to create more pet jewelry after their hand-made jewelries made from copper wires, Swarovski crystals, and precious gems that are “lightweight, extravagant, and certified pet-friendly,” received a lot of good reviews.

Runway for animals

From hundreds of hopefuls vying to be part of the fashion show, 15 adorable felines and canines made it to the runway to showcase Shopawhowlique’s unique jewelries. “We have shortlisted 15 who are pride in their own right,” Cabuhat said.

Sher, the two-legged AsPin on wheels rescued by Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), was part of Cabuhat and Fernandez’s collection, along with the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center’s three-legged PusPin, Ming.

It’s safe to say that Shopawhowlique’s Cabuhat-Fernandez tandem is loved by many, as they continue to use their talent in pet fashion as a way to influence people to become responsible pet owners. When asked what they could impart to those who wish to start a career in pet fashion or designing, they only have this to say: Design with a purpose.

“A successful individual in all aspects and industry should have an impact that will change lives and inspire others that is not only driven by personal interest,” they said. “If you are choosing a pet design career, make sure that you have your own style, unique ideas, and remarkable contribution to the society.”

You might want to read:
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– Italy’s Prada joins the fur-free chorus
– Chihuahuas strut their stuff at the Mutt Gala