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Laguna fashion designer creates Pinoy-themed face masks



17berches photo 2


Once again, Filipinos have shown their ingenuity and creativity as they face a challenging period, a global pandemic.

Fashion designer Frederick Berches from Laguna rises to the challenge and makes a difference when he created Pinoy-themed protective fashion masks.

“Naisip ko na ang face mask ang isa sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga tao ngayon. Gusto kong gumawa ng face mask na makabayan and fashionable,” said Berches, who is now based in Laguna, during an online interview Monday night.

Berches, 43, revealed that the pandemic has affected his Barong Tagalog business, his original forte in fashion. He was down during the crisis so he thought of something that would continue to generate income not only for himself but for his workers as well.

“Sobrang affected kami dahil ang daming client ang nag-cancel ng wedding at saka events. Pati mga mga mall kung saan kami nagsu-supply cancel lahat ang order,” he said.

17berches photo 3Prior to the pandemic, his workers composed of up to 60 people could produce 100 to 150 pieces of Barong Tagalog every day.
The COVID-19 crisis did not stop Berches from doing what he loves. So on June 8, he started his love affair with face masks. “Trial and error muna iyon. But now I discovered the perfect fit and craftmanship.”

These elegant and versatile newly essential accessories are comfortable and safe, he said. “I use cotton chambre, U.S. cotton and organic jusi which is used for making Barong Tagalog and piña cocoon.”

His team also accepts custom-made face masks.

“If they have any designs in mind, puwede rin namin gawin. Salamat sa Diyos at maganda naman ang feedback. Marami ang nag-o-order at marami ang gustong mag-seller.”

Berches became popular in the fashion industry after he customized some of the terno gowns of Ms. Venezuela Mariam Habach during the staging of  2017 Miss Universe beauty pageant in Manila. The Venezuelan beauty also won the best terno gown.

He also designed the Sampaguita-inspired gown worn by Bb. Pilipinas Globe Nelda Ibe and the waling-waling inspired gown. Since then, Berches has dressed-up celebrities and ambassadors.