Avel Bacudio has been designing for more than half his life. Leaving the comforts of family and home of his native Buhi Camarines Sur at 17, he tried his luck in fashionable Manila.
With sheer talent and a steely determination to make it big, he carved a name for himself in the cutthroat world of fashion. True, he experienced immense success and terrible lows in the course of his stellar career. But it is to the testament of his can-do character that Avel remains focused on what he has set out to accomplish: creating beautiful things to make everyone look and feel beautiful.
Bacudio also receives offers to do costume design for movies, but he demurs, saying, “I have to study fashion history first before I entertain things like that.” So his sister, Jeyjette, who is also his partner for his RTW business, Girl Friday and guiding light, enrolled him at the La Salle School of Fashion.
His willingness to learn some more about the business of clothes is matched only by his eagerness to join design contests. Since 2000 he has consistently entered national tilts -and always figured at the top. “My creations were sent to Osaka and Chiba in Japan for competitions, and to Hong Kong and Singapore for exhibitions,” he proudly declared.
Not easily discouraged and learning greatly from setbacks, Bacudio joined the local round of the Concours International des Jeunes Créateurs de Mode, a global competition for young designers, in 2002 and he Won Peoples choice award,and was among the top five sent to Paris, realizing his ultimate dream. The next year he was again chosen as one of the ten best in the “Timeless Terno” contest of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. That might have been his swan song with regards to competing. More than winning, “I’m glad I joined that one because of the lectures and seminars on making the terno.”
In 2012 he awarded as “2012 BREAKTHOUGH DESIGNER OF THE YEAR”
One recognition Avel is extremely proud of is the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Week “ASIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL DESIGNER 2014 “Asia, which was awarded to him by renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo.
When most designers are only making a name for themselves, Bacudio is already a hard-won veteran in the industry sought after at first for his attention-grabbing clubwear and avant-garde concoctions but now also prized for his more sedate but no less eye-catching creations.And while most in his age group are still enamored of the glamour side of fashion, he prefers to hang out with the established ,ones learning from them the nitty-gritty details in staying afloat in the highly competitive business,
“I’m so blessed that I feel welcome in the company of designers more senior than me,” Bacudio said of his co-members at the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines, “because when I’m with them they would share with me how to deal with clients and other business-related problems. What I learn from listening to them, I readily apply to my work.”
In 2004, Avel became the fashion creative director of the country’s number-one direct-selling company, BOARDWALK. With his AVEL jeans, he has single-handedly transformed the humble brand into a sought-after, bestselling lifestyle label. His creations were also sold at Landmark Department Stores.
Avel also occasionally appears on TV as one of the resident judges of the reality-competition show, Mega Young Designers Competition and Mega Fashion Crew with Mega magazine editor in chief Sari Yap,
Having designed for RETAIL LABELS, department stores, direct-selling brands, celebrity clients and the everyday woman through the years, Avel has evolved from an excitable avant-garde designer to one with a clean, discreet and classy aesthetic. But still with the unmistakable, inimitable Avel Bacudio touch of humor. He has been tamed and tempered.
So, what else does a successful designer want to achieve? “I want to be a FURNITURE DESIGNER ,” Avel says, having studied at the Philippine School of Interior Design. “And, of course, I also want career longevity as a fashion designer.”