“These women inspired us to better ourselves — (made us believe) that we can do better,” creative clothier Levenson Rodriguez said.
Asked what message they would give to the women of our times, “Keep inspiring,” stated Lev and Rxandy. “Everyone belongs”
On his 11th year in the industry, fashion photographer Rxandy Capinpin, in collaboration with his good friend Lev, gathered 16 women to embody both of their art forms.
Capinpin is known for conceptual photography and has worked extensively with different publications, celebrities and brands all over the Philippines. He currently serves as director of Fashion Photography at the Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship, a role that long-time collaborator Rodriguez (a partner at the newest innovative school for fashion entrepreneurs) offered him.
The women they chose for the “INSPIRE|WOMEN” photography exhibition are those whom they looked up to in their youth and those they have worked with — all of whom inspired them, one way or another, to do more in life as an artist.
“Growing up, I looked up to these ladies already. I was amazed that they were achieving so many things for the Philippine fashion industry,” Lev told the Daily Tribune.
Successful women from different fields are showcased in the exhibit. They are Gionna Cabrera, Jo Ann Bitangcol, Liza Ilarde, Ana Sideco, Kevin Balot, Alta Redor, Kaye Morales, Ruby Gan, DJ Lady Trinity, Eula Valdez, Lola Androgynous, Goelette Esguerra, Tessie Tomas, Nicole Asensio, Monina Tan-Santiago and Peewee Reyes Isidro.
“I am so proud to have included Kevin Balot. It is very empowering here in the country to include a transgender woman in celebration of Women’s Month,” Rxandy said. They believe that everyone belongs — that you can be a person in any way you want to be.
The two artists met when Rxandy had his first-ever photo exhibit in 2008 in which he and Levenson also collaborated.
Alongside Capinpin’s photographs and under Rodriguez’s creative direction, “INSPIRE|WOMEN” showcases the work of their young and gifted students, as well as course specialists from the Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship|Fashion Arts & Design or ICE. Styling was by Gee Jocson Studio with fashion associates Kiki Tan and Julianne Caldavores. Grooming was by Abie Belisario, Poi Jakosalem, Hanna Pechon, Lei Ponce, Jacky Pante, Alexies Muyo and Albert Muyo.
The lineup of millennial designers includes Alexandre Franco, Austeen Soriano, Card Arcita, Dianne Salamanque, Ercia Aguila, Estien Quijano, Irene Subang, Jinggay Serag, John Herrera, La Effe, Levenson Rodriguez Bespoke, Sanite Marion, Miss Keith Manila, Vanguard Uniform and Roanne Rey.
Social media, they agree, has made women today even more empowered. “One post and people may already get inspired. And millennials have the power to do that,” Levenson said.
Asked what message they would give to the women of our times, “Keep inspiring,” stated Lev and Rxandy. “Everyone belongs.”
The exhibit is on view until 31 March at the Mid-Level East Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza.