35 questions for Randy O’s 35th

Philippine fashion marks another milestone as it honors 35 years of industry pillar and stalwart Randy Ortiz.

For more than three decades, the first-celebrated “designer to the stars” popularized designer menswear tailoring — and no one did a more impeccable suiting during those times.

At one point, almost all of Manila’s men about town had a bespoke Randy O.

The former president of the prestigious Fashion Design Council of the Philippines is known to be a master of the business of fashion, catapulting designer ready-to-wear to the mainstream.

With all the feathers on his cap, Randy remains endearingly modest and continues to unconditionally uplift and support the local RTW industry.

Always proactive, his countless contributions have helped shape what Philippine fashion is today.

This icon, idol, adviser, mentor, good friend and like-a-sibling to some play many roles in a lot of people’s lives — a testament to the good man that he is and the legacy he will leave behind.

Yet for those who still don’t know him, here are 35 questions to get fashion up close and personal with THE Randy Ortiz.

Who was your first muse?

My first muse was my mom Mama Lourdes.

Who’s your current muse?

My current muses are Lucy Torres Gomez and daughter Juliana Gomez plus super supermodel Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez.

First male celebrity and first female celebrity?

First male celebrity is Richard Gomez, while first female celebrity is Lucy Torres.

Favorite international fashion designer?

My all-time favorites are Armani and Dries Van Noten.

Favorite local Filipino designer?
I like Joe Salazar and, of course, Mang Ben Farrales.

What is your favorite design detail?


Favorite design style?

Classic romantic and tailored for both men and women.

Favorite fashion era?

Designers who peaked during the 1950s.

Unforgettable design moment?

My first client, my first show and my first wedding.

What is the Randy O design trademark?

Print on print shirts/tailored suitsand romantic dresses for women.

Who are your fashion icons, local and international?

Local, I’d go with Mang Ben and Inno Sotto.

International, basically all my favorite designers of each era.

Unforgettable fashion moment?
My first curtain call.

Fashionable quote to live by?
“Classic is forever.”

What’s your big fashion no-no?

Over the top and extremely edgy and avant-garde.

What brands do you have most in your closet right now?
Issey Miyake, COS and Uniqlo.

What are your favorite shoes?

Sneakers, Adidas and New Balance.

What is your favorite suit?

Randy O suit!






Nacky Made, Cutler and Gross.

Roughly how many solo shows have you had in the span of your career?
Two dozens, more or less — both salon and gala.

The biggest number of models you’ve had in your show?

One hundred, more or less.

What is a Randy O classic look for women and men?

Clean/Dapper/Good Tailoring for men and Romantic details for women.

Who gave your first big break in the industry?

Bobby Novenario and Mang Ben for Moda Maynila followed by Ricco Ocampo and Tina Maristela for Sari Sari.

Who are your mentors?

My good friend, the late Pepito Albert, and Toots Tolentino.

Who’s your fashion tribe?

FDCP: Fashion Designers Council of the Philippines.

What’s the most requested design from you that you keep making over and over again?

Custom of bespoke tailored suits.

What’s your design waterloo? Or what, for you, is hard to make?

It’s hard to make for clients something which I am not comfortable with.

After 35 years in the industry, what do you still want to achieve?

To have more exposure to retail, local and global, and doing cause-worthy shows.

Travel, travel and travel!

Alma mater? College course?

La Salle — Hotel and Restaurant Management.

What do you think is your greatest contribution to Philippine fashion?

My greatest contribution is, having been the FDCP president, being able to make my own advocacy and help other young designers carve their niche in the industry.

Who are your protégés?

Pablo Cabahug and Mark Tamayo.

What’s your biggest learning in fashion in terms of aesthetics?

Stay true to your core, be passionate, commit, be dedicated, be professional, and stay humble.

What quality or characteristic of fashion do people see as not important but actually is one of the most important? (Example, body shape, anatomy, color psychology, attitude)
For me, it’s all about taste, talent can be learned, and always be a student of the art.

What’s your biggest learning being in fashion in terms of life lessons?
That fashion can give you a stable and profitable business. Fashion is ever changing and evolving, so never stop learning.