Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Ezra Santos – Trailblazer


Fashion Designer


If there is one designer in the region who has utilized and championed Filipino design aesthetics to great effect, it is the divine Ezra Santos.  His offering at Fashion Forward’s October 2016 edition with the haute couture reincarnation of the humble ‘banig’ as ‘piece de resistance’ was not only a feat in fashion design and fabrication, but also a triumph of indigenous Filipino artistic sense re-interpreted for the world.

The collection which consisted of stunning, painstakingly hand-woven Filipiniana-esque pieces was an astonishing follow-up to Ezra’s past assemblages featuring refined contemporary creations inspired by the Maria-Clara and terno dresses, not to mention the iconic ‘Imeldific’ butterfly sleeves.

This time around, apart from promoting Filipino culture, which he believes is part of his calling, the designer has also dedicated his show to his artisans, commemorating his atelier’s 12th year anniversary and sharing the glory especially with those who have been there with him from the very beginning.  2016 not only marks a special birthday for his business.  It is also the year when he has finally become sole proprietor for his brand, quite a rare privilege for very few fashion entrepreneurs in the country.

Ezra who is deeply spiritual reflects “This was a year of blessings and breakthroughs and I am very thankful. One reason that has always kept me strong and courageous is knowing that I was never alone in my journey. My best friend, confidant and adviser, our Lord, has always been there.”


Special thanks to – Giordano, Nikon, Liali Jewellery, Lulu, Mitsubishi and Western Union.

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Author: Illustrado

From the Middle East to the rest of the world, IllustradoLife shares the stories of Filipinos expats from around the world, providing a global venue championing the world class Filipino. IllustradoLife features articles on fashion and beauty, travel, lifestyle, business, events and other topics of interest to the international Filipino community from its mother publication, Illustrado Magazine.

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