A Cebuano designer has been raising high the Philippine’s colors in fashion for the past three years in Macau, China.
I was fortunate to be part of the Cebu Pacific Fam Tour for VisMin Media to witness Hanz Herzl Pableo better known by his Nom de la mode Hanz Coquilla showcase his Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura Spring/Summer 2020 at the Florence Hall of the Venetian Macau Hotel and Casino last 19 October 2019.
Hanz told us it was his third year to participate in the Macao Fashion Festival but his first time to be featured in a Brand Show.
Described as “Classic. Elegant and Exquisite” in the Macao Fashion Festival 2019 magazine, “Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura is Hanz Coquilla’s longest running line and has been favored by personalities to celebrities since its debut 10 years ago. A perfect marriage that combines undertones of minimalism paired with that touch of grandiosity, it is prized for its avant-garde designs inspired by women from her beauty, grace, trials and triumphs.”
“Last year we were invited to open the show for the second time,” Hanz said in our exclusive interview at the Media Room of Florence Hall following the Brand Collection Show 2 where he was featured along with leisure and professional wear maker ANIFA, Macao leisure fashion brand MACON Leisure Home series and Leo Wong’s multi-awarded SOUL for women.
Macao Fashion Festival 2019 featured some 20 designers with at least two shows daily on its October 17-19 run with at least two shows daily featuring five designers each show.
“Most opening designers are foreigners from Portugal, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, while brand shows usually feature Macanese and Chinese designers,” Hanz notes. “We have found a home here. It’s amazing how Macau embraces foreign designers, since Macau Fashion Week was mainly created as a showcase for local designers.”
However, he admits it is a constant struggle to create a collection especially when he started as an Opening Show Designer in 2017. “Although the Macau government extends special privileges to us, you need to have a portfolio to open the show. We worked hard for it. You need constant communication with the organizers especially considering the limits inherent in the language barrier.”
Putting together this year’s 15 piece collection) which he calls his Bohemian Collection proved to be “very tough and challenging.”
“You need to cry sometimes to come up with a good collection,” Hanz admits. “Unless I cry over a collection, I don’t quite consider it to be a good one.”
Asked which celebrities he would most like to cloth, he named Fan Bingbing, Zhang Ziyi, and Crazy Rich Asians like the ones featured with Michelle Yeoh in the recent hit movie of the same title.
Would he be joining Macao Fashion Festival again next year?
“Hopefully I’ll be here next year. I would like to make this an annual event as a way of giving back for the hospitality our hosts showed us. Not everyone gets that kind of treatment.”
Besides Macau, Hanz is also in talks to join other Asian shows in Seoul, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and even as far as Boston Fashion Week.
“In fact, I received a nomination this summer for World Fashion Week in Paris but had to set it aside for Terno Con. Making it to the final roster is a big achievement already like being passed a key for the future of Philippine fashion,” Hanz quipped/
Terno Con is a terno-making convention and contest that aims to encourage the use of the terno as a popular form of dress, inspire and motivate emerging designers to create designs which are grounded in its history while using a contemporary approach to further its objective of preserving the authenticity of one of the country’s most distinctive ensembles.
“No international exposure can equal re-imagining a national treasure like the Terno and the chance of being mentored by our best designers like Inno Sotto as chief mentor, Philip Rodriguez (Cebu City), Ivarluski Aseron (Metro Manila), and Lesley Mobo (Aklan). “
Not the least, Hanz expressed his profuse thanks to Cebu Pacific which sponsored his flights to Macau for the festival for the second straight year.
“It’s never easy to mount a show abroad. Part of the journey makes it fun and lighter with direct to Macau that saves us a lot of money and logistics since we don’t have to pass by Manila.”
Cebu Pacific has the most number of flights between the Philippines and Macau, with direct connections from Clark, Manila and Cebu. It's a seamless connection from Cagayan de Oro/Laguindingan to Cebu (or Manila, if one prefers) then on to Macau.
You can opt take a day trip or exit via Hong Kong, which is an easy ferry trip or bus trip through the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, the world's longest sea bridge. Or fly direct to Hong Kong from Cebu or Manila, take the ferry or bus to Macau, then fly back from there to the Philippines.
Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura creates tailor-made designs for that woman who yearns for their very own Hanz Coquilla, with a personalized touch. Contact. Mr. Stevan S. Serneo/ Mr. Hanz Herzl Pableo aka Hanz Coquilla by email firstname.lastname@example.org/ or email@example.com or visit his Facebook Page Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura to see more of his custom-made suits, gowns, and RTW clothing.