Bitagcol Celebrates Fifth Anniversary with New Showroom in Makati

June 10, 2024

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By 

Elle Yap

Model and designer Jo Ann Bitagcol celebrated the fifth anniversary of her fashion brand on Wednesday. In addition to the celebration, she also revealed the opening of a new showroom for her works in Makati, where her clothes are available for reservation and purchase.

The event occurred at the neo-Filipino restaurant Lampara in Poblacion, Makati, where the designer’s close friends and colleagues came together over lunch to honor her achievements. During the event, Bitagcol gave her profound thanks to the people who have supported her evolution as a designer over the years. 

Bitagcol thanking her supporters during the celebratory lunch. Photo by Elle Yap.
Bitagcol thanking her supporters during the celebratory lunch. Photo by Elle Yap.

Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo. And then, this pasasalamat also is to honor all of you—not just for me, for being behind me all the time, the nonstop support and love. During the pandemic and all, you were there for me and I survived till now, and it’s all because of you,” she said. 

Working Up to Success

The brand is well-known for its eclectic and colorful collection of oversized tops, dresses, and scarves. Bitagcol’s use of digitally-printed photographs of Filipiñana clothing on many of her pieces create a post-modern feel on old-fashioned traditional clothing.

One of Bitagcol's designs as shown in a mannequin. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of Bitagcol’s designs as shown in a mannequin. Photo by Elle Yap.

She credits designer Gino Gonzales for his help in crafting her vision for many of her fashion works. In the past, Gonzales recruited Bitagcol to photograph Filipiñana clothing for his book with Mark Higgins, Fashionable Filipinas: An Evolution of the Philippine National Dress in Photographs 1860-1960. The archive of unpublished works she photographed became the basis of her design works for her fashion brand. 

Designer Jo Ann Bitagcol posing in her new showroom. Photo by Elle Yap.
Designer Jo Ann Bitagcol posing in her new showroom. Photo by Elle Yap.

Beyond thanking her patrons and supporters, Bitagcol also recounted the opportunities she received to showcase her collection. Among them is the Katutubo Pop-Up where she launched her first collection and her recent debut at the 2024 Bench Fashion Week. 

Brand’s First Showroom

During the lunch, she revealed her new showroom in Prit House on Enriquez Street in Makati. She ended up touring the new showroom to her guests, some of which went home with selected tops after winning a small raffle earlier on. 

One of Jo Ann Bitagcol's photographs as shown in her showroom. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of Jo Ann Bitagcol’s photographs as shown in her showroom. Photo by Elle Yap.
Framed figurines. Photo by Elle Yap.
Framed figurines. Photo by Elle Yap.
Framed figurines. Photo by Elle Yap.
Framed figurines. Photo by Elle Yap.
Some works and designs shown. Photo by Elle Yap.
Some works and designs shown. Photo by Elle Yap.
Two of Jo Ann Bitagcol's photographs as shown in her showroom. Photo by Elle Yap.
Two of Jo Ann Bitagcol’s photographs as shown in her showroom. Photo by Elle Yap.

The showroom’s minimalist decor contrasted with the oftentimes vibrant hues of the clothing presented. Some of the designer’s photographs hung in the walls, while assorted figurines in glass containers surrounded much of the area. Racks of her clothing were available for customers to peruse, and potential patrons could try on her pieces and pre-order designs they found flattering or desirable. 

Bitagcol showing off her selection to an interested customer. Photo by Elle Yap.
Bitagcol showing off her selection to an interested customer. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the racks filled with some of her designs. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the racks filled with some of her designs. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the racks filled with some of her designs. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of the racks filled with some of her designs. Photo by Elle Yap.

When asked about her future expansion plans, Bitagcol said that she wasn’t currently expecting anything at the moment. Despite that, she expressed a desire to explore future projects within the fashion industry that gave her her start. 

“Well, I’m hoping that I could expand more or create and explore other mediums. Ako, I’m just very grateful na this showroom happened, this is a product of all stages that I was in. I’ve been in [the] fashion industry for more than 25 years now so I’m just happy to see [that] one can be limitless pala. You can’t just be one, you can be a lot in one.”

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