Avel has been designing for more than half his life. Leaving the comforts of family and home of his native Buhi Camarines Sur at 17, he tried his luck in fashionable Manila. With sheer talent and a steely determination to make it big, he carved a name for himself.
His willingness to learn more about the business of clothes is matched only by his eagerness to join design contests. Since 2000 he has consistently entered national tilts -and always figured at the top. “My creations were sent to Osaka and Chiba in Japan for competitions, and to Hong Kong and Singapore for exhibitions,” he recounts.
Avel joined the local round of the Concours International des Jeunes Créateurs de Mode, a global competition for young designers, in 2002 and he Won People’s choice award, and was among the top five sent to Paris. The next year he was again chosen as one of the ten best in the “Timeless Terno” contest of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.
In 2012 he was awarded by METRO magazine as “BREAKTHROUGH DESIGNER OF THE YEAR.” That same year, he was also honored by Philippine President Noynoy Aquino as an Ambassador of Peace.
One recognition Avel is extremely proud of is the Mercedes-Benz Style Fashion Week “ASIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL DESIGNER 2014“ Asia, which was awarded to him by renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo.
Since 2004, Avel has been the fashion creative director of the Philippines’ number-one direct-selling company, AvelDesigns.
Avel also appears on TV as one of the resident judges of two reality-competition shows: MEGA Young Designers Competition and MEGA Fashion Crew.
Having designed for retail labels, department stores, direct-selling brands, celebrity clients and the everyday woman through the years, Avel has evolved from an excitable avant-garde designer to one with a clean, tailored and classic aesthetic. But still there lies the unmistakable, inimitable Avel touch of humor. He has been tamed but he stays hungry.
What’s next for Avel?
Paying it forward by mentoring and grooming young designers. As someone who never had formal fashion training, Avel wants to share what he’s learned and create a new breed of fashion creators.