The man behind the famous Jeepney Spring Summer Collection 2014 started out from a family garment business that sparked his interest in clothing and now making his name speak for his own brand worldwide, Jeffrey Rogador makes the Filipino fashion industry proud and loud.
At the age of 13, Jeffrey Rogador started to design clothes for his siblings, relatives and his high school best friend, Jolina Magdangal. When people started following what Jolina wore, that was when he believed he had the capacity to produce garments that the people would love and follow. He knew that fashion designing was his true calling when he created the costumes for the University of Santo Thomas Salinggawi, the cheerdancing squad of his alma mater.
In 2004, he won 6th place among the hundreds of designers in Mega Magazine’s Mega Young Designers Competition 6th edition. By 2006, he took up Fashion Design at Fashion Institute of the Philippines to formally embark on his journey into the fashion industry.
Being in this industry for almost 15 years, there are days worth praising and days that are considerably stressful. According to Rogador, “Its very tough establishing your own trademark and designer’s DNA/aesthetic. It will take years for people to recognize, patronize and believe in your craft or abilities.”
“In the Philippine scene, it’s five times more difficult because there’s no room for designers and creatives to have a spot and make a business out of it,” the designer allows.
Back in 2007-2009, he opened his own stores, but closed them not long after. He failed and experienced setbacks but this didn’t stop him from doing what he loves and improving his quality of work.
Rogador said, “I won’t stop because I still believe that my label will go or be accepted somewhere someday.” What he said did come true, his name and brand became recognized internationally and this 2018, he created costumes for Martin Lawrance’s (Ojo! Lawrance or Lawrence) Cut and Run by the Richard Alston Dance Company in London.
Urbanwear and streetwear fashion is the look of Jeffrey Rogador. Staple, easy and comfortable is the trademark of his pieces. Incorporating his design aesthetic in Cut and Run was straightforward since he did what he is best at. Cut and Run costumes are all urbanwear pieces with a combination of blacks, golds and silvers.
He carefully kept in mind the functionality of the garments hence he used durable and stretchable kinds of fabrics. Even though he had difficulties with the fitting and adjustment of the dancers, he still paid close attention to the durability of the fabric since dancer movements are extensive and will be touring around United Kingdom in eight to 10 theaters.
Creating costumes for Richard Alston Dance Company was another milestone for Rogador. Again, he took Filipino pride to the next level. He felt very honored and proud as his work was appreciated not just as a fashion designer but also as an artist. Rogador hopes that Filipinos will also give importance to art and be well funded by the government just like in other countries.
Despite receiving numerous awards and working with renowned brands, he vows to strive harder until his brand becomes the top-of-mind choice of anyone when it comes to basic, timeless and comfortable pieces of clothing.
As for young and aspiring fashion designers, Rogador’s advice is to “just love what you do no matter what. Embrace all the failure that will come along because those things will make you. It is important to know what you want as a designer and which area you will fit in with your aesthetic and designer’s DNA. Don’t give up, it is a continuous journey of ups and downs. Stay focused.”