Jose "Pitoy" Moreno is an internationally-renowned fashion designer in the Philippines. He is named "The Fashion Czar Of Asia" for his achievement as a designer and his stature in Philippine fashion. He was conferred the National Artist award by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009.
Career in Designing
As a young and budding fashion artist, Pitoy designed costumes for the world-famous Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company. He introduced the words jusi, pina and lepanto to world fashion on international fashion pages of the Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Holiday and Le Figaro. The Filipina bride in a Pitoy Moreno wedding ensemble became the centerspread in the pictorial history of Philippine fashion.
His career reads like a significant chapter in the history of local fashion. He is one of the earliest exponents of the Maria Clara, inspired by the paintings of Damian Domingo, Fabian dela Rosa, Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo whose works he studied at the University of the Philippines. His costumes for the world-famous Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as a young designer oriented him in the various Filipino Customs and traditions, an immersion which would influence his future work.
He was president of the very first association of Manila designers ever organized, the Philippine Couture Association. He is credited as the founder of the Karilagan International, a fashion-cultural organization which promoted Filipino fashion design here and abroad. His local shows were marvels in their time and his participation in the fashion exhibition at the Seattle World’s Fair and the New York World’s Fair is still the record to reckon with.
His collections have circled the globe: Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Copenhagen, Athens, Barcelona, Sweden, Viennna, Moscow, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Teheran, Morocco, Honolulu, Tokyo, Hongkong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, China, and many more. Wherever his collections were shown, it was met with praise with critics and patrons alike.
First Ladies of the Philippines have always been dressed by Pitoy, in his trademark ternos.
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- Burgonio, TJ. "Arroyo names 7 National Artists for ‘09." Inquirer.net. (Accessed 29 July 2009)