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Young Filipina designer lone PH rep in Fashion Week San Diego

Fashion designer Bea Cruz focuses on exquisite Philippine craftsmanship at the prestigious 14th International Virtual Art Renewal Center (ARC) Salon Exhibition, the largest realism art competition that gathers thousands of contemporary artists from around the world. 

Benilde Fashion Design and Merchandising alumna Bea Cruz

The tilt is hosted by Sotheby’s New York, the first international auction house, in partnership with Art Renewal Center, a non-profit educational foundation that leads the revival of realism in contemporary art.

This year’s edition features The Art & Beauty Behind Fashion, a Fashion Week San Diego special online exhibition that debuts promising designers and their original couture looks touched by the competing ARC Salon works. 

The youngest among the participants is 22-year-old Cruz, a budding artist from Victorias City, Negros Occidental, who honed her creative talent under the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. 

Lisa The Shield Maiden by David Bowers

Motivated by Lisa The Shield Maiden (2019), an oil painting by American contemporary painter David Bowers, Cruz’s three-piece look radiates the strength and courage of female warriors of the early centuries. The sustainable set comprised of a luxe chiffon dress matched with handcrafted accessories reminiscent of the classic chainmail body and neck armor made with beads, chains, and metal scraps.

“The artwork inspired me to show what it feels like to be a strong woman living in a prejudiced gender-norm reality,” Cruz shared. “I believe that every woman is an empowered and fearless fighter and that clothing creates a sense of confidence that is the modern-day armor of every individual.”

“I found it intimidating to be the youngest designer in an unfamiliar crowd and environment,” she added. “It has been my dream, however, to unveil my art and debut my brand internationally. So I took the leap and went for it. I always have an eye for going bold and daring, not just with fashion pieces but for my goals in life as well.” 

The ARC Salon debut likewise gave Cruz the opportunity to present a new collection in the fall runway of Fashion Week San Diego scheduled for this October in California, where she is set to launch sophisticated two-tone piƱa silk ensembles that seamlessly blend the traditional silhouettes of the 1940s and 1950s Philippine fashion with the 21st century sultry elegance.

The Art & Beauty Behind Fashion online exhibition is available on view until Friday, July 31, 2020 through this link:

Those who wish to support Cruz can vote at

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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