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Ystillo at Moda to highlight Filipino excellence in UAE fashion scene at Kalayaan 2024

Ystilo at Moda Fashion Show will steal the limelight in Dubai at the celebration of the 126th Philippine Independence Day at the Kalayaan 2024 on June 9, 2024, at Dubai World Trade Center.

The show will be presenting the designs of renowned overseas Filipino designers in the UAE and also the exquisite design of a Dubai-base Filipino jewellery designer, Ms. Grace Alzate.

Moreover, this fashion show will not only show the grace and grandiosity of overseas Filipino fashion setters in the UAE but also their high caliber and skill.

Get ready to marvel at the elegant designs presented by our very own overseas Filipino fashion and jewelry designers in the UAE who incorporate traditional Filipino elements and contemporary trends in their masterpieces.

Four overseas Filipino designers who have already taken the Middle East by storm will headline the runway. Each designer comes from a different Emirate in the country; hence, this gathering will showcase Filipino unity, pride, and exceptional talent. The designers are Harvey Cenit from Sharjah, Aaron and Ahqui Cadenas from Aaronic Atelier from Dubai, Benj dela Rosa of Calivo Couture from Ajman, and Aldwin Guardiana from Abu Dhabi.

Harvey Cenit, an awardee of The Filipino Times for Most Promising Designer 2016

Showcasing his collection, Harvey Cenit, a The Filipino Times awardee for Most Promising Designer 2016, one of Illustrado Magazine’s Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf, and Fashion Factor 3rd Season Grand Champion, a celebrity and pageant designer, who is always thrilled and proud to present his works to all the Filipino audience.


Aaron Cadenas, Owner and Creative Director of Aaronic Atelier and the Grand Best Haute Couture Winner of Fashion Factor 2nd Edition, alongside his twin Ahqui Cadenas, are thrilled to showcase their talents. This time, they aim not only to impress but also to highlight the richness of Filipino culture.

“I think this show will be different because of the audience, in our usual fashion shows, most of our audience is composed of different nationalities, but this time, the audience is our fellow Filipinos. This show also is a give-back to the community, most especially to those Filipinos here in the UAE who don’t have easy access to witness this kind of show. It’s really different because we Filipinos are resilient and artistic, and we always love to support each other,” Aaron said.


Benj Dela Rosa, a distinguished Aklanon fashion designer, a The Filipino Times Award Top 3 Most Promising Fashion Designer 2019, and FilSoC Gawad Pinoy Designer of the Year 2020 talks about his preparation for this year’s edition of his Kalayaan collection, despite his challenging schedule he is making sure that he is preparing for something fabulous.

“Since Ystilo at Moda is one of many segments of the 126th Philippine Independence Day Celebration, I created a barong and Filipiniana with a twist. I can say that it’s a re-invention of our Barong Tagalog. Basically, I used Piña Cloth and Abacca Silk that is imported from Aklan, Philippines, and my finalé creation is inspired by the quote “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”. It’s recycled crystals out of a used chandelier from a friend,” Benj highlighted.”


Concluding the runway show is Aldwin Ornopia Guardiana, widely recognized by his moniker “J Lo” in the UAE fashion industry. He defines his success through a lens of contentment and happiness. J Lo, crowned The Filipino Times 2017 Fashion Designer of the Year, boasts a portfolio of masterpieces crafted for discerning Emirati clients, as well as Philippine dignitaries, beauty queens, and celebrities. Additionally, he serves as the esteemed pageant director of the highly acclaimed Mutya ng Kasarinlan in Abu Dhabi.

These four Filipino fashion designers are supported by a network of industry experts, talented professionals, and overseas Filipinos who have become a cornerstone of the UAE’s fashion scene. The production, glam, photography, and modeling teams are all dedicated to their crafts, renowned for their creative flair and expertise in the beauty and fashion world.


The Show Director is Ryan Pacioles, a Dubai-based Filipino designer and the creative force behind the fashion house that created Beyoncé’s iconic lemonade yellow gown. The official runway photographer is Mr. Bethoven Filomeno, a highly sought-after international and celebrity photographer based in Dubai.

Beethoven Filomeno, a senior faculty member at Westford University, specializes in Media Studies and Fashion Communication. With expertise in media production, advertising, and public relations, he’s deeply passionate about the arts, particularly fashion photography. Beethoven also leads the Tribe Creatives and Communications Collective under the Philippine Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

“For this year’s Ystilo at Moda, I eagerly anticipate seeing the new and astonishing collections from our talented Filipino designers based in various emirates of the UAE. As a fashion photographer, I am excited to capture these incredible creations that embody their creativity, passion, and love for their craft. This showcase symbolizes the true identity of Filipino creatives here in the Emirates,” he shared with The Filipino Times.

Ystilo and Moda, part of the Kalayaan celebration, is a legacy initiated by Dra. Yasmin Balajadia-Cortes and passed on to Josie Conlu, a community champion and host of “Love, Josie” for the Filipino community in the UAE.

Watch Ystilo and Moda live at Kalayaan 2024 on Sunday, June 9, at the Dubai World Trade Center from 8 AM to 8 PM. Admission is free, and Filipinos from across the region are encouraged to join in celebrating the vibrant 126th Philippines Independence Day.

Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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