The Enduring Success of London-based Filipino Designer Lesley Mobo
Lesley Mobo, London-based Filipino fashion designer, has made a name for himself in the fashion industry. After moving to the UK to study fashion at the prestigious Central Saint Martins – where his graduate collection went on to win the Emilio Pucci Award – Mobo became the head designer for luxury department store, Harrods. With success after success since then, he has steadily been climbing the ladders of the industry both in the Philippines and abroad for over a decade.
Mobo has designed for multiple British labels and worked with many international brands such as Jasmine Di Milo, Absolute, and Diesel. He also collaborated with Japanese retail company, Uniqlo, on a collection of stylish graphic tees in 2013. Notably in 2015, Lesley Mobo designed the gown worn by Bond girl Lea Seydoux in the James Bond blockbuster, Spectre.
Throughout his illustrious career in fashion, Lesley Mobo has harkened back to his routes. In 2012, he came back to the Philippines for the finale of Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013. Mobo showcased his creations in a luxurious gala show sponsored by Philippine satellite provider, Cignal, culture magazine, Colours, and business magnate Manny Pangilinan, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Lightomorrow Project with Save the Children Foundation. The show captivated guests and the spirit of the event was aligned with both Mobo as a designer and the foundation’s mission.
In 2018, Lesley Mobo announced his plans to open a fashion school in the Philippines. In partnership with the Meridian International (MINT) School, the London-based designer curated the course curriculum, favoring a non-traditional and project-based education in fashion that focuses not on technical skills but on fashion as both art and business. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mobo stated that, “We want to teach them to work from the ground up, like an incubator, to train them to be competitive on the international scene.”
The MINT Fashion School aims to be a platform for aspiring designers to show their work and create a larger and more open Filipino fashion industry overall. With Mobo at the helm, the programs offered at the school look to be forward thinking in its approach and results, training the next generation of design geniuses as individual in their approach to fashion as Lesley Mobo himself.
Photo courtesy of: manilatimes.net