Alexis Monsanto, Fil-Am team slay opening day of LA Fashion Week
Los Angeles, California — Alexis Monsanto impressed the audience with his Belles Fleurs collection and collaborative performance showcasing Filipino-American creativity, culture, and craftsmanship at The Majestic for Los Angeles Fashion Week by Art Hearts Fashion last Oct. 19.
Monsanto’s brand has been a fixture in the Los Angeles fashion industry and fashion week for the past decade.
“As a Filipino American, it is important to recognize our Filipino-American history in LAFW because we are part of the fabric of the garment industry in Southern California,” Monsanto explained.
“Every season having its unique theatrical presentation and masterfully curated looks on the runway gets the Alexis Monsanto brand on top of the invite list,” said Monsanto.
He attributes his success as an artist and entrepreneur to his ability to maintain a consistently high standard in his show production and craftsmanship.
This show’s theme “Belles Fleurs” uses Philippine flora in the collection’s prints, embroideries, and visual presentation.
“Belles Fleurs stands for the beauty of the flowers,” said Monsanto. “The colors, vast variety, and the fragrances remind me of my mother’s floral garden growing up in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental.”
Monsanto cited his fellow Filipinos when asked what motivates him to pursue his goals and advance his creative career. “Growing up I looked up the works of all the great designers like the late Pitoy Moreno, Ben Farrales, Christian Espiritu to name a few.”
The gracious designer frequently collaborates with other “kababayans” in the industry, which includes Fil-Am designers, production coordinators, comptrollers, trim buyers, and accountants.
Filipino-American director Christian Reasonda and producer Arnel San Pedro made sure an Alexis Monsanto show runs smoothly.
“Arnel moves around in a headset and makes sure everything goes as planned,” said Monsanto.
This collection used hand paints, handmade flowers, and hand-stitched embroidery in a variety of colors.
“They stitch the embroidery thread manually by hand to those delicate luxurious fabrics made by pineapple, cocoon, and jusi,” Monsanto said, giving credit to Noble Creations, the calado embroidery craftsmanship of the artisans of Lumban, Laguna.
“Alexis is very generous in sharing his experience and talent,” said Amiel Noble, CEO of Noble Creations. “His insights are very valuable to a beginner like us and something we can really use in this business.”
“I earned respect in the Los Angeles fashion community as a hardworking individual, which Filipinos are known for,” Monsanto said.
“We remained optimistic even with the lack of sleep and high level of stress related to the show, we still managed to joke around, laugh, and make fun of silly little things,” Noble said.
“His expertise and understanding of Filipino-American culture promotes inclusivity and diversity within our business,” said Maria Victoria Mejia, the accessory designer and CEO of Viktorya Minaudière.
“He also allows us to create visually compelling designs that effectively communicate our message of appreciation and respect in the community,” Mejia added.
“What sets Viktorya apart is that it’s all made from Cebu, the city where I started as a fashion designer,” said Monsanto on why he chose to partner with Mejia.
“Its quality is impeccable and its world-class in design and craftsmanship which is important,” Monsanto said.
“I’m just really happy that Alexis gave us the opportunity to walk with him on this journey and I can honestly say that I found a friend and family in him,” Noble acknowledged.
The Los Angeles Fashion Week also introduced various Filipino-American talent to a mainstream market, including Viktorya Minaudière, Noble Creations, Jojo Bragais Shoes, Paduk, TGM, Starlink Promotion, Legacy Entertainment, Maria Kintanar, Cadenza Wellness, and South Main Rejuvenation Institute.
Monsanto cited Art Hearts Fashion’s commitment to excellence for helping him produce his event in honor of Filipino -American History Month.
“Company president Erik Rosete and his production team brings in the best quality in terms of staging, lighting, sound, and other overall technical aspects in production to maintain my runway brand integrity,” he said.
A Monsanto fashion show exemplifies Filipinos’ skill and drive as world-class designers, performers, and talents.
Monsanto added, “We have a vast, and rich cultural heritage, and I want to show Los Angeles and the world why we should be so proud to be Filipino!”