Art & Design

Taal Volcano eruption-inspired lady’s boot wins Filipino footwear design tilt

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a woman smiling for the camera: Carla Apostol’s Sierra won the grand prize at the 7th Filipino Footwear Design Competition. Photos from Dems Angeles.


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Carla Apostol’s Sierra won the grand prize at the 7th Filipino Footwear Design Competition. Photos from Dems Angeles.

The Taal Volcano eruption-inspired ladies boots designed by Carla Apostol has won the Grand Prize at the 7th Filipino Footwear Design Competition co-organized by the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc. and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Apostol’s “Sierra” design was declared the winner by a panel of experts in the shoe industry in a virtual awarding held on January 30, 2021. The lady’s boot bested six other finalists shortlisted from among more than 70 entries to the annual national tilt held to present the creations of talented designers and footwear makers of the country.

The winning designer of Sierra was mentored by Rico Sta. Ana while her shoe prototype was fabricated by Zapateria, the Philippines’ first creative hub for footwear design and development.

Apostol shared during the finalist presentation that the concept of her lady’s boot was inspired by the Taal Volcano eruption in January 2020 that spewed ashes and disrupted the lives of thousands of families in Cavite, Batangas, and nearby areas. She said she wanted to turn the negative event into a positive creation.



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Sierra is described by FFDC:

“Its overall visual is inspired by nature and celebrates the craftsmanship that pushes the boundaries of the capability of local artisans. This lady’s boots highlight refined attention to detail and well-researched juxtaposition of finishing and locally-sourced materials.

“The upper features a combination of black smooth calf, white croc-embossed leather and mahogany suede (depicting volcanic rocks, ice and snow, and wood respectively) with monochromatic snake’s skin. A contrasting flair is added with an angled, exaggerated outsole and geometric block heel. The shoe is accented with antique brass hardware, roughly-cut raw amethyst, and freshwater pearls.”

Carla Apostol’s “Sierra” bagged PHP10k as 1st place winner.





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“Sister’s Favorite” by Joel Wijangco mentored by Cari Dawn Conejero and fabricated by Tawong Lipod Creative Studio won 1st runner up and PHP7k for making use of unconventional materials such as resin, food models, and actual miso bowl and chopsticks to bring a fun, food-themed design to the competition.





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“Osang – Queen of the Road” by Janreyk Paler mentored by Thian Rodriguez and fabricated by Dante Pascual won 2nd runner up and PHP4k for the heel-less lady’s trendy design made of metal sheets and other jeepney components such as nuts and bolts, chains, and leather.

Other finalists include a National Artist Levi Celerio kundiman-inspired piece called “Awit ng Mananahi” by Michael Joseph Bawar; a colorful rendition of the iconic ‘King of the Road’ with rotating wheels, “Dyip Heels” by Dr. Mark Boni Marter; men’s shoes showcasing the Filipino art, talent, and culture, “Hibla Habi” by Ivan Fabia; and, a beautifully, subtle pair of heels inspired by different bodies of water, “Kalinaw” by Therese Paman.

Veteran designer and former International Footwear Design Competition (IFDC) 2019 juror Maco Custodio joined this year’s showcase with “C/Shoes by Macolit”, a unisex children’s shoe design made out of readily-available materials such as discarded fabric, flexible wrapper foil, leather scrap, and more. Its design ethos revolves around connecting, creating, conscious consumerism, co-crafting or co-doing, and caring.

Some entries utilized the latest technology in footwear manufacturing at the DTI-NCRO’s Shared Services Facility (SSF) in Marikina City. All finalists are set to represent the Philippines at the International Footwear Design Competition slated to be held in Guangzhou, China in 2022.

This year’s roster of mentors includes Rico Sta. Ana, Sheila de Jesus, Mara Pinon, Gerome Sta. Maria, Nicco Pintac, Maco Custodio, and Thian Rodriguez. Marikina-based shoe manufacturers such as Fashion Purveyor (Roweliza Shoes and Bags), Black Wing Shoes, Zapateria, Javier Footwear, Tawong Lipod Creative Studio, and independent maker Dante Pascual took on the challenge of bringing the finalists’ unique designs to life.

A multisectoral judging panel selected winners based on creativity and originality of concept, material usage and innovation, design appearance, implementation, and presentation ability. The juror line up included Marcelina Alcantara, Regional Director of DTI-National Capital Region; Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Executive Director of SoFa Design Institute; Joey Enriquez, President of Charter International; Monica Samson-Escano, PFFI Board Secretary; and designer Zarah Juan.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Carla Apostol for winning the 7th Filipino Footwear Design Competition with her Taal Volcano eruption-inspired lady’s boot!

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