Everyday Passionate People: Richie Ortega-Torres

Today, I'm doing a feature on one of the most well known fashion designers in Manila. I got to interview her along with some of my friends from SOFA. It was a real treat to be able to just converse with her and ask her about how she got into the fashion industry.

Who would have thought that a little girl who fancied cutting her jeans at 10 years old would end up being one of the top fashion designers in the Philippines? The road to creating beautiful, romantic gowns for brides was quite a ride for Richie Ortega-Torres.

Richie Ortega-Torres has always had a knack for fashion and the arts. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with Fine Arts as her major and later on moved to New York to go to Parson's School of Design, where she took up Design Marketing. Her stay in New York nourished her creativity where she met a pot of artists and started her own rolled up T-shirt line.

After 10 years in the big apple, Richie decided to return to her home in Manila and start up a little boutique in Ortigas Center called Souk (Now located at The Ramp, Shangri-la). The boutique sells hard to get clothing, caftans from India, shirts from California and other imported brands. Aside from this little project of hers, she also designs for the ready to wear line, United Pop at The Ramp.

Richie started designing wedding gowns upon requests which eventually led her into enjoying making dresses for brides to be. She appreciates being a part of that special moment that women have always dreamed of. Her gowns show much romanticism through feminine silhouettes, lace overlays and intricate bead work, inspired by her favorite designers such as Alberto Ferretti, Oscar de la Renta and Roberto Cavalli. Much like her favorite designers, she likes making gowns for the independent, free spirited and down to earth woman who loves to be dressed up in elegant pieces every once in a while. Thanks to her unique designs even celebrities and politician's wives ask her to make their dresses for galas and other formal occasions.

She has a noticeably calm and serene aura to her, so when I asked her about her lifestyle and if she did yoga, she unsurprisingly said yes. “I do yoga, and I'm very much into spiritual books” says the mother of two, who mastered balancing family and work. Her lifestyle and bohemian outlook seems to have helped her keep stabilized despite having to juggle two lines and conceptualizing the best bridal gowns in town.

Her love for designing gowns for women and creating beautiful, elegant dresses has made her a household name in the fashion industry. She continues to mold her craft and go beyond what's expected of fashion designers.


Photos from Richie Ortega-Torres Bridal
You may email her at: patriciaortega.manila@gmail.com

Learn more about "Everyday Passionate People" here.

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