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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines Part 38: Edgar Aquino

Edgardo “Edgar” M. Aquino is a Filipino fashion designer and entrepreneur from Lumban, Laguna, which is the embroidery capital of the Philippines. Being raised in a family of tailors, Aquino followed into the family business, eventually taking over his parents’ clothing business with his siblings after both parents passed away. He served as both designer and sales manager, and he grew the brand and business into eight retail locations in Manila with a list of high profile clients like President Marcos and his cabinet members.

Aquino designed various versions of the Barong Tagalog, creating the fit, features and embroidery of his barongs. He offered both traditional and contemporary barongs, and he even created his own “New Republic Barong Tagalog”, also known as the lakan (nobleman) style.

 The man on the left wears an Edgar Aquino lakan Barong Tagalog.

The man on the left wears an Edgar Aquino lakan Barong Tagalog. What distinguished the lakan barong was the standing split collar, the lack of a button placket in the middle, and its calado hand embroidery covering more of the chest and the area where a button placket would be.

Finance businessman Exequiel Garcia wears an Aquino Barong Tagalog.

Finance businessman Exequiel Garcia wears an Aquino Barong Tagalog. It features a loose fit, half open button-down design, with U-shape rectangular pechera front embroidery, a shorter length, side vents, and a pointed fold-down collar.

Exequiel Garcia wears another traditional Aquino Barong Tagalog

Exequiel Garcia wears another traditional Aquino Barong Tagalog with the same features as the barong in the 2nd pic above

Exequiel Garcia wears Aquino’s version of the polo barong,

Exequiel Garcia wears Aquino’s version of the polo barong, which is short sleeved, likely made of linen or ramie, with front pechera embroidery, side vents and a pointed fold-down collar

Designer Edgar Aquino in his own piña Barong Tagalog standing in front of his Ermita shop.

Designer Edgar Aquino in his own piña Barong Tagalog standing in front of his Ermita shop.

All pics are likely circa 1980’s and are from Visitacion R. de la Torre’s 1986 book The Barong Tagalog: The Philippines’ National Wear.