February 14, 2020

#WEOnTheSpot: Roots of Romanticism x Jo Rubio

Jo Rubio is one of the most sought-after wedding gown designers with footprints in the local and international scene. Known for his impeccable taste and elegant wearable works of art, he eventually made a name in the Philippine fashion industry by creating romantic and exquisitely made wedding gowns. His wedding gowns have made their way from his atelier to Australia, New York and Paris and other parts of the world.

 His humble beginnings started by designing and creating elegant Ternos and Filipinianas for the affluent and influential families here in Bulacan. Having an eye for detail, he gravitates towards infusing Filipino elements in his designs and brings about his unique view on aesthetics via contemporary flair and flavor. He was able to dress up countless VIP’s, political leaders and celebrities such as the world-renowned choir, The Philippine Madrigal Singers, Christian Bautista, Janella Salvador, Maine Mendoza Heart Evangelista and recently our Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach to name a few.

As a designer, Jo prides himself as a romanticist and an artist rolled into one. His vision is the amalgamation of his vivid imagination, passion and creativity that ultimately translates to wearable pieces of art. His discerning taste and unwavering passion jump started his career in his hometown when he started creating pieces for the most affluent and influential families in Bulacan. This feat paved the way for more clients to notice his art. Back in the day, word of mouth is the best marketing one can ever get. And, it proved to be the best tool there is! 

With years and years of design experience under his belt, Jo still remembers his very first creation. A rather unconventional approach in the earlier years of bridal design, Jo created an Apricot Bridal Gown. This very creation nudged him to push boundaries in his design aesthetic and conquer his fears and intimidation to create more iconic pieces. Jo developed and nurtured his classic and romanticist aesthetic to what is called, “The Jo Rubio Roses” a name he coined for the recognizable design identity that is uniquely his. 

Jo  advocates towards the promotion of the creativity of the local artisans. He adores the infusion of local materials in his designs every now and then. For the Filipinianas he creates, he opts to use local fabrics such as Piña and Jusi. To the best of his ability, he tries to incorporate Filipino embroidery in his design. He feels empowered every time he’s able to incorporate the beautiful works of local artisans in his design because in a way, he is able to  support them with sustainable job opportunities and livelihood. On the other hand, he also utilizes imported materials such as European Laces and Silks most especially for bridal wear. He personally selects and curates pieces and fabrics whenever he travels to other countries. Because, he always makes sure to visit a local textile company or store in each of his travel. 

In all of his interviews, Jo always makes it known that he is a proud Filipino. He highlights his humble beginnings and prides himself with building a name that people can trust. He hopes for people to remember him not just as a good designer that masterfully creates beautiful pieces, but for his advocacy of championing local artisans. By being a designer that uplifts that community in ways that he can while sharing the craftsmanship of local artisans and supporting their livelihood. 

Jo has been able to popularize the treasured art of embroidery in his hometown, Bulacan. He was able to give numerous job opportunities to a lot of artisans—the embroiderers, beaders, and seamstresses. All of whom he considers a part of the Rubio family—the core and DNA of his brand.

With his advocacy in tow, Jo’s pieces are made from the heart by his loving hands. Every bridal gown he makes is the embodiment of love made real.  Jo wants each and every one of his clients to feel very special while wearing his creations. He aims for each one to feel elegant and very confident in his designs. He always believed that clothes or what people wear are extensions of who they are. That is why it should represent the best of who they are as individuals. 

“Surround yourself with beautiful things. Always be positive and try to look at the brighter side of everything. As a designer, my world is full of bright and vivid colors that makes vibrant, dreamy, and surreal wearable pieces of art. I look at everything as a beautiful canvass where I can find inspiration in the things I will do.” Jo shares. 

Today, he is at his proudest of making the beautiful art of Bulacan embroidery known not just in the Philippine fashion scene and but more importantly to the international market.  Truly, he is the pride of Meycauayan and the pride of Bulacan and one of the most sought-after fashion designers in our country today, he is no less than, the one-and-only—JO RUBIO. (Words Mark Samson | Photos courtesy of )

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