Former Formula racer, now- Fashion Designer: Mark Bumgarner
Ex racer now fashion designer, Mark Bumgarner showcase his latest work at the latest Manila Fashion Festival. His Fall 2016 collection features bold colours, asymmetrical cuts, ruffles skirt and deep V neckline whilst still maintaining his signature romantic yet minimalistic touch. Draping techniques in silk combined with nude corset top and brocade in high waist and wide pants are also seen in his line up.
As what happens to this young designer, life can make a full detour from your original plans and brings you to the right path, designer. Bumgarners’ racing career starts at age 6, mounting up over 350 trophies from both kart and Formula racing. He spends his teen years racing sports car around the world in countries such as Europe, the United States and Canada. As it became arduous to get sponsorship from the Philippine companies, he decided to come home and stop temporarily his racing career.
During this cessation in his life, he hung out with fashion stylists and show directors at parties. By being surrounded by this creative group of people, his love for fashion became apparent. Not long after, he became a part of a denim brand styling team in 2012. In fact, the night after the styling gig, he decided to make his first collection.
When asked in an interview with Cheche Moral from Philippine Daily Inquirer about the difference of being a racer and a fashion designer, he quoted saying, “Racing is different, for it is very, very physically demanding. It is also one of the most dangerous sports in the world. I have, in fact, broken a few bones from racing. Fashion, on the other hand, has a different kind of euphoria—meeting clients and deadlines, coming up with new ideas, material sourcing. Both fields are similar in terms of personal triumphs and challenges.”
Having no mentors and not a single fashion designer friend, it did not stop him for pursuing his dream. He remembers the adversity he went through during the first year of his business; with no formal training in clothing construction, he recalls having sleepless nights in his seamstress shop just to finish a dress. All his hard work has paid off when a celebrity stylist Kat Cruz-Villanueva introduced him to Filipina actress Heart Evangelista. The actress saw the skillmanship and the passion the designer executes in creating her gown thus he immediately became the favorite designer of the actress.
When asked about the most challenging part of breaking in the industry by Moral, he said, “The most challenging for me was getting my name out there. It was not a very easy transition from sports to fashion. But I have a dream and a vision.” Indeed, vision and perseverance help Bumgarner to make his dream come true. Last year 2014, the designer took up short courses at Central Saint Martins London to hone his skill— a proof of his dedication on his craft.
Just recently, Bumgarner and his muse actress/painter Heart Evangelista joined forces to launch collaboration. The pieces are hand painted by Evangelista with flower designs while the dress and glass beads are embellished by Mark. The gowns highlights timeless and femininity in every portion.
Check his pieces at:
Facebook- Mark Bumgarner Manila