One of the top Filipino fashion designers, Rajo Laurel's love for fashion is rooted in his early years, but it was in his young adulthood when his talent became truly apparent. His innate eye for fashion was enhanced through his training from New York Fashion Institute of Technology and Central Saint Martin's in London. Twenty two years into his career, he has received several awards locally and internationally for fashion design and entrepreneurship. A celebrity in his own right, Rajo Laurel serves as a permanent judge on four seasons of Project Runway Philippines. His accomplishments have propelled him to the next step: a foray into the international market.
Rajo is passionate about his work, progressive, and very much a keen businessman. He heads Rajo Laurel Enterprise, a young design-driven company fueled with the ideology of elegance, romance, and luxury. The look is always modern and feminine, juxtaposing hard and soft elements. Though Filipino in origin and heavily influenced by his Asian roots, Rajo aims to maintain a Global Perspective in fashion.
It is the workmanship and artisan quality that makes Rajo Laurel's pieces distinct. Beautiful, sensible and also competitively priced. Standout details such as embroidery, beadwork and hand painted prints are incorporated to elevate the clothes into exceptional limited edition pieces. The sensibilities of Rajo Laurel's works are always new, organic, sensual, and meant to be admired as pieces of art.
The House of Laurel is the brainchild of talented Filipino couture designer Rajo Laurel and his sister Venisse Laurel-Hermano. Considered one of Manila’s premiere shopping destinations, this spacious loft style boutique opened its doors last July 2004 to accommodate their growing clientele. The House of Laurel was created as a bridge line for women looking for-off-the-rack outfits with that signature Rajo Laurel look. It combines the flair and ingenuity of couture with the convenience of ready-to-wear. Pieces are never mass produced and the collections are constantly changing.
The service and experience the House of Laurel creates is what sets it apart. The journey begins as you step into the boutique and notice how the interiors transform with every new season. The store turns into a downtown alley complete with graffiti painted walls and in the next season, it becomes an elaborate boudoir.
Professional stylists are present to assist clients in selecting the perfect ensemble, from dress choice all the way to complementing accessories. It currently carries three in-house brands; Rajo!, a women’s wear line concentrated on luxury separates, gowns and dresses; Rajito, a designer line for children’s party clothes and RajoMan, a hip line of menswear pieces. A vast display of accessories is available also from local designers like Yekky Balingit of Miadore, Ann Ong, Etoille Jewellery and bag designers like Prima Bags made in Hong Kong and locally made bags from Marilu Toda Batchelor for LULU Bags and Ika Rodriguez for Porcele.
The House of Laurel is fast becoming a one-stop-shop for women in the pursuit of elegance and beauty. Also in the property is the studio salon of make-up artist Gela Laurel-Stehmeier, the youngest of the brood in the Laurel family.
Adding to the charm of the House of Laurel is its quaint location. Located near the burgeoning malls of Manila, the spacious environment becomes a canvas for the designer’s creativity. Albeit a little unexpected to find a massive modern building in a busy little street, the surprise is always refreshing.
Recently, House of Laurel has expanded its market by opening a store called RAJO! in Makati’s Power Plant Mall. The Power Plant Branch functions a lot like a gateway for most people who don’t know about the ready-to-wear operation in Villena. It’s a smaller (yet still complete) sample of what they offer in the flagship store but the vision is still wholly representative. Since its opening, Rajo Laurel has gained many new and old clients that rediscover what he’s had for almost a decade and a half.