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EXCLUSIVE: Philippine Airlines Teams Up With Designer Edwin Tan For Its Cabin Crew’s PPEs

How a local designer lends a sense of Filipino pride to airline workers through specially designed protective gear. Edwin Tan has this exclusive interview with Metro.Style

Edwin Tan is one of the many Filipino designers who have joined the fight against the coronavirus by using his expertise to help our frontliners. Known for his made-to-order creations, the designer began producing protective gowns for healthcare workers tackling the outbreak about two weeks into the ECQ—even recalibrating his machines in his shop to make way for the production of PPEs.


Photo from Cielo Villaluna

The buck doesn’t stop with hospitals and medical frontliners for this designer. What started as a casual catch up and conversation with some friends turned out to be a serendipitous partnership for Edwin and local airline carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL). “The catch was that the requirement [for PPEs] was required three days after we spoke,” shares the designer. Though production schedules were tight, he found himself back in his shop creating more PPEs for repatriation flight crew members of the local airline.


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Weighing in on the design elements, the couturier references his background in the medical field as well as his partner, Pepsi Herrera’s, 14-year tenure with the airline. He explains, “when I designed the PPEs, I made sure to consider optimal protection first and of course comfort.”


“I’ve been dressing people for 23 years and I wanted them to look good. We want them to be proud of these uniforms,” says Edwin. The garment, done in an all-white fabric, features adjusted proportions for added comfort as well as a cinched waist to give it more of a form. It is finished off with striking shoulder accent designed in the colors of the Philippine flag.


Photo from Cielo Villaluna

“It was a conscious effort on my part to add that detail because I wanted to give them a sense of pride—which was for them, the logo of PAL. I wanted to incorporate it in a subtle way not for branding, but just to feel good. So that was my contribution.”


PAL has suspended flights due to the virus but are still helping stranded foreigners through  special flights.


Photos courtesy of Edwin Tan, Cielo Villaluna, and ABS-CBN News