Tributes Pour In For Fashion Designer James Reyes Whose Sudden Passing Shocked All
James Reyes was 48 years old when he breathed his last, and it was a death that no one, not his friends, family, or colleagues, could have ever prepared themselves for.
Though the cirucmstances surrounding his death have been kept private, it's suspected that a heart-related illness was what led to his passing.
Boasting of an active lifestyle as a fashion and costume designer, instructor, and creative director, James appeared to be at his peak until he asked to be brought to the hospital on Friday night. Severe abdominal pain prompted him to seek medical assistance earlier that week, and attending physicians simply prescribed him antibiotics, but claimed that he had felt much worse in the following days.
It was on Friday, at the hospital, where he eventually passed away.
The Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines, of which James was the secretary at his time of passing, confirmed the news in a Facebook post, shocking everyone whom the Filipino artist had known, worked with, or simply encountered.
Each had their own special story to share about the luminary, proving just how meaningful his relationships were with everyone he'd met over the years. Many of them called him kind-hearted, grateful, and an ace of a friend to have, and of course, a person possessing an eye for beauty and love for Philippine culture that was unmatched.
Here are some of the tributes that have poured in since news of James' death made headlines:
James Reyes I am devastated... I am lost for words. You are one of my favorite designers and I still consider myself blessed to be able to work with you. Philippine theater and the fashion industry just lost one amazing person. Gray and ivory, pearl embellished gown by James Reyes Photography, Shaira Luna Set and bouquet, Jo Romero Claravall . . . . . . . #heartbroken #ripjamesreyes
Wearing a hand painted tutu by the late @jamesvreyes. (Shocked by the news. Gone to soon.) . . . Death has a way to reminds us how to live. . . . Thank you for your artwork that touched and inspired a lot of people. It was an honor to be able to wear and dance with your designed and hand painted tutu. . . . May your beautiful soul rest in peace. ????
rest in peace, james reyes. his name first entered my radar as a finalist of mega magazine’s young designers competition in 2002. since then, he has quietly and consistently done his thing as a fashion designer. i’ve always loved his sketches and would wait for him to post them on instagram. why must real talent like this leave too soon..? ?? (i took this photo during the 20th anniversary of mega’s YDC in 2015) #jamesreyes #rip #gonetoosoon
Just learned the news about James Reyes. I dug this photo up, and instantly remembered your kind smile - one of the first to welcome me into the fashion industry back then. We instantly clicked over the fact that we both came from art school. I'll always be inspired by your one-in-a-million ideas... this one's one of them. Rest in peace ?? . . . . . #fashion #couture #throwback #jamesreyes
With a career spanning decades, the University of the Philippines graduate leaves behind a legacy that is sure to touch many more generations to come.
Beginning his professional journey in advertising then making the big shift to fashion and women's wear in the early 2000s, James then discovered his penchant for creating avant garde spins on traditional Philippine pieces like the terno and barong. James has been a pillar of Philippine fashion and costume design ever since.
The award-winning designer went on to work continuously with Ballet Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino who adored the costumes he designed especially for their productions, and most recently, with upscale bespoke menswear tailoring brand Bergamo that named him its creative director just months ago.
Lauded for raising the bar of the artisty in costume design for Philippine theater, James takes after two of his famous family members who excelled in their own fields; his uncle Efren Reyes was a beloved and talented actor, while his grandfather Severino Reyes is the writer and author behind the Lola Basyang series.
James' wake is currently being held at the St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish in Magallanes Village, Makati.
Photos from @jamesvreyes