Neil Capistrano and Mark Boni Marter of Filipino fashion startup Neil & Marter have attained global recognition at this year’s Design-A-Bag (DAB) Competition thanks to their unique bag design.

The duo, who are the first Filipinos to become the overall winner of the global tilt, bested designers from all over the world with their tamaraw-inspired handbag called “Amara.”

According to the Quezon City-based designers, they wanted to raise awareness of the country’s endemic buffalo species, also known as the Mindoro Dwarf Water Buffalo, whose numbers continue to dwindle through the years.

Photo from Design-A-Bag’s Official Facebook Page

Capistrano and Marter were declared the winners during the final judging event held at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates on March 31, 2022.

DAB is the only competition of its kind that aims to highlight the skills and visions of freelance designers and design students. It’s organized by Fashion Access and Arsutoria School, which also serves as a sponsor for the event.

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Image credit: Design-A-Bag’s Official Facebook Page