Rodolfo “Puey” Quiñones Jr. is a Filipino fashion designer based in Los Angeles, California. He describes himself as a reflective and introspective person, two traits that keep him grounded. He said that he gets his inspiration from music and from the people that surround him. Puey’s style aesthetic is innovative, fashion-forward, and very feminine. His talent in draping, embroidery, and hand-beading — the art of couture — has caught the attention of the Philippine and International fashion scene.
IN THE PHILIPPINES
His interest in fashion started when he was in high school back in the scenic town of Bobon, his interest was inspired by his neighbor Dennis Lustico, who was a fashion designer based in Manila. He had an idea of becoming a designer himself but thought it would be impossible for him to achieve. “I once thought that in order to become a designer, you have to come from a rich family and study fashion design abroad,” he said.
In 1999, Puey decided to move to Manila to work as an all-around assistant in Lustico’s atelier. In the early hours he would sew buttons and do the hems and once everyone leaves he would start doing sketches which he would leave at the table of Dennis with the hope that one day the designer would take notice of his designing skills. Under the mentorship of Dennis Lustico, Puey learned all the technical skills of becoming a great fashion designer. Eventually, the famed designer recommended Puey to Bergamo.
I believe that the fabric and its texture is what inspires the style of the design.
At Bergamo, Puey designed embroideries for the Barong Tagalog and new cuts for suits in Piña material, innovating the traditional Filipino suit.
But his big break came in 2002 when he became a finalist at The Philippines Young Designers Competition for Paris. It was through this competition that he would find his first client, Filipino socialite Margarita “Ting Ting” Cojuangco.
That same year, Lulu Tan-Gan, another famed Filipino designer, took Puey under her wings. It was through Lulu’s leadership that Puey would learn the business aspect of running a fashion house. She taught him the value of discipline in an industry that people would often regard as whimsical.
Finally, in 2013, he opened his atelier at The Bel Air in Makati City, Philippines, and the rest, as they say, will be history. His clientele grew and his name was placed in the center of the Philippine fashion scene. He put up numerous successful and well-attended shows in the Philippines, like his first solo show in 2005, Swell, where he presented a sold-out 30-piece collection made of Koryo silk (a local weave in the Philippines).
He dressed up celebrities and socialites like Kris Aquino, Irene and Imee Marcos, and the former President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
TO GREATER HEIGHTS
In June 2013, Puey held a successful trunk show in Washington, D.C with the help of Erwin Gomez, a beauty guru whose clientele includes former First Lady Michelle Obama.
The following year with the mentorship of Kelly Cutrone, a PR maven and founder of People’s Revolution, he catapulted to success in the US market. Puey dressed up Katy Perry for the pop artist’s Dark Horse music video. He also became a guest designer for Cycle 21 of America’s Next Top Model.
Fashion is universal. Everyone needs clothes. So I would like to create pieces that speaks to everyone’s individual taste.
Puey was handpicked by global fashion icon Jessica Minh Anh to showcase his latest fashion collection on the 63rd floor of the One World Trade Center in New York.
With the help of friends, he established his fashion house carrying his namesake, Rodolfo Quiñones, in Los Angeles. His works have since been featured in countless fashion magazines in the US and abroad, like Vogue Italia, Runway Magazine (Los Angeles), and Industry Magazine; and have graced countless Hollywood red carpet events.
Puey also dressed up celebrities like Olivia Culpo (former Miss Universe), Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Ireland Basinger-Baldwin, Stacy Haiduk, Lori Loughlin, and much more.
THE BRIDAL EMPIRE
His work with CocoMelody started in 2008, when he was still in the Philippines, as the brand’s design consultant. From then on, he built the company’s business model with its founders. In 2013, Puey helped the company gain recognition in the US market.
The following year, Puey took a gamble and accepted the brand’s offer to name him its Chief Designer, a position which enables him to oversees the over-all design and creative process that goes through the bridal empire. CocoMelody opened its Los Angeles store in Downtown’s Fashion District in 2016 and has since become its flagship store.
Currently, Puey is the fashion house’s Creative Director, he is personally leading the brand to the forefront of the bridal fashion industry.
Puey was born on February 28, 1980, in Bobon, Northern Samar. He is a son of a policeman and a Biology teacher. Puey recalled that as a young child he had dreamt of always being on center stage. “When I was young, I always wanted to see my mom wear a nice dress. It’s different when you have nothing,” he explains. As a young boy, he remembers relentlessly selling ice candy or yema (caramelized condensed milk) in school, anything to earn extra money for his family. “I think I become more creative because I come from a background where we had very little. It made me strive for more and look for more. I was hungry, hungry to achieve, to set myself apart, and when I realized I wanted to become a designer, I realized that what I wanted was to create and leave a lasting mark in the world.”
When he is not at his desk sketching the next big thing in bridal wear, he will be found in the kitchen of his loft cooking and entertaining his close friends.