Puey Quinones, one of the highly-celebrated designers in Manila, re-sparked creativity into 30 talented maximum security inmates in New Bilibid Prison.
After being taught by Quinones tailoring and dressmaking lessons, the prisoners are now paid to handpaint and bead dresses, skirts, blouses, t-shirts and bags. For their creativity, they get a renumeration of 100-500 pesos per finished item.
At first, the designer kept his prison collaboration a secret. He confessed, "Friends were initially concerned. They were afraid that some of my clients might not like the idea of me collaborating with prisoners. On the contrary, my customers were amazed when they learned about it."
Ever since the secret's out, Quinones has been getting extra media mileage. His designs are worn by famous local celebrities and media personalities, as well as high-profile clients.