Rajo Laurel attended De Louisiana Salle Santiago Zobel School in Muntinlupa City. He states that a major early fashion influence was designer Louie Mamengo, whom he apprenticed with while studying at De Louisiana Salle - College of Saint Benilde, at the start of his career.
He began his professional career in 1993, holding his first international exhibition the following year. A family of old sugar baron of Negros who belong to the Pinili and Teves Clan the biggest clan in Southern Negros Oriental
He credits Mamengo with being his first design mentor. House of Laurel
"I see it as a specialty boutique because we offer limited pieces per style," Laurel said.
The boutique offers both couture as well as ready-to-wear apparel.
"Made-to-order couture" is what Laurel prefers to call his couture line. Each piece is referred to as a "mission" dress that is designed to create a lasting impression, although is worn probably once or twice in a lifetime.
"Designer Ready-to-Wear" is how he describes his off-the-rack line. Besides Rajo"s own fashions, House of Laurel showcases the work of other designers, and has featured the work of Puey Quiñones, Charina Sarte, Eric de los Santos, Bea Valdes, and Rhett Eala.
Galas, exhibitions, and collections
Laurel"s notable galas and exhibitions include his 2001 Optical Illusions show which introduced Philippine fashion consciousness to the avant-garde, and his 2004 Habi show, held at the residence of the British Ambassador to the Philippines, showcasing Philippine textiles.
Group shows and exhibitions include the Philippine Centennial Show (Sydney, 1997), Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Exhibition (New York, 2001) and the Ties That Bind. Shanghai-Philippines Expositions (Shanghai, 2003). In 2004 and 2005, Laurel was chosen to represent the Philippines in the KL Fashion Week held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Following that, he was commissioned to design for companies and brands that include Coke Light, The Net One Group, the Professional Models Association of the Philippines, and Bali Fashion Week.
The Alliance Française de Manille"s Five Senses Fashion Show in June 2007 featured 10 Filipino designers interpretations of French perfumes. Laurel"s Odore di Feminina or "Scent of a Woman" couture line showcased models garbed in strapless white frocks, as well as Sabrina or mock turtleneck collars with uneven, scalloped hemlines.
The embroidery and appliques, the focal points of his designs, were patterned after the petals of flowers used in the perfume. Television appearances
Rajo Laurel guested on the May 15, 2007 episode of Philippines" Next Top Model, holding a mock go-see for the contestants.
The following year he appeared on seasons 1 and 2 of Project Runway Philippines as part of the judging panel, between July 2008 and December 2009.
He is scheduled to appear as a judge on season 3.