53 Doña Annie St., Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER?
Growing up, I always knew that this was what I wanted to do. I’ve always had a keen interest in arts and design. Back in grade school, I was already making accessories and selling them at our school fairs.
HOW DID YOU START AS A DESIGNER?
Actually, I only started designing for myself. I was making my own dresses until my friends took notice and started ordering from me. That’s when I considered putting up my own line, then eventually began selling my ready-to-wear pieces at the Rockwell bazaars. Presently, I sell my designs at my showroom in my house in Alabang.
WHERE DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR FASHION TRAINING?
I took up Fashion Design and Merchandising at De La Salle College of St. Benilde’s School of Design and Arts.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
I usually mix classic elements with unexpected details. I love working with colors and prints and creating soft and sensuous pieces that flatter the female form.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
Anything and everything can serve as an inspiration for me! I try to see the bigger picture in even the smallest details. Photography and travel are always great sources. I collect magazines from abroad as well.
WHO ARE YOUR STYLE ICONS? YOUR STYLE INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS?
I can just go on and on with this one! Camilla Belle for her young Hollywood elegance, Kate Bosworth for her effortless style, Diane Krueger for her taste in clean and sophisticated lines, Zoe Saldana for her playfulness, and the sultry Mila Kunis, who was recently featured in Glamour’s Top 10 Most Stylish.
WHICH DESIGNERS/ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
In the fashion industry, I really admire Julia Restoin-Roitfeld’s eye for stlyle, Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman, and fashion photogtapher and blogger Garance Dore for her über-chic Parisian flair.
WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO DRESS? WHO ARE THE CLIENTS YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH?
I loved dressing up my ten muses at my recent show! They were amazing. Not only do I consider them as my clients but great friends as well. I truly enjoyed working with them.
WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF TIMELESS STYLE?
I would say my grandma, for her regal bearing and understated elegance. Women during her time exuded such grace and simplicity.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A DESIGNER?
Just like any job: meeting deadlines, working under pressure, and reaching all my clients’ expectations.
WHICH ASPECT OF THE DESIGN PROCESS DO YOU ENJOY MOST?
Definitely draping! I begin my work process with it. Most designers sketch their concepts first. I prefer being able to manipulate the fabric with my own hands then seeing how it will actually fall on the dress form.
WHAT'S THE BEST CLOTHING ITEM/ACCESSORY WOMEN/MEN SHOULD HAVE?
A classic watch.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GARMENT OR FASHION ACCESSORY?
The crisp white polo shirt is really one of my favorite fashion pieces. Why? Because it has the power to give elegance to the your denim cut offs, is edgy enough to wear like a dress, and is smartest when worn with your fave pair of pearls. It’s like your best friend on days you feel like you have nothing to wear.
ANY CURRENT TRENDS THAT YOU'RE FOND OF? ANY CURRENT OBSESSIONS?
I’m not really a follower of trends. I think it’s just all about knowing which styles work for you, and which don’t.
HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED AS A DESIGNER?
As I grow, my style grows with me. I can say that time, experience and exposure have taught me a lot when it comes to design aesthetics.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER?
I am thankful that I decided to put up my own business at a very young age. This helped me evolve and somehow realize my identity as a fashion designer at early stage.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT YOUR WORK?
When clients tell me that my designs make them feel good about themselves.
WHAT ASPECT OF DESIGN DO YOU SEEK TO MASTER/HAVE DEVOTED TIME TO MASTER?
For me, flawless construction is the hardest to master!
ASPIRATIONS FOR THE BRAND IN THE FUTURE?
Probably having my own studio and atelier after pursuing my further studies abroad.
HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
The usual–I love shopping, going out of town, being with my family and friends.
FAVORITE SHOPPING AND TRAVEL DESTINATIONS?
I love scouring finds at bazaars, flea markets, vintage shops. Hong Kong side streets are great too.
DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING?
Accessories! Statement necklaces and earrings, vintage rings, chunky cuffs. They’re the easiest way to spruce up any plain outfit! I’d love to get into accessory design some time.
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? FILMS YOU WATCH? BOOKS YOU READ?
I love vocal house, jazz, bossa, hip-hop and R&B.
OTHER PASTIMES, PASSIONS, INTERESTS ASIDE FROM FASHION?
Photography, travel, art, architecture, design, food.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
I don’t really consider myself an extravagant person. I am a firm believer of “less is more.”
WHICH OTHER TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
I am a frustrated singer!!! Haha!
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
My recent show made me realize that I can be the designer I’ve always dreamt to be. That alone is an achievement for me.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING DESIGNERS?
Being in such a competitive industry, I think you just really have to enjoy and love what you’re doing. What matters is really just putting your heart into it, then all else will follow.