College is stressful enough for the average student. It normally includes academics, an org life, a social life, and even a love life for the lucky few. But in this day and age, there are quite a number of driven and business-savvy fashionistas who have both the initiative and the sartorial stamina to set up a store to call their own. Not only is this a good sign of a thriving Philippine fashion community, it's also a testament to the fact that the young generation should not be afraid to be the boss on their own fashion enterprise.
Herewith, five college students with entrepreneurial wits and unique styles to match:
1. Giovanne The Label @gvnthelabel
Girl bosses: Kaitlin Lao and Keisha Lao of Ateneo de Manila University
Just one look at their IG feed will induce a serious case of sartorial lust. Thanks to the Lao sisters, we now have an affordable haven of chic everyday bags! They come in neutral colors such as cream, grey, taupe, tan, and blush. Made of synthetic leather, their affordable arm candy is the perfect complement to your workwear or evening wear—think of these items as your go-to classic items. And if you want to add a touch of luxury, they also do personalized gold-monogrammed bag tags!
2. Fashion Paranoia @fashionparanoia
Girl boss: Shaianne Lim of De La Salle University
Millennials, here's a one-stop shop for your swimwear and phone case needs. (Because they're probably the building blocks of a good feed, right?) Social media satisfaction aside, Shaianne's online shop caters to the young and carefree who wish to inject more fun into their lifestyle. Check out the website and you'll find that shopping is a breeze—there are thoughtful categories such as "reversible" and "spandex". Now there's another one-two punch.
3. Ampersand @ampersanduptc
Girl boss: Shasha Sto. Tomas of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
If you find yourself at UPTC's new wing, then you should definitely swing by Ampersand. Amidst all the hip stores in this lane, what makes Shasha's store a must-visit is its variety of offerings. Whether your style is boho, basic, or bold, there are pieces catering to every kind of #aesthetic! Oh, and for students looking for new school garb, you'll definitely find comfy tees, overalls, and dresses that are totally on-point. Don't let the dress code bring your style game down.
4. Astella PH @astellaph
Girl boss: Ria Lim of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
Although Astella’s been an online retail player since 2014, there's no doubt that its unique direction will get its well-deserved big break anytime soon. What's so novel about this startup is Ria's focus on Philippine culture and artisanal technique. The first collection was inspired by Philippine wildlife, as seen in the quirky bird prints and vibrant colors! Oh, and did we mention that they're hand-printed and hand-painted? Craftsmanship on fleek!
5. Empire PH @empireph
Girl boss: Emira Guingon of University of the Philippines
A great wardrobe does not necessarily mean an overloaded closet. Sometimes, keeping it lean goes a long way! With Empire PH's minimalist offerings, it's now easier to build a wearable wardrobe and to develop your sense of style! Emira's pieces are trendy (choker tops, anyone?), but their simple silhouettes make a case for the classic. There are criss-cross tops, culottes, trousers, and slip dresses in divine colors such as cream, rose, and black. Trust us, you'll be ordering more than one.
Watch out for these girl bosses and their labels. They clearly have what it takes to make it big in fashion.