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Designer Spotlight: Arleen Sipat

The designer behind Salsatrends and Azucar gives us gorgeous maxis and sexy swimwear to frolic in this summer.
Designer Spotlight: Arleen Sipat The designer behind Salsatrends and Azucar gives us gorgeous maxis and sexy swimwear to frolic in this summer.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A DESIGNER?

Once I decided to get into the fashion business, I wanted to do something more than just ready-to-wear items. My mother owns a bridal gown business, and I've always seen her making all her gowns, so I guess that had an influence on me also. I want to venture in wedding gowns and beaded bags soon!

HOW DID YOU START AS A DESIGNER?

Watching my mom and her employees obviously had a big influence on me. To be honest, though, I taught myself to design. I am really not a theoretical person. I am much happier just doing the process rather than writing about it and sketching what is in my mind. I find draping, cutting, and pinning on a mannequin a much more exciting process.

WHERE DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR FASHION TRAINING?

From my mother Vivian Sipat. She has been in the business for more than 30 years.

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WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

Classy but affordable. A design should not be so intense that it is uncomfortable to wear.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?

Apart from my love of fashion and my mother's background, I love attending fashion week overseas and be inspired and challenged. I don't want to get locked in just one trend.

WHO ARE YOUR STYLE ICONS? YOUR STYLE INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS?

I guess I focus more on emerging young international designers rather than the major icons. My design philosophy steers me in this direction.

WHICH DESIGNERS/ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?

I really admire Elie Saab and Hannibal Laguna for their evening gowns, Camilla Franks and Zimmerman for their beautiful beach gowns and cutout swimwear.

WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO DRESS? WHO ARE THE CLIENTS YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH?

Anyone who wants my designs. I have a wide range of clientele and this includes both Filipinos and expat ladies. I enjoy working with people who know what they want but who are happy for me to influence the final outcome.

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WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF TIMELESS STYLE?

Audrey Hepburn.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A DESIGNER?

Having my store Azucar in Greenbelt 5 is the biggest challenge. I have to come up with a new style every week and stay ahead of the competition and ensure that the collections match what the clients want.

WHICH ASPECT OF THE DESIGN PROCESS DO YOU ENJOY MOST?

I enjoy draping on the mannequin and sewing bathing suit samples.

WHAT'S THE BEST CLOTHING ITEM/ACCESSORY WOMEN/MEN SHOULD HAVE?

Woman should have a nice bag and pair of high heeled shoes.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GARMENT OR FASHION ACCESSORY?

I love designer bags.

HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED AS A DESIGNER?

A natural growth, underpinned by a broader selection of colorful materials. More use of semi-precious stones has also been a big development for me.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER?

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Opening Azucar in the fabulous Greenbelt 5 mall.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT YOUR WORK?

The level of media exposure which Salsatrends attracted and now the attention that Azucar is getting. Katy Perry came into Azucar shortly after it opened and chose two outfits off the rack.

WHAT ASPECT OF DESIGN DO YOU SEEK TO MASTER/HAVE DEVOTED TIME TO MASTER?

I am not good at sketching, therefore, I would like to get a computer tool to help me in this aspect.

ASPIRATIONS FOR THE BRAND IN THE FUTURE?

Growth in acceptance and possibly exporting overseas. I am already investigating opportunities in Australia and Canada.


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