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Pefta: Bien Santiago

Marrying functionality and fashion—know why Bien Santiago elevates swimwear in her PEFTA collection.
Pefta: Bien Santiago Marrying functionality and fashion—know why Bien Santiago elevates swimwear in her PEFTA collection.

PEFTA recipient, Bien Santiago, is a swimwear designer whose brand, Yuminum, is making waves especially in the online shopping sphere. Read on to know more about her!

WHAT IS YOUR COLLECTION ABOUT? ANYTHING SPECIFIC IT WAS INPIRED BY?

 I lived beside rice fields growing up in Bulacan, so my collection depicts wind brushing past flower bushes.

WHAT WERE THE TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS THAT YOU USED?

Being a swimwear designer, precision and accuracy are a huge part of my work. For one, I have to deal with different fabrics, and since I deal with small sizes, I have to make sure the measurements are perfect otherwise the pieces won't turn out right. My technique for this PEFTA collection and all others: basting, basting, basting!

HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU LEARNED THE THEME IS "THE ART OF MOVEMENT?" HOW DOES "ART OF MOVEMENT" TRANSLATE TO YOUR COLLECTION?

Movement is quite hard to depict especially since swimwear is meant to cling to the body. What I did instead is a play on imagery. For example, I used tassels and tiny belts that depict movement.

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DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE IN THE COLLECTION?

Definitely the black maillot with embroidered and patchwork details. Growing up in a family with a garments business, I've come to love embroidery and patchwork simply because I know how hard they are to do—the handwork and dedication one has to give in order to do embroidery is something I witnessed for years so I appreciate pieces done in that style.

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PEFTA IS FAST-APPROACHING. HOW HAVE YOUR PREPARATIONS BEEN GOING, SO FAR? 

It's a balancing act between my daily production line for my swimwear brand and the PEFTA collection, but I'll make it through!

WHAT SHOULD THE EXHIBIT GOERS EXPECT OF YOUR COLLECTION?

My pieces are not your regular swimwear pieces. With what I make, I like to change what people think of swimwear—they definitely can go beyond your regular two-piece bathing suit. I know a lot of people who go to the beach but don't swim—they just really wanna show off the beautiful piece they're wearing. I hope I am able to make stylish pieces like those. As I always say—swimwear is not just for swimming.

Watch out for the features of the other PEFTA winners in the following days.

Click here to go back to the PEFTA page.