At a time when the most vulnerable sectors of Philippine society are in need of help, Rags2Riches (R2R), the social enterprise founded in 2007, has continued its mission to empower and uplift the lives of community artisans all over the country. The fashion and design house has expanded their merchandise mix beyond the bags and pouches they started with, now offering home accessories and, yes, even clothing. And true to youth of its young president and co-foundress Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, who is 35, the newly launched collection takes into consideration both the aesthetic and current needs of today’s fashion-lover.
“The collection name is Aruga, and for us that’s not just about taking care of yourself but taking care of others,” shares Reese at the Facebook Live launch last Friday. Drawing inspiration from the challenging times, she and the R2R design team made up of Chris Cera and Cheska Federizon, worked on lounge wear that’s stylish enough to be worn out when we can finally do so safely. With comfort as top priority, Cheska said they put a lot of thought into the fabrics and silhouettes. They used cotton-linen blends for their softness and breathability. As for the shapes, Reese’s directive was for these to be loose, forgiving, and ergonomic—meaning the wearer should be able to walk, lay down, sit around (you know, everything you’ve been doing at home) with ease.
Now this entire collection was made remotely, with everyone in different areas of the country. And if there is one thing all three agree on, it’s how digital services and devices really helped move things forward. Chris shares that they communicated with partner weavers who are based in Ilocos through Messenger, and they were thankfully able to send the fabrics to the workshop. Reese gives credit to online banking solutions that have allowed them to send payments without having to physically go to a bank. Cheska shared that the workshop CCTVs have speakers, and these enabled her to monitor and communicate with their head seamstress to guide her as she copied the samples sent.
As for the launch materials, Rags2Riches Advocates Ayen dela Torre, Ceej Tantengco, Chab Ocampo, Mela Habijan, and R2R's Reese, Cheska, and Audrey Ferriol photographed themselves wearing the clothes. These self-portraits show prospective customers the lovely fit, fall, and fashion of each of the pieces. Check them out below and shop for what catches your fancy at the brands online marketplace thingsthatmatter.ph.
4-Way Top, P2800, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
Yakap Wrap Dress, P3200, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
Lukso Wrap Jumpsuit, P3200, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
On-Off Shoulder Top, P1800, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
All-Around Shorts, P750, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
Takip Mask Scarf, P850, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
Taklob Wrap Top, P2200, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph
Removable Collar, P450, RAGS2RICHES, thingsthatmatter.ph