What was the inspiration for your collection?
My inspiration stems from my Filipino culture. Growing up a Filipino American I did not know that much about my Filipino history. Moving to San Francisco and attending SFSU, I ended up joining a Filipino American organization called the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE) that really made me proud to be myself. I learned so much about Filipino history, I met a lot of inspiring people that ended up being my closest friends, I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. I participated in many events within PACE and I got wrapped up in the world of Filipino Traditional Folk Dance. I fell in love with everything about it... the costumes, the music, the stories behind the dances, and the movements. I wanted to learn more dances and get better as a dancer, so I joined Barangay Dance Company. I feel so beautiful and proud to be Filipino when I get the chance to wear the costumes for performances. Although, I wanted to wear these costumes on any other regular day.
For my collection, I wanted to create garments inspired by my Filipino culture to be worn everyday. I did not want it to be looked at as a costume because this is the traditional dress that was worn in the past and in the present. One late night trying to figure out what this collection was going to be and I thought to myself “what if it snowed in the Philippines in the future?” I thought that this concept was intriguing so I did more research. There has been no record of snowfall in the Philippines. I did more research to see if it has snowed in a typically hot climate and I stumbled upon an article about the Sahara desert and how it snowed there in 2016, one of the hottest places on Earth. I was inspired by the scenario and how I would design for such an occasion! I believe that due to climate change, this can become a reality in the future. I decided to mix my Filipino culture with my own personal style. I like the Streetwear culture and I love to mix feminine and masculine styles together.
Why did you choose this specific color palette?
I love Earth tones, people think i’m weird because one of my favorite colors is brown. I wanted to channel a desert and outdoors vibe.
What makes your designs different from other designers?
My perspective is what makes me different from my other fellow designers. I wanted to bring awareness to climate change and to bring Filipino culture to the table. I wanted to really showcase the beauty of my culture because we are not in mainstream media.
What are you personally inspired by?
As cliche as it sounds, my mom inspires me. I love her so much and want to make her proud every single day. She is my best friend. She supports me in every decision I make and she pushes me to always be my own boss and to follow my dreams.
Any advice for inspiring fashion designers?
Do not get comfortable designing for one type of style once you have really solidified your aesthetic/brand, try to be more well rounded with your designs. This is something I want to get better at as well because I want to be capable of designing anything for anyone.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I would love to continue designing in ten years, but I really love my home, San Diego. There are not much opportunities for fashion design specifically in San Diego right now, but I would love to be someone who helps the city push for more arts, specifically in fashion. My dream has been to have my own clothing brand, I will make this happen once I graduate from San Francisco State University. I believe wherever I end up down the line, I will be designing as my career or my side hustle. I just want to be healthy, happy, be with my family, and financially stable.
How has your design experience been like at SFSU?
My design experience has been filled with so much knowledge, it has been motivating yet challenging. There were many nights filled with frustration, tears and no sleep. I have nothing but love for my peers because they have helped me get through the bad with their constant support and our shared experiences. There is a lot of talent in the graduating class of 2020 in Apparel Design & Merchandising and I am happy to have gotten to know them and pick their brains. As it is my last semester as an undergraduate, I cannot believe the drastic changes that have taken place due to Covid-19. There were a few weeks where I have felt defeated and uninspired as a designer, but I found the motivation to get back up and persevere through these times of self-doubt and uncertainty. The support, resources, knowledge, and care from all the departments professors is appreciated. Thank you Stephanie, Ivana, and Dr. Dorie for everything, especially during this time under shelter in place for San Francisco.