You’re originally from the Philippines but grew up in Canada. Why did you make the decision to move to London?
While I was working in Canada, I picked up a copy of Vogue one day and came across an article on Central St. Martins. This was at a time when designers such as Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen were making a name for themselves in the fashion industry—little did I know that one day I would personally meet both of them.
I decided to apply and three weeks later I was asked by CSM to come to London for an interview. My life changed in an instant, but I knew London was calling and since then I’ve never looked back.
How do you feel attending Central St. Martins prepared you for your career?
Being at Central St. Martins allowed me to find myself as a designer. It made me realise the possibilities that could be achieved if I fulfilled my potential. It also gave me the opportunity to be freethinking and to fulfil a desire to create something different and be an individual – something that has stayed with me throughout my career. Studying at CSM, a place so full of talented people, made me understand that being different was essential. I realised that the fashion industry that I would enter after graduating would be a highly competitive one and that in such an environment individuality was the key to success.
Your tailoring is something to be admired; at what point did this become a real passion?
While at Central St. Martins I did an internship in Savile Row with Richard James. During my time there I was able to see how bespoke garments were made and crafted. I had always had a passion for luxury garments and what was inside them. A well-fitted garment for me exudes luxury; it is all about the fit, no matter how expensive the garment is, the fit is the key to its true element of luxury.
You have worked with some major fashion labels throughout your career – what pushed you to start Ethologie?
Ethologie came about through my desire to create something for the young professional woman.
What’s the concept behind Ethologie?
The Ethologie woman is one who is constantly on the move and is strongly influenced by travel. She is a modern woman with a strong sense of individuality, who has a desire for well-crafted clothing and accessories.
Any pieces in your wardrobe that have a great story behind them that you can share?
When we moved to Canada and left our home in the Philippines I took my mother’s wedding train with me, which I still have for safekeeping.
Most memorable fashion show you’ve attended?
Viktor and Rolf A/W 2003.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring designers?
Celebrate your individuality. Always be different. Never compare yourself to others, as there will always be those who are better than you and those who are lesser than you. The important thing is always to focus on what makes you unique.
Based in Ladbroke Grove, can you suggest any fab hidden gems in the area for a catch up with friends?
For Sunday brunch I always go to George’s Fish and Chips, which is located on the corner of Golborne Road.
What’s the dream for Ethologie?
I don’t really dream, I aspire; the world is my oyster. My aim is for global recognition for the label. However, for now I’m focusing on bigger offices.