3 Style Lessons from Inno Sotto

3 Style Lessons from Inno Sotto

Learn a thing or three from Manila’s prince of fashion


From your Instagram feed to celebrities and even this website, every place and platform––whether tangible or digital––can be a source of style advice. But while everyone is eager to chime in with their two cents on fashion and how to navigate it, how do we discern whom we should actually be listening to?


The answer: experience.


Multi-awarded fashion designer Inno Sotto got his start in 1980 when he won the Most Outstanding Designers Competition. Following his victory, he set up base in Malate, Manila. The following years saw him joining forces with fellow designers to form Filipino Designers Group (FGD), being elected to the group’s presidency, showing collections locally and internationally and opening his first boutique. Since then, Philippine fashion hasn’t quite been the same.


Fast forward to 2018: Inno Sotto continues to create. He has set himself apart with an understanding of the human form, loyal celebrity clientele and a sartorial eye that only gets sharper as the years pass. He has also taken on an exciting new role as the head mentor for stylefestph’s stylecouncil. From here, we bring you 3 style lessons from Manila’s prince of fashion himself. Take note; if his renown and tenure in the industry are anything to go by, these are pieces of advice you’d want to follow.


RELATED: Meet the Stylefestph Mentors Helping Shape the Future of Philippine Fashion


“Simple is different from plain.


These are some of the words of wisdom he imparted to Viña Romero, one of the then-finalists, now-winners for the Designer Mentorship Program’s Emerging Designers for Zalora PH. Many of us are quick to write off simplicity as boring, but Inno Sotto dares us to look beyond the surface. Even the simplest of garments can tell the most beautiful stories.


“Before the dress, the most important thing
is the woman you are dressing up,”


While these words were targeted at young designers, it’s the kind of advice that rings true on multiple fronts. A designer ought to keep their client in mind while creating, but on the flip side, us consumers shouldn’t let our clothing define us either. Rather, it should be the opposite. Sartorialism gives us the opportunity to express ourselves. Perhaps this is something we should keep in mind instead of allowing ourselves to be swept away on a current of trendy, high-brow labels.


[On what he looks for in emerging designers]

“Their sensitivity to the pulse of the times…
Their currentness.”



Making a name for yourself on the fashion scene is one thing, but standing the test of time is a whole ‘nother challenge. As one of the members of the stylecouncil who hand-picked and monitored the designers who would eventually design collections for Zalora PH and Globe’s lifestyle brand 0917, Inno Sotto clearly set his sights on the young talents’ ability to stay on the pulse and answer to what consumers want in the here and now.


RELATED: The Lowdown on stylefestph: The What, Where, When and Who


Pick up more style pointers from Inno Sotto and the rest of the stylecouncil at stylefestph. The multi-faceted fashion and beauty event takes Manila by storm on September 7 to 9. Don’t miss out!


Follow stylefestph on Facebook and Instagram



Art Alexandra Lara


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