The young designer recalls moments from the fashion competition, his visit to the Zalora HQ and the eye-opening crash course with Globe Business
When Ia Coca was announced as one of the finalists at StyleFestPH, he had a one-out-of-four chance of winning the coveted grand prize: to have his capsule collection from the contest produced and sold by Asia’s leading online fashion destination, Zalora. Good odds, all things considered. But today, the fact remains that getting your foot in the door is easier, still, than staying afloat in the highly competitive and already congested industry.
So where does the winner of a fashion competition end and the entrepreneur begin? For Ia Coca, the emerging designer hailing from Cebu who emerged victorious at StyleFestPH last year, it required a break from fashion itself and a full-on immersion in the world of business.
Ia Coca’s win is proof that we’re moving away from the just-fashion notion. But this doesn’t mean that all fun and fantasy are lost. “For StyleFestPH, I began with a daydreamy narrative in my head,” shares Ia Coca, recounting the inspiration behind his winning entry. “It’s about a woman who enjoys tending to her garden. She’s in the quiet countryside…away from the city, the stress.”
This image certainly translated into his final collection: a diverse seven-look capsule he entitled Widow’s Garden. At the final show, the women who walked the runway donned Ia Coca’s elaborate pleatwork, each one unique and all made by hand. This breathed new life into otherwise classic silhouettes, which revealed early on that Ia Coca knew how to strike a balance––between the creative and the commercially appealing, the artistic and the realistic. The balancing act, according to this budding designer, is a way of drilling into the mind that art cannot, in the real world, exist merely for art’s sake. What designers do with this reality check is what makes or breaks them.
With the design competition over and lessons learned in and beyond StyleFestPH, it’s Ia Coca time to give an unfiltered take on industry survival skills and talk art and commerce:
From setting up Facebook ads to getting your business internet-ready with an unli-internet plan, whether it’s a fashion label, a beauty brand, a budding restaurant or a small-scale B&B, you can take your business further with Globe Business.
Starring Ia Coca
Direction and Videography Ian Francisco
Assistant Videography Ela Bendaña
Grooming Angeline Dela Cruz
Created in Partnership with Globe Business