Q+A

Ep­son Philip­pines and John Her­rera flaunt the beau­ti­ful out­come of mix­ing tech­nol­ogy, fash­ion, and art.

HWM (Philippines) - - Contents - by The HWM Team

How con­ve­nient is it for de­sign­ers like you to have this print­ing tech­nol­ogy that Ep­son of­fers? First of all, ev­ery fash­ion de­signer dreams of de­sign­ing and mak­ing his or her own fab­ric de­signs, de­signs that are per­sonal and orig­i­nal to them. It is con­ve­nient be­cause un­til the Ep­son dig­i­tal tex­tile printer was in­tro­duced to de­sign­ers, the only way to achieve this is to go to a fab­ric man­u­fac­turer and or­der a min­i­mum of 1,000 me­ters of fab­ric. For a lot of de­sign­ers, this is ex­ces­sive and ex­pen­sive. So it is a won­der­ful de­vel­op­ment, cre­atively and eco­nom­i­cally, for us de­sign­ers.

Life was eas­ier be­fore be­cause you can just buy fab­rics, but I don’t think I’ll ever go back to not de­sign­ing prints. It’s in­ter­est­ing and ex­cit­ing, and it be­comes part of the cre­ative process. You learn as much as you share. I’ve al­ways dreamed of de­sign­ing my own fab­ric. Now that I get to do it, I don’t think I’ll ever stop. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a printed fab­ric again. If I can de­sign it, I’ll de­sign it. From a de­signer’s stand­point, how im­por­tant is tech­nol­ogy in the progress of the fash­ion in­dus­try? Fash­ion con­tin­ues to move for­ward. And we de­sign­ers can ben­e­fit from con­tin­u­ously learn­ing new things that mod­ern­ize and im­prove our craft. I feel very for­tu­nate to be able to learn and cre­ate things with Ep­son’s dig­i­tal tex­tile print­ing tech­nol­ogy, and I am a bet­ter de­signer be­cause of it. This is your sec­ond col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ep­son Philip­pines. The first one, which was an Aguila-in­spired col­lec­tion, granted you the Bri­tain’s Top De­signer Award. How does it feel to clinch an award from a pres­ti­gious fash­ion event? I feel very hon­ored. I join com­pe­ti­tions to help pro­mote my craft more than any­thing. The cre­ation and com­ple­tion of the col­lec­tion is rea­son enough to cel­e­brate for me. Win­ning is such a huge bonus. And when you add mak­ing my coun­try­men proud of me into the equa­tion, then it’s all worth it.

Join­ing com­pe­ti­tions is not what I think I’ll be do­ing a lot. I had to join com­pe­ti­tions be­cause I was a no­body. I wasn’t known to the peo­ple and the crowd of the UK fash­ion scene. Be­cause of the Aguila col­lec­tion, Vogue no­ticed my work. Af­ter my Vogue fea­ture on UK Vogue on­line, a lot of doors opened for me and the celebri­ties as well. Now, I’m send­ing pieces of clothes to Lady Gaga. What’s the in­spi­ra­tion for the Ar­mada col­lec­tion? The “Ar­mada” col­lec­tion was in­spired by the ac­ci­den­tal dis­cov­ery of the Philip­pines by the Span­ish Ar­mada in 1521. Diogo Ribeiro was com­mis­sioned by King Philip of Spain to make a new world map in­clud­ing the newly dis­cov­ered Las Is­las Filip­inas. It was re­leased in 1529, mark­ing the year Diogo lit­er­ally put us on the map. It was the dis­cov­ery of the Philip­pines that I was study­ing while mak­ing the col­lec­tion, and what it re­vealed to me is that there are so many things to know while look­ing at this map that’s sup­posed to sig­nify the dis­cov­ery of my coun­try. It’s called ‘Ar­mada’ be­cause what they’ll be wear­ing will be long voy­ages, so there will be a lot of capes and a lot of vin­tage tai­lor­ing. When I say vin­tage, it’s re­ally not of this life­time. It’s 1520s style of fash­ion that we cre­ated to fit the mod­ern woman. What ad­vice can you give to lo­cal and as­pir­ing fash­ion de­sign­ers? Keep as­pir­ing, keep dream­ing, and al­ways keep learn­ing. Col­lab­o­rate.

This is what I al­ways want to share with young de­sign­ers any­where – al­ways be­come a stu­dent. Never say and be­lieve that you know every­thing. Con­tinue be­com­ing a stu­dent, and at least once a year you have to be­come a stu­dent. You have to learn from some­one. You have to try new things and just con­tinue to learn, be­cause if you say that you know every­thing al­ready, you’ll stop im­prov­ing.

HWM

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