Style is an expression of the imagination. They are trendsetters in their own right: mavericks by choice or classicists by definition. No matter the outfit, these luminaries prove they are always one step ahead

1. Vania Romoff

Fashion Designer

Style Mantra: “Fashion celebrates life and the times. Dressing up should be treated as a form of self love.”

Vania Romoff’s eponymous line is so intrinsically tied to her own experience as a woman, a mother, and a wife. Romoff's visual romanticism is perfected with classically feminine touches like bows, florals, and ties. But her particular brand of elegant fashion is one that is also practical, forgiving, and generous of the changes women’s bodies undergo. Many have gravitated to both herself as the designer and her brand because of its authentic, stylish portrayal of a woman who puts family first without relinquishing her own power and identity.

Follow her on Instagram (@vaniaromoff)

2. BJ Pascual

Photographer

Known For: A familiarity with the limelight and cutting-edge fashion has pushed BJ Pascual’s style into one worthy of its own spotlight

As a celebrity and fashion photographer, Pascual’s style is as dazzling as the subjects he captures. He constantly pushes the boundaries of gender in his sartorial choices, often wearing towering boots and sporting classic “It” handbags of years past. Also a published author, Pascual’s book Push: Muses, Mischief & How To Make It in Manila featured 14 of the Philippine capital’s hottest celebrities. Apart from being a go-to of local stars, Pascual has also shot international personalities such as Coco Rocha, Sky Ferreira, Pietro Bosellli, Troye Sivan, and more.

Follow him on Instagram (@bjpascual)

3. Nadine Lustre

Actress / Singer / Entrepreneur / Creative Director

Known For: On-trend fashion that skews toward the experimental

The former child actress has morphed into multi-hyphenate juggernaut, actively pursuing her creative vision across a variety of platforms. Her influence and edge are most visible in Lustrous, her own makeup line in collaboration with Australian label BYS; Careless Music, her music label; and Wildest Dreams, her visual album released in 2020. However, Lustre’s true power is in her ability to hold her audience at arm’s length and then take them into a warm embrace: she is a strong advocate for mental health, pushing constantly for introspection and mindfulness across all her projects.

Follow her on Instagram (@nadine)

4. Ria Prieto

Editor and stylist

Style Mantra: “Style is very personal. It’s an outward expression of who we are inside.”

Part of the Asia’s Most Stylish 2020 list, Prieto returns to join this year’s edition of Asia’s Most Influential: Style list. An esteemed editor and stylist in the Philippines, Prieto’s work and style is culled from her two decades in the publishing and fashion industries. When she gets dressed, Prieto makes it a point to have fun and try not to overthink her outfits. “That way, I am able to creatively mix random pieces,” she says. Just this year, Prieto launched 8 Soho Boutique, along with a fashion label called The Eight, ever expanding her already wide set of expertise on fashion.

Follow her on Instagram (@riarecommends)

5. Dr Z Teo

Co-founder of the Aivee Group

Style Mantra: “I don't usually have rules; as long as I feel confident in what I am wearing, then I’m good to go.”

A plastic surgeon with an incredible business acumen, Teo has taken the Aivee Clinic into stratospheric heights. The Aivee Group, which is headquartered in Manila, has begun expanding outward into Asia, with locations opening in Singapore. He usually dons cool blazers for structure, trendy joggers for comfort, and statement sneakers to match his personality and mood. Apart from the Aivee Clinic, Teo has expanded his brand into different fields, such as A Star Laboratories, an RT-PCR lab, and Luxuri Pets, a premium pet retail store.

Follow him on Instagram (@drzteo)

6. Jess Connelly

Singer and songwriter

Known For: With a smooth sound and a cool wardrobe to match, Jess Connelly’s fashion choices elevate her whole persona

With a sultry R&B sound, Connelly’s style reflects the music she creates. Streetwear classics like Carhartt, Supreme, and Palace are paired with designers like Helmut Lang, Jacquemus, and Carl Jan Cruz, making for a nonchalant yet seriously cool wardrobe. But whether it’s on or off stage, the two-time Generation T Asia honouree prioritises comfort: “I like to be able to move freely and not be restricted by an outfit, especially on stage. I also dress according to my body type. I know what works for me and what I feel confident in.”

Follow her on Instagram (@jessconnelly)

7. Liza Soberano

Actress

Known For: One of the Philippines’ biggest movie and TV stars, Liza Soberano’s evolving style is grounded by comfort

Soberano is the darling of Philippine TV and cinema. With a fresh face and dazzling beauty, Soberano’s personal style is often described as ladylike. However, she doesn’t limit herself to traditional styles and silhouettes, and is often raring to try more adventurous choices. The one catch? What she wears must be comfortable. “If it doesn’t allow me to move comfortably, you are not getting me to wear it,” she jokes. With a starring voice role in Netflix’s Trese and over 16 million followers on Instagram, Soberano is quickly becoming an icon in her own right.

Follow her on Instagram (@lizasoberano)

8. Laureen Uy

Content creator and entrepreneur

Style Mantra: “I dress up for myself because I feel confident when I wear what I want to wear.”

With a style she describes as “hype-chic,” Laureen Uy’s years on the fashion internet have honed her colourful and expressive taste. The youngest in a trio of Philippine fashion personalities (her older siblings are Liz and Vince Uy), she has never stood in anyone’s shadow. Uy began her career with a fashion blog called Break My Style, and was one of the pioneering bloggers in the Philippines. Today, she has expanded her digital domain into vlogging, with over 300,000 subscribers on YouTube and 1 million followers on Instagram. Uy remains a top-of-mind collaborator for brands, working with the likes of Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Charriol, Sephora, Luisa Via Roma, and more.

Follow her on Instagram (@laureen)

9. Eric Dee, Jr

Co-founder of Sunnies Studios

Known For: With a minimal wardrobe of 30 pieces on rotation, Eric Dee, Jr keeps things simple and cohesive

Dee, Jr co-founded the über-successful Sunnies Studios with his wife Bea Soriano Dee, and has since taken it to dizzying heights. A Generation T Asia 2016 honouree, he has expanded the sunglasses brand into optical eyewear, make-up, and even food, making it a true lifestyle brand. Akin to Sunnies’s cool, nonchalant aesthetic, Dee, Jr keeps his wardrobe minimal, often preferring neutral colours on good quality pieces, often complementing his wife’s equally chic wardrobe.

Follow him on Instagram (@ericdeejr)

10. Kryz Uy

Digital creator

Style Mantra: “My style is classic but not boring.”

Powered by a belief that fashion should make you feel comfortable and confident, Kryz Uy’s style is easy going and ever evolving. As a digital creator, Uy doesn’t take dressing up too seriously. “It’s just fashion. It won’t kill you; have fun with it,” she says. This, combined with her “never-say-never” outlook on life, drives her to constantly experiment with the clothes she wears. With a million followers on Instagram and almost 800,000 subscribers on YouTube, Uy has expanded beyond fashion and often shares glimpses of her home life with husband Slater Young and their son Scottie.

Follow her on Instagram (@kryzzzie)

11. Kai Lim

Co-founder of Cura V, Comme Ci, and Ça Va Creperie

Style Mantra: “Fashion is supposed to be fun. Dress only for yourself.”

With a keen eye for emerging talent, Lim’s stores Cura V and Comme Ci provide a platform for under-the-radar brands that create objects d’ art. Like her curation of these spaces, Lim’s style is a practice of restraint and self-expression. She has a penchant for mixing pieces from either end of the style spectrum, often pairing menswear inspired clothing with towering heels. “Yes, comfort is key, but I must admit [that] the perfect heels elevate the whole look,” she says.

Follow her on Instagram (@kailim)

12. Dr Hayden Kho, Jr

Managing director of Belo Medical Group

Style Mantra: “Style is the effort I put in the day to make people understand me and remember me without having to say a word.”

Kho, Jr’s style is in constant evolution. “I don’t stick to one style. I keep changing,” he says. As the managing director of his wife Dr Vicki Belo’s beauty empire, he keeps it simple. If he were to whittle it down, his three most important pieces include a denim jacket, a pair of white sneakers, and a decent timepiece. Apart from his work at Belo, Kho, Jr also dabbles in non-profit organizations and other businesses, including an investment in the newly minted luxury watch brand Vanguart.

Follow him on Instagram (@dochayden)

13. Pam Quiñones

Founder, Qurator Studio / Founder, Vestido Manila / Creative Director

Known For: Referential fashion statements updated with a strong sense of modernity

Quiñones is known for her ability to take high fashion concepts and seamlessly integrate them into her styling work for celebrities, brands like Bulgari and Uniqlo, and even her own closet. She established her own styling studio Qurator a few years ago, and remains to be one of the country’s most sought after stylists. Her eye for thoughtful, intentional fashion is solidified with her latest twin ventures—fashion rental service Vestido and curated second-hand e-commerce Vend by Vestido.

Follow her on Instagram (@qurator_studio)


This story was originally published on Tatler Philippines' October 2021 issue. Download it on Magzter for free.

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