Meet The Global Man Behind The Cover Of The September 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Jojo Almazora Sebastian

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Jojo Almazora Sebastian is a Filipino-American from Kapolei, Hawaii, based in Sydney, Australia – he’s a devoted and compassionate frontliner and nurse who works in the Operating Theatre at a busy Metropolitan Hospital in Sydney. However, on weekends, this orthopaedic nursing unit manager transforms into a charming and dashing tuxedo-attired fashionista, singer-entertainer, and master of ceremonies.

Jojo has been an awardee in Sydney’s Best Dressed for the last two years due to his excellent dressing sense and confident personality. For 2021, Sydney Best Dressed Organisation has awarded him the Top Male Fashion Icon of the Year. This landed him an award for the Inaugural Ceremony of World’s Best Dressed. He was nominated for Manila’s Best Dressed for 2020-2021 to represent Australia in the prestigious Annual Event in 2022 and was awarded at the 2021 Australian Modelling and Fashion Awards. He was also named as an ambassador for Sassy and Company Clothing in 2020-2021, which endeavours to teach everyone in the community fashion sustainability and to breathe new life into old clothes through recycling and repurposing.

Jojo been quite busy in the Catwalk for the past 2 years – he participated in the runway at the Sydney’s Best Dress 2020, Australian Multicultural Fashion Festival 2021, Sassy and Co Fashion Runway 2021, Australian Modelling and Fashion Festival and Awards 2021, Australian Fashion Preview 2021 and 2022, This Is Me Fashion Show 2021 and 2022 and Miss Earth Australia Fashion Show 2020 and 2021 amongst other. Jojo recently walked for Trinity Dawson – a Sydney Designer, in the New York Fashion Week last February 2022, LAKME Fashion Show in June 2022, and the Australian MultiCultural Fashion Exhibition in August 2022. He has been invited back to grace NYFC in September 2022. The Australian Multicultural Fashion Exhibition 2022 is a concept that Mr. Rox Molavin – the CEO of RGEM Promotion and Jojo, came up with, which aims to promote social awareness and cohesion in the multicultural community through fashion.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Jojo to discuss his journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

There are three types of places where I shop.

1. Op shop – This is my favourite place to shop. This is where I can find hidden gems such as shoes, tops, jeans, and jewelry.
2. New and Local Designers Shops – I love supporting new designers and wearing their creations in various events I attend and host. I also love collaborating with them.
3. Shopping Centers – For me, there is still a great deal of experience you can gain by going to a shop at a centre or mall. The workers who have vast experience in fashion could undoubtedly make a massive difference between buying the correct piece that suits you perfectly.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

When it comes to fashion during cooler or winter months, here are my tips.

1. Layers are a must, so don’t ditch your trendy jackets for heavy-duty coats until it’s absolutely necessary; just buy them a size up so you can fit a sweater and down vest underneath or just simply accessorize with scarves or hats.
2. Winter Fashion and Style are not complete without great shoes. May it be boots or leather shoes.
3. Experiment with hats and trendy scarves.

However, never lose your individuality and uniqueness.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

As a young man, I always find ways to become creative. My parents were my first creative inspiration, especially my mother, Josephine Almazora Sebastian – who is a very creative person.

Although, creativity came easy to me because I love to sing, dance, act, paint, host, fashion, and everything in between. At a young age, I always raised my hands whenever there was a chance to do anything that allowed me to flex my creative muscles, especially in fashion. Creative inspiration can come from and be seen everywhere, so my inspiration comes from all different aspects of my life, including fashion.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

Honestly, NO it is not hard to stay fashionable, although it can be challenging at times. However, staying true to your fashion, passion, and yourself should not pose any problem. Another thing is to keep self-reinvention a part of your routine when keeping in fashion.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

There is a very thin line between keeping your uniqueness and still having that commercial appeal. Personally, I always go for what I would like first before thinking about its commercial appeal because, at the end of the day, my luxury, comfort, and style are at stake. For me, commercial appeal and viability become secondary. When I walk out with an out-of-the-box piece of clothing, I just give it my own unique flare of confidence and attitude, thus, providing it public appeal. So far, that has not failed me.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

For 2022, I find that bright colours and comfort are going back in trend. So many designers are going back to basics, which are great for commercial and public consumers.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

In general, I believe fashion is in an excellent state today. But there is definitely a lot of debate regarding the state of fashion. And I believe that actually what makes it great. So many new designers are coming out with new ideas of what fashion should be. Well-known designers are making their creations more affordable for the public to gain access to. I guess we can consider this the new golden state of fashion, as everyone can access fashion in the manner they would love.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

As we all know, as we enter the new age of fashion, we are also dealing with fashion waste which is relatively related to one another. Personally, I do not believe getting rid of wardrobes just because it was considered last season. One of my advocacies is to endeavour to teach the community about fashion sustainability and to once more breathe new life into old clothes through recycling and repurposing. Only when I find that I could not do anything else with a piece of clothing, I get rid of it by sending it off to my relatives in the Philippines. NO WASTE HERE.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I would advise them to keep their uniqueness and passion together whilst exploring and discovering their true selves in terms of their fashion.

Photos By: Jay Gaerlan / HMUA: Marilou Bautista / SkinCare: Chocolate Day Spa / Model: Jojo Almazora Sebastian

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Mannat Gupta

Growing up in a place of mountains and myths, Uttarakhand, Mannat Gupta always had a keen eye for art and design. A fashion design graduate from one of the prestigious Parsons School of Design, her time in New York exposed her to diverse cultures, communities, and ideas. Her flair for creative thinking and fashion grew leaps and bounds in this metropolis. In 2019, Mannat started experimenting with colours. This led her to take her expertise in design and the business acumen she received from her family to launch her namesake label in 2020.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Mannat to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I started as a painter and artist in the creative field, constantly experimenting with and mixing different mediums. My mother used to be a painter, so I like to believe that I got it from her. But I was always into reading different magazines and learning about different fabrics, materials, and silhouettes (unconsciously), which also started changing my style choices. That soon led to my family and friends approaching me for advice on how they should dress, what they should wear, and what would work for their body type. In a short time, I realised that this is something that interests me, and I should explore more in this space. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I had offer letters from different design universities from around the world; one of them being the Parsons School of Design, New York, which was always a dream and on top of my list and there was no looking back.

What do you like most about being a designer?

My absolute favourite part of being a fashion designer is being able to sketch my vision on paper and bring it to life. To see other people enjoy wearing it as much as I loved making it is an absolute pleasure.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

I won’t say as a fashion designer, but being in the industry and running a business sometimes curbs creativity; there are times when I want just to create conceptual pieces for a collection but cannot because we need to look at the bigger picture which is the practicality aspect of it.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

To be representing my country, through my work, at the World Fashion Exhibition 2022 in Los Angeles and make a one-of-a-kind piece of supporting their cause for this year, eradicating extreme poverty by empowering women in the African Continent and contributing to the eradication of child mortality.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I was invited by Flying Solo in New York (who I have been retailing with since last year) for their store opening. I was fortunate enough to be in New York around that time and lucky enough to meet their team and other industry insiders. Since we are a made-to-order and made-to-measure brand, all our work, sales, and conversations happen digitally. It was great to hear their feedback and views on the brand and put faces to all the names. It was wonderful just being in a room full of like-minded people.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Being in the fashion industry for the last 2.5 years has given me a lot of exposure and various experiences. But one of the most important lessons I have learned while in it is that if you want any brand or business to work, you need to take the whole team together and keep the communication open and transparent. The team is who is bringing your vision to life.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes. If it weren’t for my family, then I would have never ended up at Parsons, nor would I have been able to launch my brand. The initial funding that I received for my company was from my family. They have always believed in letting the kids follow their passion.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I never had any intentions of starting a brand initially. It was a fluke; I started experimenting with natural dyes I made at home. I loved how the dyed fabrics and patterns turned out, and I decided to turn them into a collection. I wish I had done a bit more planning and workings before launching my brand so things could have gone a bit more smoothly in the first year.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My father once told me that “if you love what you do, then you should never stress over it. Small things will come and go. If it will not matter in a few hours or after a few days, then it is not worth wasting your time and energy on it at that moment too. Your only focus should be to work towards the bigger goal you have in life.”

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Everyone running a business wants their brand to be a global name, and of course, I want that for my brand too. However, my current plan is to make the brand grow enough to diversify into other categories, such as menswear and, hopefully, women’s accessories in the near future.

Once the brand is profitable enough, I would like to give back to society by joining and supporting one of the causes I really believe in – providing education to underprivileged children in India (and hopefully to the other parts of the world too).

Introducing One Of The Designers Showcasing At The 2022 Global Elite Fashion Festival… The Iconic Rene Rivas!

Rene Rivas is a multi-awarded and well-known iconic fashion designer, artist extraordinaire, and quintessential costume couture designer recognised both Nationally and Internationally.
His works expand across film, theatre, opera, TV, and magazine; the most prominent are the past Mardi Gras productions. Additionally, Rene is a community servant, an LGBTQI+ Icon, an exemplary pageant judge, and an international humanitarian. This Hall of Fame Awardee’s most notable costume creations have expanded over 30 years, including the 2000 Sydney Olympics, local and international Pageantry, and various exhibitions in a number of countries worldwide. Moreover, Rene was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award for all his contributions to Designs, Arts, and Multiculturalism in Australia.
To see Rene’s latest collection, please join us on Saturday, 22nd of October, 2022, at the Stamford Plaza Grand Ballroom for an unforgettable evening of fashion!

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Gabby Lewis

Gabby Lewis is a fashion designer, stylist, and creative based in LA and Tokyo. She began designing a children’s clothing line called bunny & hare, affectionately inspired by her daughter. Since then, she’s expanded her career as a designer, creating her own namesake brand GaMi Lew.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Gabby to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I began by assisting as a stylist in 2010, which later in 2011 encouraged me to start my career as a celebrity stylist. From red carpet events to styling Fashion Editorials for magazines, I wanted to gain hands-on experience in every part of the Fashion Industry. In 2013 I started my own magazine called Thrifty Hunter. I felt as though I had stepped into another world. It was one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime. Thrifty Hunter delivered 13 unforgettable issues. After the birth of my daughter in 2015, I put everything on hold to be a full-time mom and really move into motherhood. While in Japan in 2016, I felt like there was more to be done. So inspired by my daughter, I decided to create my first kids’ clothing brand, “bunny & hare.” My baby girl inspired everything I designed. I created two collections, Made In Japan, that were featured in 3 consecutive issues of Vogue magazine in 2020! In 2019 I felt the need to expand as a designer, so I took fashion design courses. From those classes, I was given the opportunity to design 2 SHEIN collections in 2021 and 2022 called “Let Them Stare!”

What do you like most about being a designer?

Being a designer allows me to create things based on my imagination and share them with others.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

The downside is many designers don’t see this industry as a form of expression. Instead, they use it as a form of competition rather than understanding others’ artistic views in fashion.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

The most memorable experience is receiving an email from Vogue Magazine asking to feature my kids’ brand in 3 consecutive issues. This is just one of many memorable experiences, but this came at the right time in my life as a reminder that you never know who’s watching you or being inspired by you’re creativity, so DON’T GIVE UP.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I have met some amazing fashion and innovative people here in Tokyo. I love how expressive they are through fashion. Sometimes you meet those individuals who give you an entire story through their style. It’s so inspiring! That’s what I love most.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable thing I’ve learned is no matter what, you have an opportunity to be yourself and stay true to who you are. It’s okay to be original. Most importantly character/ personality and how you treat other is the most important thing anyone can do no matter what you’re doing in life.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

100%! I create and design for my husband daily. He constantly pushes me to step out of my comfort zone as a designer and see that I can do anything I set my mind to do.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would make sure never to second guess myself.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It doesn’t matter who doesn’t understand or who doesn’t believe what you are trying to do. If you really love it, just stick with it, and continue to do what you love.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Just to travel around the world and continue to expand as a designer. It is creating more unique and couture designs that can inspire the world.

Has The Pandemic Changed The Way We Dress??

Experts from RMIT University are available to comment on how the pandemic will change the stereotypical ‘Melbourne look’, the casualisation of workwear, the demise of restrictive clothing and the office dress code, and the rise of homegrown fashion and the local high street. 

Dr. Kate Sala, a lecturer of Design & Technology at the School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University, commented:

“History has shown us time and again that after large global crises, like in the case of both world wars and the recession in the early ‘80s, a period of excess and extravagance typically follows when it comes to fashion. 

“And I think we are going to see the same thing happen here, now that things have opened up again. People will really be embracing the opportunity to dress up and use clothes as a way to communicate socially with each other. 

“It will be a way to celebrate that sense of freedom, and as a result, that celebration is likely to translate into a lot of colour and print. 

“I think we’ll find that people are going to really throw caution to the wind when it comes to dressing and become quite experimental and have a lot of fun with what they wear. 

“I think we’ll also see a lot more looser silhouettes, and even when we’re channeling evening wear, people will still be looking for that sense of comfort and ease and that leisurewear vibe. 

“For example, the trend for wearing sneakers with evening attire will continue, there will be a lot of mismatching, and anything goes. It will be very experimental and bold and a lot of fun.” 

Dr. Stephen Wigley, Associate Dean, Fashion Enterprise, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University commented:

“I think one of the biggest changes in the way we dress in a post-lockdown world will be the casualisation of workwear.

“A recent survey of 20,000 consumers across 11 markets, including Australia, by global athleisure brand Lululemon, found that 81 per cent of respondents said they perform better at work if they feel physically comfortable.

“Of course, this doesn’t mean we are going to start seeing office workers returning to the city en masse in their activewear; it will simply mean that comfort will play a far bigger role in what we choose to wear to work when we do go back. 

“So, we are likely to see less ties in many workplaces, for example, and women ditching more restrictive garments like skirt suits and high heels. 

“And I think, most significantly, the pandemic will likely be the beginning of the end of the office dress code – or at least the emergence of a new dress code.

“Just as companies who fail to take a more flexible approach to working arrangements and adopt hybrid workplaces will struggle to attract and retain staff, organisations that persist with strict office dress codes are likely to face similar challenges.” 

Tamzin Rollason, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University commented:

“I’m already seeing a shift among people who have started to see the value in shopping locally. I think the fact that we have spent more time at home and in our local neighbourhoods, due to ongoing lockdowns, means the local high street is really having a moment.  

“And I think it will continue to do so, as hybrid working arrangements become the norm and because people are seeing the benefits to their local businesses, their local economy and in terms of convenience. 

“While at the same time there has been a big shift towards online shopping, due to the closure of retail, that has been counterbalanced by some of those significant supply chain issues that we’ve been seeing. So, particularly, in the short to medium term, shopping locally will continue to be appealing. 

“I think we are going to hear a lot more talk about local manufacturing also, if the local industry can meet some of the big challenges it is facing, particularly when it comes to finding enough workers. But there is definitely a growing demand for it. 

“The pandemic has also produced a lot of what I like to call accidentally sustainable practices. I’m hearing people say, ‘I’ve been wearing the same five items of clothing for the last year and a half, and I don’t know why I’ve got all these clothes in my cupboard.’ 

“Other people have had time to sort through their wardrobes, so there has been wardrobe rediscovery and so by sheer accident, or due to these extraordinary circumstances, people have been adopting sustainable practices which are quite effortless, and really how sustainability should be.” 

This article was sourced from a media release sent by RMIT Communications: 0439 704 077 or 

The Psychology Behind Virtual Dress-up in Gaming and Web3

With digital fashion on the rise, consumers are presented with more opportunities to express their sense of style onto virtual avatars. By being able to curate their image and surroundings, a new way to build confidence and express oneself emerges.

With the pandemic resulting in a 30% increase in reported anxiety issues in young adults, many have turned to virtual worlds as a coping mechanism. A study conducted last year at the University of Glasgow discovered that 71% of respondents have increased their gaming time during the lockdown, and 58% of them indicated that gaming has improved their well-being.

Both mobile, digital games and the metaverse provide the ability to be whatever one wants using an avatar, in a location where they have complete control over what they look like, who they interact with, and how safe they feel.

Research has shown identification with the avatar boosts intrinsic motivation, which may impact how players act. One example is that users behave in accordance with the behavior they stereotypically connect with their avatar’s appearance, such as bargaining more vehemently when represented by a taller avatar.

As a result, virtual platforms that allow users to create a technologically enhanced self-image could lead to higher confidence and lessen consumption rates.

Designers and developers hop on the trend

“The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the main driving factors for virtual clothing. In the absence of social interaction, many people turned to video games as a form of distraction and self-development,”  said Viktoria Trofimova, CEO of Nordcurrent, an international developer and publisher of mobile games.

“This came as a newfound opportunity for the fashion industry, as production lines halted and runway shows were canceled over restrictions. Consumers could still interact with their pieces in the confines of a virtual world,” she continued.

For example, Louis Vuitton released a League of Legends capsule collection featuring character skins (outfits worn by playable characters). At the same time, Moschino created a collection for The Sims that could be bought and worn in the game.

However, the trend has not disappeared with the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Character customization has become a crucial aspect of an immersive experience in video games, which has continued this trend. Pocket Styler, for example, allows the player to completely modify their avatar’s appearance with real-world clothing and accessories.

With over 10 million users in just a few months, the app allows users to try on clothes and develop their distinctive styles without straining their wallets. Players participate in limited-time events, where they show off their take on a given theme or style outfits around specific items.  It also provides a slow-paced atmosphere, removing the tension that comes with trying on new clothes.

The psychological impact of experimenting with virtual clothing

Styling a virtual avatar — a stand-in for one’s real self — enables users to discover their sense of style. Digital clothing eliminates the excessive financial means and constraints of physical reality needed to do so.

“By experimenting with their avatar’s look, players can feel a strong sense of empowerment. On the one hand, a person may come to understand themselves, their interests, and personality better by making their character reflect what they feel inside,” noted Trofimova.

“On the other hand, items they have tried on may fuel their wardrobes in real life. As users buy items they fell in love with digitally, they may become more confident in their overall appearance,” she explained.

In addition to a diverse range of digital style choices, virtual clothing also helps to save roughly 3300 liters of water and emit 97 percent fewer carbon emissions for each item.

About Nordcurrent

Nordcurrent is the biggest Lithuanian video game developer and publisher, known for such games as Cooking Fever,  Murder in the Alps, Airplane Chefs, Sniper Arena. Focusing on freemium and casual games, the company created over 50 games since 2002, attracting more than half-billion players  worldwide.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Lukas Pereckas of

The Best of Miss Earth Australia 2022 Grand Launch and Fashion Show, In Pictures

The Miss Earth Australia 2022 Grand Launch and Fashion Show has finally come to a close, and here are some of the most memorable moments from the runway, as captured by George Azmy.

Designers Tommy Ge of Leatheron, Faten Lawn, Lily African Wares, Alies Bol, and Armando Crisostomo were among those who showcased their collections last Saturday. It was definitely a sight to behold!

Scroll through the photos below to see highlights from the Miss Earth Australia 2022 Grand Launch and Fashion Show.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Cecilia Rinaldi

Cecilia Rinaldi is a brand dedicated to ethical and conscious fashion. Cecilia, with her team, creates clothing and accessories based on environmental and social sustainability using fabrics and organic materials produced in Italy.

Each collection is created with the idea of Slow Fashion, emphasizing sustainability, beauty, longevity and respect for humanity. Italian style is combined with a deconstructed form influenced by different Asian cultures resulting in a refined and minimal urban chic style.

She promotes continual research into new innovative methods while always referencing Italian traditions to maintain high-quality products with a low environmental impact. We believe that providing the option to buy one quality garment over multiple low-quality items contributes to reducing the environmental impact of a wardrobe.

Cecilia Rinaldi is a fashion designer with a professional course of studies of multifaceted experiences that have allowed her to form 360 degrees in the role of sustainable designer, development textile research, pattern and draping maker, and fashion prototypist.

After high school, in 2010, she graduated from Accademia Italiana Art, Fashion and Design in Florence, where she has been teaching since September 2015 and coordinating the Fashion Design department since 2020. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wales in the same year. After her studies, Cecilia dedicated herself to her professional vocation: she deepened her sartorial techniques, blending design through creative research and the study of materials.

At the Esmod International University of Art for Fashion in Berlin, Cecilia specializes in Fashion Design, completing her training in the creation of stylistic design and sartorial techniques. In 2013 and 2014, she went to the United States. While attending Richland College Multicultural Studies in Dallas, TX, she worked as a fashion designer for private clients and specialized as a buyer working in a Haute Couture Boutique. Traveling assiDuously, Cecilia comes into contact with different contexts and cultures and is always looking for new incentives: she matures and nourishes her style, which draws inspiration from nature and the surrounding environment. which are the inspiration for her research and new ideas. This allows her style to grow continually and mature, keeping her sustainable and artisanal foundation in mind. An essential feature of her modus operandi is the attention to the manual process. Cecilia’s fashion is, first of all, an ethical, sustainable fashion: respect for the environment and for the individual and human rights have always been the reference point in the work process and the creation of her collections.

She has devoted herself to her handmade vocation, deepening her sartorial and design techniques through creative research and the study of materials and fabrics. Cecilia values collaboration and looks for opportunities to volunteer with other sustainable brands around the globe as a way to increase her knowledge and help spread and support the movement of sustainable and ethical fashion locally and around the world.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Cicilia to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

After my first academic education, in 2010, I a three-year degree from Cardiff University Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and an academic diploma from Accademia Italiana Art Fashion Design Piazza Pitti in Florence, where I currently work as a professor and fashion department coordinator, in 2010 I started with my first job in a fashion consultant studio in Modena, my hometown, where I worked as an assistant designer, a researcher of trends and fabrics, developing collections for various fashion brands in the office style. After a couple of years in the studio, in 2012, I attended the ESMOD International Fashion University in Berlin, where I deepened and learned the stylistic skills of fashion and tailoring techniques. Later I moved to the United States, living and working for two years between Dallas and New York, where I started several important fashion collaborations with luxury ateliers and with sustainable independent brands. Finally, in 2015 I returned to Italy, where I decided to open my own sustainable fashion brand Cecilia Rinaldi definitively. it is based between Emilia and Tuscany, Italy, in the meantime starting important collaborations with Italian and international realities companies and specializing more and more in the field of sustainable fashion.

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I like most about being a designer is researching new ideas, trends, and concepts, developing shapes, and researching fabrics and new materials. Get to know other new and existing cultural realities. But perhaps the side that interests me most is in researching textile materials and illustrating fashion sketches. Last but not least, I will never stop being enthusiastic to see how from an idea, we can create a real fashion collection, both wearable and exhibited in important cultural exhibition fairs.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

Maybe one downside to being a fashion designer is its loneliest side, especially during the creation and research phases. During the research, I spent a lot of time alone and often worked late into the night, unfortunately neglecting friends and family.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

Probably the training period I did in the United States: in Dallas and New York City (especially in New York) I had the honor of meeting and collaborating with important designers, influencers, journalists, politicians, personal shoppers, and prominent personalities in the fashion world and society.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

The most interesting people I’ve met so far are Tara St James, an independent sustainable fashion designer, an activist, an expert on supply chain and sustainability, and the personal shoppers of Rihanna and Oprah Winfrey. However, I still know and have the privilege of knowing many realities and famous people. But the discovery of other new cultures will always be the most fascinating part of my job.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in the fashion industry? This can be about the industry or about yourself.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned while working in the fashion industry is to know the real differences between the world of Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion. Hundreds and thousands of people are working behind a product in the fashion industry, and most of these are exploited. Unfortunately, behind the fashion system is heavy human and environmental resources exploitation. This was perhaps the most impactful lesson I learned. After several travels and encounters with different cultures and realities, I definitively decided to open my own sustainable fashion brand, trying to contribute to a more right world by activating myself with my work in researching new materials, researching new business fashion models through the creation of my collections and through the education I try to transmit more sustainable values both ethical and environmental, finding new ways to change fashion towards greater transparency and traceability for a sustainable new value chain in the fashion industry.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Absolutely yes. They support me and have always supported me. Without my family and friends, I would never have overcome certain difficulties, stressful moments, and even failures that I have found along the way. I believe having family, supportive friends, and colleagues is essential to undertake this path.

If you could go back in a time machine to when you were just starting, what would you do differently?

Right now, I would say that I would do everything again as I did. I have no regrets and believe there is the right time for everything. Well, maybe I would have moved to Florence first, but who would have known that a global pandemic would come?

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given was probably not to give up in the face of difficulties, to always get involved, not to lose the curiosity that characterizes me, always be critical and aware of what surrounds me, to continue to ask questions but above all never stop smiling.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My future plans are to live and work in Florence, working and helping my Italian community without forgetting the world. Continue to develop my brand and make it grow, create my annual fashion collections and wedding dresses. Working in education as a professor and researcher consultant in the sustainability area. Therefore, I’d want to create a more stable future: by 2022, I will also open my studio/atelier inside the Il Conventino Caffè Letterario in Florence, a historical building in Florence with a deep sustainable, cultural, and artisanal attitudine surrounded by greenery among artists and craftsmen.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Eloisa Diaz

Eloisa Diaz is the designer and founder of her self-named label, Eloisa, based out of New York City. She is a multi-disciplinary creative and skilled in fashion design, graphic design, and illustration. After graduating from FIT in New York with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management, Eloisa headed to FIDM in Los Angeles. She earned a fashion design degree from FIDM in 2004 and continued her studies at Central Saint Martins in London.

Eloisa has worked in the private label sector in New York for American brands sold at Macys, Nordstrom Rack, and Lord and Taylor, among others, and worked for Spiegel and Newport News. Additionally, she has an apparel line Shein X Eloisa with retailer, and she oversees her own label, Eloisa.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Eloisa to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

As a young girl, I always dreamed of working in fashion. I used to design and make my own doll clothes. Once I got older, I decided the right path for me was to study fashion and make my childhood dreams a reality. After graduation, I got my first design job in New York City; the rest is history!

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I love most about being a designer is the ability to take an idea and bring it to life. It gives me great satisfaction when I see the final product I designed. I also like that every day is different and challenging; it keeps me on my toes.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Facing a creative block can be a downside for me. When your job is to create all the time, it can get a bit stressful if the ideas are just not coming through. When that happens, I find that disconnecting from my work and then returning with a fresh mind helps.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My most memorable experience in fashion thus far was having my collection produced by SHEIN. It was such a great experience to work with their team and see my vision come to life! I am grateful that SHEIN gave me a platform to show my work on a global level. It was one of the highlights of my career thus far.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Some of the most interesting people I have met thus far have been some of my colleagues. A few years back, I worked for a brand where my colleagues had diverse skills and backgrounds outside of fashion. Working with people with different areas of expertise outside of fashion opened my mind to other possibilities and new ways of thinking.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson I have learned in the fashion industry is always to be humble and kind. No matter how talented you are, humility and grace can go a long way. It is important to have your talent match the beauty of your personality.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Absolutely! My husband and daughter are my biggest fans! They are used to living with a designer, so my daughter runs around with a tape measure and measures everything! I must say she is slowly becoming a pro!

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

That is a great question. During the beginning of my career in Manhattan, there was a time when my confidence as a designer was really shot. If I could go back in time, I would remind myself that creativity is always subjective to opinion. What works for one client doesn’t work for another. So, rejection is unfortunately just part of the process. The good thing is that there is a place for everyone in the fashion industry, and eventually, you will find your place.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is “no one can drive you crazy unless you give them the keys” That advice stayed with me because sometimes, when you listen to too many outside opinions during your creative process, you can lose perspective and really drive yourself crazy. So, it is important to be in control of your own thought process and be assertive when needed.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

In the near future, I plan to continue expanding my fashion line. I also plan on learning new skills related to fashion to keep up with the changing times. I would love to learn CLO-3D, so that is definitely on my to-do list. Outside of fashion, I plan to travel more with my family. The best thing is, is that the future is still unwritten! I have plenty of time to think about it and work towards these goals.

Is It Possible For Virtual Fashion To Break The Harmful Cycle Of Impulse Buying?

During the pandemic, the fast rise of e-commerce platforms increased unplanned spending and impulse purchases. As virtual clothing gains popularity through apps and video games, people may now gratify the urge to buy new items without straining their finances and with minimal environmental harm.

Internet spending continued to set new highs despite increased unemployment and economic difficulties during the pandemic. For example, the share of retail transactions conducted online in the United Kingdom increased by 16% in February 2021 in a single month.

This contradictory behavior may be attributed to people seeking relief through retail therapy, as the pandemic has reportedly increased feelings of anxiety and sadness in young adults by 30%.

With a recent study reporting that 50% of respondents are interested in purchasing a digital asset in the coming year, online spending habits may change again due to reduced financial and environmental costs.

Digital wardrobes substitute traditional shopping

However, alongside an increase in online shopping, lockdowns also accelerated the rise of digital fashion as people turned to online worlds for interaction with other humans. Mainstream clothing trends are becoming increasingly prevalent in video games and apps —  including big-name designers like Louis Vuitton or Moschino experimenting with digital collections.

Virtual clothing pieces come at a fraction of the financial and environmental cost of physical items, meaning people may still experience the gratification of shopping with minimized harm.

“The biggest difference between video game styling and real-life clothes shopping is longevity. The fashion industry and brick and mortar fashion stores need to constantly push the cycle of styles, whether it is seasonal or fad-related; it is in their best interest to retire an old collection and push new inventory to the shelves,” said Povilas Katkevičius, game designer at Nordcurrent, an international developer and publisher of mobile games.

“Video game styling does not require this. Of course, we need to create new items because novelty is always exciting and interesting, but we do not need to retire our collections. We have endless shelf space in the virtual world in which old and new styles can mix into our players’ creations,” he continued.

Replicating real-life purchases virtually

Apps and video games that present a high level of character customization and can replicate real-life shopping experiences present new opportunities to satisfy the impulsive want to shop in a consequence-free environment.

Pocket Styler, which allows players to dress their avatar using items from an extensive catalog of designs, can provide players with the satisfaction of purchasing a new item without needing excessive financial means to do so,” P. Katkevičius explained.

“When designing the app, we studied real e-shops to mimic a smooth and recognizable user interface. As such, it contains a wide range of styles, clothing categories, and accessories that can be purchased through the in-game currency. Despite not receiving a physical item from purchases, a lot of the instant gratification for our community comes from the styling itself,” he explained.

About Nordcurrent

Nordcurrent is the biggest Lithuanian video game developer and publisher, known for such games as Cooking Fever,  Murder in the Alps, Airplane Chefs, Sniper Arena. Focusing on freemium and casual games, the company created over 50 games since 2002, attracting more than half-billion players worldwide.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Lukas Pereckas of