Chrystel Anne Clasicas is a Filipina designer born and raised in the U.A.E. She began her fashion journey after being inspired by her aunt, Felicidad Tuviera, who used to sew clothes for her and her sister. Ever since then, she has always had an interest in drawing dresses and making sock dresses for her Barbies. Chrystel emerged from the College of Fashion and Design, Dubai. Where she won a full scholarship through a radio competition in 2019. Her Grandmother wore her very first design for her uncle’s wedding.
She started her business after her college closed down during the pandemic by selling silk masks as she was tired of getting ‘maskne’.
She explores ways to visually represent her vision by drawing inspiration from architectural monuments and her cultural roots. Each piece she creates exudes elegance yet stays true to comfort and can be worn on a daily basis.
Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Chrystel Anne to discuss her journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:
How did you get into the fashion industry?
It started in 2019 when a friend of mine asked me to create an engagement dress for her. I also joined many competitions while studying, which led me to create one of my most iconic pieces, the ‘Felicidad’ gown. I relied on collaborations and networking to help me get into the industry. Collaborating with Filipino photographer Ace Reyes and makeup artists Mau Piodena and Pearl Delgado for my first clothing collection really started it all for my brand and me. Dubai is a great place to connect with other creative individuals within the fashion industry, which helped open doors for me for other opportunities.
What do you like most about being a designer?
I enjoy the creative aspect of it and seeing the happiness on my clients’ faces! Finding inspiration and researching is difficult, but it’s really where all the magic happens. You see the outcome of the idea in the final design, and that’s the best feeling.
Downside to being a fashion designer?
It’s a career that not many people will take seriously till you make something out of yourself. This can be tough when you are starting your career, so having a good support system is very important.
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?
I think being invited to join New York Fashion Week has been one of my most memorable experiences. It stood out the most to me because it was one of the most stressful events in my life. My luggage, which had all the clothes for my show, got lost in Germany and was only delivered to me the day before the show! But in the end, it was an overall great experience as I got to meet the best models, makeup artists, and the production team backstage. As an emerging designer, being given the opportunity to showcase in an event like that is a dream come true. It validates my dedication and all the work I have put into making myself a better designer.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
I’m fairly new to the industry, so every person I meet is interesting to me.
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 industry is very competitive. You can combat this by keeping up-to-date with trends and not lag behind in order to stand out. Brushing up on your skills as a designer is also equally important. Personally, I learned that the connections and relationships you make with people are very important as they are the gateway for you to navigate and network in the industry that can lead to more exciting opportunities.
Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?
NO. They weren’t really supportive of the idea at first and said I should just do it as a hobby. It took them some time to really get on board with the idea that I wanted to do something nontraditional. I did not let that change my goal of pursuing fashion. I would say my sister, Chyrille and boyfriend played a significant role in supporting me when I was about to give up on designing. They really pushed me to keep going and not give up.
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 remind myself to be more confident in my abilities and practice, practice, practice. It’s because I lacked the confidence to put myself out there. I wouldn’t have joined that competition to win that full scholarship which lead me to where I am now. But thankfully, with the support of my siblings and friends, I overcame that.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
It’s okay to fail, so don’t beat yourself up about it. You live, and you learn.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I’ll just keep designing and putting myself out there in hopes of eventually having my own studio in different parts of the world. I also plan on hiring full-time tailors to help me bring my vision to life.