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Behind the Scenes of Fashion with Andre Soriano

Sunny San Diego based designer and Styled To Rock star Andre Soriano is taking over 2014. From his first fashion show in high school, to opening his boutique, to being part of Los Angeles Fashion Week, Soriano is unstoppable. We caught up with the humble designer where he shared his role in the typhoon, his new Hollywood collection, and his incredible experience in the fashion world. After all, it’s all about “peace, love, glamour, and fashion,” so get ready to go behind the scenes of fashion with Andre Soriano!
Cliché: You grew up in the Philippines, and in December you had a fashion show called The Filipinos to help support the victims of the typhoon. Can you tell me about it?
Andre Soriano: Yes, the show was so incredible. I was finishing a benefit show after Los Angeles Fashion Week, and that’s when the typhoon happened. I thought to myself, “Oh my god, we have a responsibility to help the people and fix up the village.” I reached out to one of the Filipino organizers here in San Diego since the one thing I know that’s Filipino in the area is a Filipino restaurant. I had a meeting with a lady named Melanie Garcia from The Filipino-American and that’s when we discussed the benefit show. My friends from LA and the whole city of San Diego opened their hearts, their love, and support to make a difference for the victims of the typhoon. We raised over $8,000 which went directly to Visayans.org, the center for the typhoon.
Did you have any family affected by the typhoon?
Luckily I didn’t. It was heartbreaking for me not to really help out with the catastrophes of Katrina and Haiti, but now since the typhoon happened and being on Styled To Rock and doing these fashion shows, I want to mobilize and help out. We have a responsibility to help people that really need help.
What influenced you to become a fashion designer?
I grew up with my mom who was a single parent and I have three sisters that always dressed up, so it started at a very young age to grow up in the genre of high-fashion. Since I was the youngest in the family, my mom and sisters would dress me up in suits. When I first relocated here back in 1986, I went to Malpitas High School and I was part of the fashion club and sewing club. I had the opportunity of making my first gown when the President of the school announced that we were having a fashion show for the students in the community center. Being only a teenager, I was so excited and made my first green velvet dress with a black lace sleeve and a peek-a-boo cut-out on the hip area. I was in awe when I had my first sale and sold the dress for $50. I was just like, “Oh my god!” You know, after the show, having your first client purchase your work, it’s amazing! From there I pursued my education at FIDM, where I majored in fashion design. It’s always been my dream for someone to ask, “What are you wearing” on the red carpet and they respond, “Andre Soriano.” It’s one thing to be a fashion designer, but I also wanted to learn how to run a business, so I went to the Renaissance in the Beverly Center after FIDM to learn the ins and outs on how to run a business. After that, I opened up my first store in San Francisco.
Out of all the things you have designed, what is your favorite piece to design?
I love couture gowns and hand-made pieces. After being on Styled To Rock with Rihanna, I used her, Pharrell, and other young Hollywood celebrities as my muse. My previous collection, The Mocking Bird Series, was inspired by old Hollywood glam, and now I’m doing the young Hollywood glam which is called Punk De Luxe, so I incorporated a Ready to Wear into the collection. It’s really functional, chic, and almost rebellious; you know there are some pieces that are really conservative depending on what the celebrity or anyone would like. I also launched my Menswear to redefine a different look for men and not the traditional one that’s out there.
What is something that you’ve learned from being on Styled To Rock?
It was such an incredible experience that taught me how to be more grounded. I appreciate everyone that was involved in the show; they worked really hard. Celebrities have such busy schedules, but they still made the show happen and were dedicated and on point for every angle and aspect. It’s so crazy. I’ve never met so many celebrities in my whole life, and all of a sudden they’re right here.
Read the full story on p. 56 in our February/March issue!
Photo Courtesy of Matthias Clamer
Photo Courtesy of: Matthias Clamer