Meet Farah Abu, a Filipina Fashion Accessories Designer Presenting in Hollywood – Manila Bulletin
From selling in Manila’s bazaars to having an international brand presence, Farah Abu is making her mark in the fashion world as a designer and entrepreneur.
Going global is something every fashion designer dreams of, not only does it solidify their talents, but it’s also a major sign of success for something that’s grounded in nothing but passion. This dream came true in the case of Filipino fashion accessory designer Farah Abu. But getting there hasn’t been easy, and with the current pandemic climate, her journey to taking her eponymous brand overseas has been as complex as her bespoke designs.
Her passion for jewelry design began at a young age with the making of charm bracelets that sold for P250. Although many saw it as just a hobby, she shifted her career from architecture to prop design.
“Unlike the restrictions I felt with architecture, I felt so free with the endless possibilities of prop design,” she says. “I could do whatever I wanted and that made me really happy. I finally found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Farah’s first step as a fashion entrepreneur was to open a small boutique in Iligan City, Mindanao, reselling clothes, bags, shoes and her designed jewelry. Although it didn’t go as she had hoped, she braved Manila in 2009 and ventured to sell her handmade accessories in bazaars. This finally put her on the right path, allowing her to build relationships with clients, establish business contacts and allow her to break into the industry.
In 2017, Farah showcased her handmade pieces at Los Angeles Fashion Week and Phoenix Fashion Week. It has also allowed his works to be seen in different parts of the world including Paris, Singapore, Switzerland, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Currently, she joins a roster of select Filipino designers whose designs are showcased at For The Stars Fashion House, a one-of-a-kind, upscale style center run by creative director and fashion icon Jacob Meir located in Hollywood, California. .
But when the pandemic hit, things got different in the retail industry and its brand. To stay relevant, she designed a product, a face mask, that is comfortable, fitted, safe and fashionable.
“Coming from the retail sector where our products are considered non-essential, we offered a product that was fit for today’s times,” she says. “This is how the Stella mask was born. Just this month, a year later, we released another designer mask called Lily Mask, another essential and bold piece. From its conception and creation, I ensure that both masks are comfortable, fitted, safe and fashionable for my customers.
Keeping his online presence has also allowed him to continue his brand operations. With the logistics partner FedEx, his creations were able to be implemented across borders, allowing people from different continents to wear them.
“It’s a new era,” she muses. “The good thing about e-commerce is that the operational expenses are low, no rent. When you sell online, you already have a catalog of your designs that your buyers can easily choose from.
Today, Farah continues to inspire clients to celebrate life and beauty through her masterpieces. Her journey may not have been easy, but her perseverance and determination paid off as she built a strong and desirable reputation in the fashion industry.
Learn more about inspiring stories here.
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