This Designer Collaborated With Her 8-Year Old Sister & Landed in Rakuten Fashion Week

Definitely no sibling rivalry here.

Approaching things with innocence and child-like wonder in her craft, Nina Amoncio is a rising designer whose vision goes beyond her years

Drawing has always been a symbolic expression of one’s inner psyche. This is why long before children could develop their intellect and emotions, the easiest way they could express themselves is through plucking the most colourful crayon from the box and trying their hardest to flesh out what they see. But fret not, a child’s intelligence is not measured by how accurate or detailed they are. Anything circular may emulate a “head”but to them, it could be a “ball” or a “sun.” It’s this specific ambiguity which makes it an unreliable indicator.

For Nina Amoncio, this unsung art form is what brought her to Rakuten Fashion Week in Tokyo, aptly entitled, GUNITA. “I wanted to feature a visual interpretation of an 8-year old child,” she says.

“Growing up, children exposed to these storybooks have seen large visuals in forms of exaggerated imageries and other artistic representations of the Filipino culture–examples through conversations, settings, and elements such as importance of family, love for the country, and values embedded in these storylines.”

She also revealed later on that it was her little sister, Ann Suzette, who drew those visuals that were percolated in all of her pieces. “I’m a sentimental designer, that is why oftentimes my designs are geared towards these concepts.” But what does the brand stand for other than the little women and men on her clothes? After showcasing her graduation collection and joining Bench Fashion Week twice (in which she won on her second attempt), she answers,

“My brand, Antonina, is really a concoction of my principles, beliefs, and life experiences. Principles and beliefs revolving on socially-relevant issues and the Filipino culture, and life experiences—especially my childhood.”

A definite crowd favourite when she debuted both of her collections at Bench Fashion Week, Nina’s more driven to showcase how far Filipino talent can go.

“I hope to still continue on by producing clothes and participating in fashion shows in the Philippines and maybe abroad. I also want to create high quality ready-to-wear pieces inspired from my avant-garde collection, to make my brand more affordable and accessible to people.”

(This article originally appeared on MEGA Magazine)

Photography KIERAN PUNAY of STUDIO 100


Hair and Makeup PAMM MERRERA