We sat down with Wilson Limon, the creative director of Filipino fashion brand Niño Franco on how it feels to have Korean actors wear our traditional textiles.
You’ve probably heard of Filipino fashion brand Niño Franco by now, or at least on social media. It’s a brand that’s been continuously reinventing traditional textiles in a contemporary way. The head honcho and creative director is Wilson Limon, who started this undertaking as a thesis before becoming a fully-fledged business slash social enterprise that works closely with artisans from the T’Boli tribe in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
So, when Niño Franco was tapped by stylist John Lozano for Hwang In Youp’s NYLON Manila shoot, he immediately said yes. It sort of is a full circle moment for Korean actor Hwang In Youp as he previously studied in the Philippines during his high school and college years. (Fun fact: he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design). Wilson Limon shares, “It’s my ultimate dream to see our pieces being worn by and international star, so I said yes automatically.” Read on below for our exclusive story about Hwang In Youp’s Filipino-designed jacket on his recent shoot.
NYLON Manila: How did this collaboration come to life? Did you ever expect Hwang In Yeop to wear it?
Fashion stylist John Lozano messaged me on Facebook and he told me that he might style for a Korean actor and one of the looks is Pinoy-inspired and he [needed a look for it.]
Can you tell us more about the details and the story behind the jacket?
The jacket is inspired from the traditional attire of the T’boli ethno linguistic group from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. It is hand embroidered and embellished with mother of pearl. The pearls sparkle once under the sunlight that is believed to interact with the spirit of nature. The cross stitch pattern composed of geometrical designs inspired from the nature like flowers, sun, leaf, human, and crucifix.
How does it feel that a Korean actor wore a Filipino-designed piece, especially one that has a connection to the Philippines?
I’m very proud to see our pieces being worn by a Korean actor who was also a schoolmate of mine back in college. The skills of our artisans are truly world class.