Kween of All Trades: Just Like the Levi’s 501, Issa Pressman is an All-Around Visionary in Her Own Right

They’re both versatile, spunky, and authentic, which is why Issa Pressman and the Levi’s 501 are a match made in heaven

With everything Issa has going on, we better hold on tight because this girl is taking us for a wild ride

Multifaceted is the term that comes to mind when talking about this one-of-a-kind girl. She’s a stunner, a talented artist, a business-minded brand owner, and an all-around genuinely kind and welcoming person. Issa Pressman may have quite a lot of things on her plate these days—and yes, she loves it that way—but this intelligent creative makes sure she doesn’t lose her identity throughout her entire journey. She makes it a point that whatever it is she’s working on, it still first and foremost shows a piece of her.

READ MORE: Why is Issa Pressman the Most Googled Female in the PH

Young and wise

“Something that I always say is I’m always ever-growing and always learning.” Initially being known as actress Yassi Pressman’s younger sister, Issa eventually grew into her own person with her own distinguishable identity. Through her different businesses and creative outlets, she has definitely made a name for herself, and one we expect to see get even bigger and bigger. But even if Issa has a lot of things to oversee and handle already, and all at such a very young age, she believes she’s still and will always be learning something new.

“I’m so young, there’s so much space to learn and grow. I’m 24, I still cry on the floor, and then laugh literally until my breath’s no more. I want to remain that way.”

Issa Pressman on staying true to herself even as she gets older and wiser

As someone in her early 20s, Issa has already gone through different experiences in life that she believes molded her into the type of person she is today. “At a young age, I haven’t been through everything, but I’ve been through enough to learn.” Those lessons are also supported by how much she has witnessed and learned throughout her travels. She shared how, prior to the pandemic, she would always leave a memory, feeling, or habit in that country for her to be able to take back something new she has learned in that same country, whether it’s a trait she got from the locals or a design or fashion piece she observes is pretty common in that area. “The reason why I was super into traveling [before the pandemic] is because I felt like I was leaving a piece and taking a new part.”

While traveling may not be as easy to do this time around, Issa found a way to do that through the Levi’s Traveling 501. À la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Issa is sharing her artistic skill and talent by painting on a pair of 501s that has been journeying through different Southeast Asian countries, visiting multiple creatives to take part in this momentous collaboration. This incredibly creative project aims to use the voices of SEA visionaries to represent authentic self-expression, as well as to educate more people on the history and legacy of the ever-so-classic 501 jean that has stood the test of time, carrying the signature Levi’s quality and craftsmanship.

The best people in life are free

In this day and age, almost everyone has at least one social media account. It’s basically part of our generation’s culture because, let’s be real, it’s incredibly difficult to live without the information and communication, even just for a day. However, going off the grid from time to time is a form of therapy in itself since we all know how toxic and draining scrolling from one platform to another can get. This is why while other people judge and hate on those who may not look perfect in their eyes, Issa does the exact opposite. She remains her authentic self by proudly acknowledging and embracing flaws as it also makes her appreciate the good things in life.

She added, “You would only really know the good if you experience the bad.” And one of the good things in her life is having the privilege to surround herself with a very solid group of friends. She explains that with a long list of buddies, she adjusts to the environment she’s in, talking to people the way they would understand her more, but it doesn’t mean she sacrifices who she actually is.

“[Adjusting to the environment] doesn’t mean changing or adjusting [my identity] for anyone, so I would call it pakikisama. It’s a very Pinoy thing when you have that power.” 

Issa Pressman discussing the advantages of pakikisama

Roaring 20s

Thinking about her perspective on the youth and our culture nowadays, Issa described everyone as independent and creative. The upside is we have more freedom to produce different kinds of content that can truly show who we are since we have our own platforms, accounts, or channels. We get to explore our creativity and push it to the level we haven’t reached before.

The downside, however, is that we end up thinking we have the right to offend others, too. “[Social media] is a very, very, very powerful tool, and that’s why sometimes, it’s very scary. It’s a power that is scary, and must be used wisely.” Yes, being at the peak of the digital era has its advantages, but that doesn’t justify the negativity that stems from it at all. 

This is why she would much rather experience a life that’s more slow-paced by traveling to the good ol’ days of the past. Issa expounded on this by saying, “I always say I would love to live in that time—always.” She described how, if one were to knowingly travel from the present to the past, we’re going to complain about the inconvenience that things might seem to move slower. But if she were to be unaware of it, it would definitely be the exact opposite.

“It’s not gonna feel like a struggle. It’s actually like living life.”

Issa Pressman shares how living during the good ol’ days without social media would be like for her

Issa—an artist in action

As Issa fearlessly lives life in the present, a huge chunk of what makes her bold and brave is her creativity. Albeit not considering herself a creative person when she was younger, even having to rely on stick figures in art class, she eventually started seeing things in a different light, and it wasn’t until the summer after her first year in high school where art became meditative for her. “I found it therapeutic, and that’s why I liked [making art].”

As she grew older and wiser, Issa’s love for the arts grew along with her. The same goes for the Levi’s 501 that, throughout the years, stands as the past, present, and future of iconic style with an unparalleled and illustrious history. With how versatile it can be, worn in different kinds of aesthetics, the 501 is not just a product or a fashion piece, but a lifestyle. Having been with us since 1873, it’s as if the classic pair is a part of our history that is always relevant as it gets reintroduced to today’s youth culture, with the capability to still ride the waves of current trends along with the foundational blueprints of its design that consists of the button fly, straight leg, and Red Tab sitting pretty on the back right-hand pocket.

Similarly, Issa uses different trends in our culture today as inspiration and pegs for her work, but ensuring they don’t lose her artistic touch. She even shows this through her fashion sense that can totally vary from chic and sexy to grunge and edgy. This girl definitely knows how to keep up with the trends, all while assuring that any kind of ensemble she puts on is a representation of who she is as a person, an artist, and a visionary.

Issa considers the whole creative process as something very enjoyable as she gets to insert different facets of her personality into each one of them. If she wants to do something young and playful, she has Presidential Paws for it. Anything music-related? She’s got Wavee, and her own songwriting. For a peek at her more feminine side that meets her love for painting, there’s ISSA THE BRAND. As someone who has a huge say in the artistic aspect of all those businesses, they’re never released into the world without having any of her creative input.

“I got all of these different things, and naaaliw ako that I get to put different [facets of my personality] into each one of them.”

Issa Pressman on ensuring her personality remains on everything she creates

With every single thing under her creative belt, it’s sometimes a shock that Issa still has the energy to come up with new ideas, designs, and executions. But should she choose just one artistic venture to continue, Issa shared that she would stick to singing and songwriting. For her, it’s not just about putting words into paper and coming up with a tune to go along with it. She even added, “When I choose singing, it doesn’t mean I’m dropping myself as an artist because when the music video comes in, my art comes in as well. When I put [the song out] and market it, I’m now on the business side.” Despite choosing just one route to take, it didn’t even come as a shock that Issa looked at the bigger picture and saw how else she could get as creative as she can be.

While there may already be a long list of ways for Issa to release her creativity, it’s only a matter of time until we see her personality shine through in other ventures she has yet to tap into.

To learn more about the special celebration of Levi’s for the revolutionary 501 jeans, visit their website. You can even check out the iconic pants for yourself by adding it to cart.

Creative Direction ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA
Art Direction EL PEREIRA and LYN ALUMNO
Photography KIERAN PUNAY of STUDIO100
Makeup MIKKA MARCAIDA assisted by GIAN SANTOS
Hair DOROTHY MAMALIO
Styling LYN ALUMNO assisted by RAF VILLAS

Nails AYUMI EYELASH
Shoot Coordination MJ ALMERO and MAVIC VEDAÑA