You think you’ve seen everything from Issa Pressman? Try again.
Content creator, artist, musician, and now, a business woman doing big girl things, Issa Pressman is no longer afraid of being on anybody’s radar—even if it means being the most-searched female personality in the country for 2020, according to Google’s Year in Search.
Fearless yet self-aware of every decision she makes—whether it’s for her family, her pups, or her career, shares Issa, “it’s true that criticism is something given, but the choice of receiving it is within our control.” Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Might as well go with your gut. And boy, she did.
She’s been booked and busy, working on Koop Studio, one of the go-to salons in Manila, Presidential Paws Club, a dog accessory line she created together with her sister Yassi for the pet lovers, and now, her much-awaited project, I S S A The Brand where she creates her own hand-drawn designs on scarves that you can pretty much wear any way you like. Building a brand isn’t easy—let alone in a pandemic, but she’s quite the rebel, doing things in the most unconventional way. She’s unapologetically herself—whether you like it or not. Though she had her fair share of struggles in 2020 just like the rest of us, she picked herself up and admits life is still a learning process: including the highs and lows. Today, we catch up with the head-turner as she unravels her reflections and realizations before the year ends and why you’ll never see her not thriving.
How would you differentiate your life right now compared to early this year?
Early this year, moments were crazy. Scenes so personal, but still special for my family and I to go through, then…a movie for the world…Right now? Life is still as crayyyy. And that’s not going to change ‘coz life just ain’t that easy. What is life if it doesn’t get uneasy anyway? The tummy aches you get from the butterflies going wild are the same tummy aches that happen when you’re laughing your loudest.
One of the things I am sure of is that the difference between our yesterday and our today is growth. Externally, things have been unsure. Internally, I took that time to find myself and mature. There’s still so much ahead of me, but if I were to compare myself from the beginning of 2020 and the end of 2020, while staying grounded, I’m definitely thinking further.
What are the highs and lows of your year?
It’s amazing how my lowest point in my life (not just year) is also the highest. My Dad’s time of saying his final good night to the world was the lowest, but because of how much of a beautiful person he was, he left with a good night and an assurance that my sister and I will say good morning to life, everyday. My highest point was seeing how special love is, how real happiness can get and that life is ours to live. It was that point when I was at my lowest, that I had to pick my self up, high enough that I saw the value of life.
Criticism is inevitable. How do you deal with it?
Criticism that comes from a good place is something you should accept and listen to ‘coz there’s a caring intention there, but if it’s coming from a negative space, someone who just has time to waste, and means nothing but to offend you, then leave that time wasted for them.
What are you leaving in 2020?
My 2020 hairstyles! ?
What are you taking with you to 2021?
My family and best friends who are now my teammates in work and in life. 2021 is a new year for all of us, and we’re fueled and inspired. P.S. Love u guys, you know who you are!!!! Hehe. But really tho, I’m taking GRATITUDE with me as I enter 2021…can’t be without it!! ??
Can you tell us about I S S A the brand? What motivated you to release it despite the pandemic?
I S S A is a brand born of the desire to embrace self-expression when I took the stillness of last year to push the boundaries of my creativity. The four designs are all wearable pieces inspired by art movements and the natural world—femininity, beauty in distortion, embracing imperfection and recognizing uniqueness.
What would you say to 5-year old Issa Pressman?
You do you, 5 yr old boo boo! And also, since my sister and I used to fight a lot as kids, I’d tell baby me to “stop fighting with your sister, it’s such a waste ‘coz after your teen years, you guys are gonna be best friends, and you’ll have each other’s back for life. So, stop pulling her hair you and start hugging her!”
What comes to your mind when you hear the word NYLON? Can you visualize it?
When I hear NYLON, I feel the intensity rising, so it had to be red, but I mixed in a nice and soft purple shade to show that what you guys have up for us is all freeeeeshhhh. Mixed in my print that I call, Linealisms. Enjoy this! It’s a little year-ender gift from me to you guys at NYLON! Thanks for having me!