Fashion, admittedly, is not one of my strongest suits. My mornings often consist of bargaining with my alarm clock, a few lazy jumping jacks, and a mad dash out of the house at 6 am to avoid south of Manila traffic. Due to this, I don’t spend a lot of time scanning my closet ala Chere Horowitz on Clueless. This is the reason why effortless fashionistas have always inspired me simply because they look so put together 24/7.
One of those style mavens is Kaye Pernia. A friend of a friend’s, Kaye and I first met in 2009 in a popular bazaar down south and from the get go, Kaye exuded the mysterious confidence and sophistication that only a very few people can own.
With degrees in Basic Fashion and Fashion Merchandising from both the Fashion Institute of the Philippines and De La Salle University, College of St. Benilde, it is not a surprise that young Kaye earned a spot in the highly elite Pormada group.
Pormada, “one of the flame-starters in Philippine online retail” puts the fun in online shopping. Bringing in niche brands from all over the world and even budding independent Filipino brands, Pormada is slowly creating a wave in the fashion industry that was previously not seen before. Described as Pormada’s “golden child”, Kaye has taken on the role of Marketing and Merchandising Manager solely in charge of ensuring product availability on the website, checking of quality & workmanship and even maintain strong relationships with the different brands under their company.
When asked what it was like to work in such a high profile industry (at the back of my mind, I was wondering if it was anything like The Devil Wears Prada), Kaye was quick to say, “I am surrounded by positive and passionate people. My bosses motivate me to be a better version of myself, and also working for a start up is fun because you can be vocal. We have a mind mapping meeting every week where we share ideas, views, and suggestions. It’s one of my favorite things to do at work.”
She also adds that her job entails her to meet a lot of people, “I get to meet clients who eventually turn into friends and their passion is infectious as well and I’m easily inspired by them.”
This passion soon translated into the Go Global, Wear Lokal campaign that aims to strengthen support for local independent brands, “I got inspired by stories of these homegrown brands and I think they deserve to be known in their own country and be recognized globally.” Kaye’s campaign is simple, “By using the hashtag #GoGlobalWearLokal on their #OOTD posts, local brands can easily be recognized.” Her personal efforts were solidified by the support of her Pormada team, who is also “committed to finding distinct homegrown Filipino brands and growing them on their website.”
Aside from that, she was also quick to point out that dressing up stylishly is not as difficult or time consuming as it sounds, “It’s really about having your own personal style that’s defined by your own personality. Find what works for you and make sure you’re comfortable.” She also adds that investing in the basics and styling them with accessories such as scarves and bags make a big difference.
For her, fashion is more than just looking good on the outside but also feeling good about one’s self worth, “A bad day can easily be turned around by a good outfit. It empowers.”