Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FILJAP Magazine's SPOTLIGHT: Pinay Milliner Tracy Dizon!

Florenda Corpuz. "SPOTLIGHT: Pinay Milliner Making Waves in Japan's Fashion Scene". "FILJAP Magazine". November 2013: page 12

Photo Captions: 1) Misha Janette wears TTD at the Emporio Armani Caffe Opening in Omotesando, Tokyo Photo by: Mamie Tanabe [http://www.TokyoFashionDiaries.com] 2) Tracy Dizon Photo by: Alecks Mutuc 3) Tiara by Tracy Dizon available at Mam AvantGarde 4) Tiara by Tracy Dizon available at BrokenDoll Japan
Tracy Dizon
Photo by: Alecks Mutuc
Misha Janette wears TTD at the Emporio Armani Caffe Opening in Omotesando, Tokyo Photo by: Mamie Tanabe [http://www.TokyoFashionDiaries.com] 
September 2013 ~ Tiara by Tracy Dizon's Eye Bow collection and Kitty Bows Collection at Mam AvantGarde in Harajuku, Tokyo! 
Tiara by Tracy Dizon available at BrokenDoll Japan

It's such a great honor to be featured and published in a magazine! This time I'm so honored that FILJAP Magazine took interest with my creations and my work as a designer especially that I've started to penetrate Tokyo. I'm floored. I'm even a big blog-fan of, FilJap Magazine Editor, Ms. Dang's The Filipino-Japanese Journal because it's really informative and up to date with the latest newsworthy buzz with the Filipino-Japanese community. I've been following her blog since last year. So when she asked me if she can feature me in FILJAP Magazine, I was beyond ecstatic!

Florenda Corpuz. "SPOTLIGHT: Pinay Milliner Making Waves in Japan's Fashion Scene". "FILJAP Magazine". November 2013: page 12
Bamboo Manalac on the cover of FILJAP Magazine for November 2013!
Florenda Corpuz. 
"SPOTLIGHT: Pinay Milliner Making Waves in Japan's Fashion Scene". "FILJAP Magazine". November 2013: page 12

It's priceless to be published, this time, I even feel prouder because I've gotten a chance to share my proud news penetrating Tokyo as well. Hoping for more published features someday! Thank you FILJAP Magazine! See you in Tokyo!

Check-out FILJAP Magazine November 2013 Issue here

FILJAP Full Interview
The full Interview with Ms.Dang was really interesting that I wanted to share it, it was actually quite a tough one! I felt I was doing a defense haha! But very smart interview indeed. I was of course too wordy and chitchatty that it had to be shortened in the featured article but it might also be interesting to share the full interview... Check it out? Haha! This is longgggggggg!

1. What is the idea behind “Tiara by Tracy Dizon”? 

I named my custom-made and line of headpieces, fascinators and hats, "Tiara by Tracy Dizon" because I wanted to make a whimsical fashionable headpieces designs that will make you feel like you're wearing a "Tiara" - like a princess,- like in a fairy tale or - simply living a fantasy... 

Whether it may be your dream wedding or live your fashionable dreams, wearing TTD hats would make you feel you are a "Girl in a Tiara"
2. What made you decide to turn your love for hats and headpieces into a real business?

Before TTD, I was already a practicing Professional Fashion Stylist and a Fashion Designer... I've worked several TV & Film Production as a fashion stylist and costume designer and I also did my own share of office work as a Fashion Merchandiser in a local retail company before I seriously pursued my dream of becoming a fashion designer. My style has been consistently quirky, before I established my own brand, I know my style is a bit more outrageous and playful for the general taste of Manila market. So I know I have to think of ways to continue creating without compromising my aesthetic... In my case, with TTD and making hats, the demand came before I formally started supplying fascinators, hats and headpieces to my clients... My fashion clients gradually started to ask me if I can also match their cocktail dresses with hats and sometimes asked me for hats alone... I even playfully used bra-pads as samples before I formally started developing TTD as a brand.

Tiara by Tracy Dizon came about right after my short-lived-15-minutes-of-fame from the Project Runway Philippines Season 2 and after, in the same year, I represented the Philippines at the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest in (together with Veejay Floresca and Nicole Mori) Sugino Fashion College in Meguro,Tokyo-- (it's the longest running fashion design competition in Japan...) The first fascinator/hat I've developed was the matching headpiece I've designed for the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest. Having the chance to formally develop my design and work with the exporting industry for my 47th JFDC contest piece, that's when I decided I can make most out of the exposure I've made during that time and developed my first maiden collections for TTD... This can be something I can niche on! 
With the help of my fashion designer colleagues and the wide fashion background I've built, TTD sustained its longevity for three years in counting with the wedding clientele here in the Philippines, collaborating with co-fashion designers, instead of trying to beat the odds of competing with my co-designers, I was able to collaborate with them instead. After three years I felt it's time to try to out to go global or at least pursue my Tiara in Tokyo vision and I guess finding my niche with TTD got me to actualize my quirky and kawaii vision as well.

3. How supportive are your family and friends of your business?
The pour of support from friends from the different walks of life that I've met and shared friendship with is such an embrace and my motivation... from my highschool friends, college friends, former band-mates, from the young unwed moms of the home (institution) I lived at during my pregnancy, from my fellow young dreamer friends, to my past officemates and co-designer colleagues, to my mentors in the Filipino Fashion Industry whom I respect and feel honored to have met, to my past clients all through-out the the years I've worked as sa fashion designer and wth TTD, even up to my Japanese friends I've met through-out the years is simply humbling... Simply because in spite and despite the roller-coaster ride, I've been pursuing my dreams and struggling to make a living as a single young mom, my friends constantly reminds me where I came from and where I've been at and it really is a heartfelt joy to always hear from them how proud they are of seeing me overcoming the obstacles and continuously pursue my dreams. They've helped me a lot all through-out the years, just simply by listening to my heart's desires and sometimes help me get-through a major fashion contest I'm joining at... Someday I hope I can pay-it-forward their generosity they've shared with me, the encouragement, the time and everything else. They're my constant source of energy just thinking about how much support from friends embraced me.

My family, my son... Atreyu is my rock. I must say I wouldn't even push myself to overdrive-hardwork if it weren't for him. I always motivate myself thinking that I want him to grow up feeling proud of his mother... Despite and in spite. Being a mom made me realize my dreams aren't mine anymore, I mean everyone can dream, but not all dreams are purpose-driven... and somehow my son 'molded' me to always have a heart and be the mom he can be proud of, I wouldn't do something just-over-the-edge-I-would-kill-steal-and-step-on-other-people for an ambition because my son wouldn't be proud of me doing it that. I guess, that works for me, it feels nicer to work and still keep my mom-mode as I treat each single TTD creations as my babies too!

My siblings has been my kawaii team, they're basically just like me quirky, creative, scrawny and a little odd... being the eldest daughter among six. They have been there to help me in ways I would always be thankful for thm; from driving me to malls and clients delivering my TTD creations; to watching my first PhFW (Phillippine Fashion Week) cameo appearance; to being my 'youth market' and 'Japanese Fashion' intels; being my trustworthy accountant (oh it doesn't get better than that!) and my first FB likers and sharers... I am very blessed to be in a big family... I got myself a team that I can fully trust and feel open to deliberate my creative ideas.

4. There are so many good hat and headpiece designers in Japan, what makes your creations different from theirs?

Of course there will always be "some other better brand" even elsewhere in the world, even in Manila there will always be competition/competitors, it's just how the industry works... But one thing I'm proud of TTD is how I use Filipino local materials like "Sinamay" in a different and youthful and playful styles. We are so used to seeing local (Filipino) products with very matured styles usually they're reserved for "Filipiniana" clothes or older market, what makes my creations different is I get to reinvent our local materials to something that can be appreciated by the younger market with fresh and inventive ideas in a very kawaii-quirky-meets-elegant way... I wanna call it my "Cute Couture" style!

5. How were you able to penetrate the Japanese market?

May be being a PH representative for a fashion design contest got me a head start. But just like any other contest, it's just a stepping stone and not the ultimate answer to penetrating the Japanese market. Setting my foot in Tokyo, four years ago gave me a firsthand opportunity to observe the market and the fashion culture, I also got to meet local aspiring fashion designers (they're now professionals) and have a good background to back me up.

But I must say that when the top-Tokyo-based-American Fashion Stylist Misha Janette started wearing my creations helped me a lot. Personally, her personal style is something I really like and when she started wearing my creations at the top fashion events in Tokyo, it definitely driven me to step-up and make more creative explosions... Just last Spring 2013, it was serendipity that I've met the owners of some of my dream shops in Tokyo and I was just merely carrying my products and my iPad showing how M rocked my works and after a few business trasactions here and there, I got in! I'll forever be thankful for Misha Janette's trust with my works that it didn't only give me some 15-minute-of-attention but a step closer to where I want to be... in Tokyo.

6. What kind of hats and headpieces do you sell? How much do they usually cost?
In the Philippines, I mostly cater to wedding fascinators, it has become my bread and butter. But I wanted to step up of the conventional and conservative designs and make more youthful fascinators and experiment with different kawaii headpieces. I sell mostly special bows and Kitty-chan inspired headpieces in Tokyo. My fascinators in Tokyo are also funkier and crazier! The price range starts at around $35 up to $250 USD (Y3,500 - Y25,000) I wanna try to offer wide range of products from a bit high end to the more casual pieces to cater to the quirky child at heart and the kawaii youth.

7. Can you guarantee that the items sold in your shop are of good quality?
Yes because I personally quality control check all my designs, even up to the shipping I personally take care of them until they are shipped out of the Philippines. I know someday when my "empire" grows bigger (hopefully) I may have to allocate these kinds of work to assistants but I am very hands-on when it comes to my designs and creations, I treat each single creation as my babies so I make sure they're well taken care of. Just like a hands-on mom, I would be very protective with my "babies" and wouldn't let them leave my nest without looking their best.

8. Where do you sell your items in Tokyo?
Currently, I sell in two locations one in Harajuku with my latest designs... in Mam AvantGarde (Avantgarde Japan) just nearby the "Harajuku Arc" in Harajuku! 

B1 Fujiwara Building 3-22-7 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-0001 [〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-22-7 藤原ビルB1F]

I also have special discounted introductory pieces available in BrokenDoll Japan in Shimokitazawa and looking forward to selling some of my clothing line here soon as well. 

BROKEN DOLL, Shimokitazawa

2-10-15 Kitazawa, Marche Shimokitazawa 2F, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0031 Japan

9. Describe your clientele. What kind of woman wears “Tiara by Tracy Dizon”?
I think any kind of woman can wear Tiara by Tracy Dizon as long as you want to live your fashion fantasy like "A Royal Bride", "Hello Kitty", or simply want to feel posh and have a Teaparty... For my custom-made headpieces, I try to collaborate and get to know my clients and work out the best pieces fit to their needs. But I think the best kind of woman who could wear TTD are those quirky women who knows how to have fun with their styles! 

10. Which of your designs are your favorite? Why?
I think it wouldn't be fair to all my babies if I pick my "favorite" but I must say I love all my designs especially when it pushes me to my limit... challenges me to outsource materials, make interesting shapes and combinations... I love when I surprise myself that I got to make something so out of the box... I guess most of those "kind of pieces" were mostly worn by Misha Janette! They're both Kawaii and Couture which I like my brand to be known for... making fashionable, playful, youthful designs 

11. What are some of the difficulties that you encounter as founder and CEO of “Tiara by Tracy Dizon”? How were you able to surpass it?
Being in the fashion industry is a tough job indeed, how it may seem fickle, superficial and simply-a-dog-eat-dog-world. There will always be someone fresher and younger... there will always be someone who will claim to be "the-next-big-thing" all just for a short-lived 15-minute fame .Even if I try to cater a more youthful and playful designs, I also did my share of struggles just trying to swim in the profession I chose. It's really a sink or swim kind of commitment... and sometimes it's not easy. There were days that I give-up meals for me and my son just to make my deliveries... But I'm glad I'm humbled by those hardships because it made me appreciate every progress that I make towards where I want to be. One thing I learned from my early life experiences being a single mom at an early age was to "AIM STRONG, NOT HIGH." I don't aspire to be "The ONLY" "The BEST" or something superlative above everyone, but rather, I want to focus more on the longevity of my career, build strong relationships with business partners and I'll be happy just to be belong among the best.

12. What do you hope to achieve in your business?
TTD has been my second baby (next to my son) and all I can hope for is that Tiara by Tracy Dizon would grow more global one city at a time. I remember 4 years ago when I first set my foot in Harajuku that I wish someday I can be a part of this unique "Kawaii World in Tokyo"... And now, I already am! Goals are continually growing and changing as times and the season changes, but I hope someday in my own little way, I can make my country proud. Ultimately, it's my happy thought and motivation that someday I can have several stores in the top fashion capitals like Paris, New York, London to carry my brand... one city at a time. I want to reinvent the appreciation of local designs and proudly Filipino made products that can be globally appreciated by everyone (not only Filipinos) around the world without compromising my kawaii-quirky "Cute Couture" vision.

Right now, my short term goal is to make TTD a much appreciated product among the Kawaii-fashionistas of Harajuku. This great opportunity has taught me a lot in terms of my vision and design ideas and I feel I'm growing so much! Tokyo Fashion is SOOOO FAST, especially with the trends and must-have fashion pieces, it's challenging to catch-up especially across the miles but at the same time I feel exuberant getting so much inspiration... More than anything, learning and being stimulated with design ideas are the best things I've gained from TTD making it in Tokyo. Hopefully, I can also develop not only hats and headpieces but eventually I hope i can also develop garments to be sold in Tokyo as well... and Tokyo Fashion Week! One day at a time, good thing is I've already made the first step! 

13. Name some celebrities who wear your creations.
Locally, it was such an honor to design Ms. Precious Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz's Bridal Headpiece in Canada it gave me goosebumps seeing their photos, it was just like a romantic movie... Another local celebrity client I've worked with was Maxene Magalona whom pioneered the "Red Kitty-chan" Hello Kitty-inspired headpiece for her posh Halloween outfit last year, I must say that that Hello Kitty headpiece has become one of my most popular designs and now it's now proudly sold in Harajuku as well. It has become one of my staple pieces.

In the Japan fashion scene, I'm floored with honor that I got the opportunity to see my pieces worn by Misha Janette, a top fashion stylist based in Tokyo (also known for her quirky and experimental style) Seeing my pieces at the posh fashion events in Tokyo like Chanel x Vogue Girl Japan Pop-up Event, Emporio Armani Caffe Opening in Omotesando, Georgio Armani Exhibit in Ginza and having a small cameo in her monthly column in SOEN Magazine last Spring, is beyond blissful. M has inspired me and working with her brought my fashion drive to the next level! I must admit that it gets addicting seeing her wear my pieces and it motivates me to create more pieces that's "Misha-worthy" I always tell myself. 

I was also fortunate to get a chance to work with an established Lolita Model RinRin Doll, after seeing the works I've made for Misha, I'm just happy I also got a chance to work with the Lolita Fashionistas (Harajuku Subculture) and of course the Street Snap Fashion leaders staff of Mam AvantGarde, Momoe Kanaya is one of my dream muses since she always gets featured for her style around Tokyo... It's just surreal that not only she gets to wear my creations but she also sells TTD in AVANTGARDE!

14. What is your impression of Japan and its people?
Oh I have learned so much values from Japan... From the first time I've set my foot in Tokyo I felt like Tokyo is where I should be. I've made many friends and colleagues in Japan. I appreciate how everyone values the depth of one's ideas rather than the "loudness" of "name-dropping", even with the language barrier, I feel connected and engaged with my Japanese friends because of how they value ideas and experiences they learn from other people. I'm amazed how the Japanese lives with dignity and pride and that's something I wish for the whole world to have... hardworking, living with a sense of pride and integrity.

15. Any message to all the hats and headpieces lovers out there?

When in doubt, wear a hat... wear a Tiara by Tracy Dizon Hat!


  1. Congratulations! so happy for you! I love Japanese Fashion and all but I am even happier when designers/brands from our country make it abroad <3 Pinoy pride!

    1. Thanks A! I'm so happy rin na masipag kang mag comment! Yehey! haha! Thanks for your greets!


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