Fashion designer Andrea Tetangco is a name most fashionistas have heard of, appearing on “one to watch” lists left and right. Andrea’s been in the industry for 13 years — way before social media and influencers had the power they did and definitely before young unknown designers were really given the time of day. But she was persistent, and it was fashion that sparked her joy.
“Who doesn’t love fashion? It makes us happy, it makes us feel good, it’s therapy, but more than that, I love making women feel good and confident. Fashion brings joy and I will continue doing that for all the women out there,” said Tetangco, who gets her great taste from her fashionable mom who worked in the retail industry.
Tetangco dresses fashion lovers for special events, including teenagers as they attend their proms and balls and celebrities as they grace the red carpet. Lovie Poe is one of her favorite muses.
More than that, she also designs for brides for their big day, right down to the adorable flower girls.
“I believe this is something I can do long term and not a fast fashion trend. I want to focus on bridal because there is so much beauty in the process, which I really love.”
Looking at her exquisite creations, it’s no shock that Tetangco has her books full, but we’re so grateful she took the time to talk to us and offer sage pieces of advice for aspiring designers, entrepreneurs, brides-to-be, and more.
On dealing with Chinoy parents
While Andrea has parents that are proud of her achievements, she realizes that most parents don’t think that the fashion industry is a “real business” because it may not be corporate like, say, being a doctor.
So she tells those going through arguments with their parents over their career path, “At the end of the day, we still need to obey our parents. They know what’s best for us. They may not understand fully, but there is wisdom from them. If you want to do different things, pray for it. Believe in the power of prayer. God will guide us in your decision or the decision of your parents.”
On compromising your vision
Bridal gowns are such a personal thing, but it’s also a collaboration between the designer and the bride. There are times when some brides may be a bit headstrong and push for something, even though the designer, like Tetangco, may know better.
“When I was younger, I would compromise most of the time. I wanted to please them so much but turns out, the outcome becomes a failure. As time passes by, I learned the process of designing and understanding each body type, style, the right cut, and fabric. I think if you know more, you can justify your vision and when you believe in your vision, clients will also believe in you. ”
On dealing with the pandemic
The pandemic has pushed the fashion industry towards a more sustainable and technologically innovative future. “This trial should change our mindset, our way of producing and consuming. We should come out here as better human beings. But while there are uncertain times ahead, the future of fashion isn’t all doom and gloom.”
If anything, the pandemic has proven the resilience of the fashion industry and the ability to adapt. Take in what’s happening around you and use it as inspiration and motivation to learn and do better. “Fashion is us — we will all heal together. We will restore what’s broken. That’s the real beauty of fashion, something we could look forward to in the future.”
For aspiring designers
We know that Andrea got to where she was through commitment and perseverance, and that’s her advice for you, too! “There’s no easy way up, but if you have this kind of character, you will reach your dreams.”
For brides looking for the right dress
Now that you’ve found Mr. Right, you’re looking for the right dress. Andrea’s advice? “Go to a trusted designer. Make sure your style is the same. Know what you want. Not all beautiful dresses will look good on you. We know better than Pinterest.”
For those planning their wedding amid the pandemic
“We have to accept that uncertainties are real every day. Things might have changed but always remember to focus on what’s important and focus on what really matters — our character, relationships, faith, and more than anything else, marriage is more important than a wedding event.”
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Looking for jewelry to complete your look? Check out Chinoy jewelry designer Kim Tiam Lee, her works, and advice here.