Suspension of Disbelief

Robin Tomas: Pinoy Pride on the world stage

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Outrage Magazine | 15 April 2014

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Meet-Robin-Tomas

TomasIt was in mid-2000 when this Filipino designer slowly made a name in the world of fashion.

He was born and raised in the Philippines.  His mother, a famous comedienne, TV host, and a veteran actress, supported all his endeavors.

He calls himself an artist, a designer, a gastronome, a class clown, and many others. But most importantly, he is proud to be a Filipino.

Meet Robin Tomas.

THE CALLING

In an exclusive interview withOutrage Magazine, Tomas recalled how he got interested in fashion.

“I was in college then, studying Fine Arts in U.P. It was then that I started getting curious about the fashion industry,” he recalled.

After he graduated from college, he decided to pursue further studies in New York.  He took up fashion design at Parsons School of Design. He also interned at Anna Sui and Valentino.

“It was a memorable experience for me (as) I was really interested in fashion,” Tomas said. With his enthusiasm and passion, he graduated with flying colors.

In no time, he got hired in the fashion industry in New York City after he graduated.

And in 2011, Tomas won the Supima Design Competition, a T-shirt design contest participated by six other designers. His winning piece was a “re-invention of the classic T-shirt.” His winning design, a “V-neck T-shirt in layered tonal Supima cotton knit,” was launched and sold at Bloomingdales.

It was also in 2011 when Tomas started his retail market in New York.

“The competition in New York is very fierce! It’s a very saturated and small industry, and the competition is really quite tough,” Tomas said. “You need to have the right combination of skill, personality, and luck.”

ON THE WORLD STAGE

Since then, Tomas has started creating couture pieces that reflect class and glamour.

“I have always admired similar works of the masters in this field – YSL, Valentino, Lagerfeld, et cetera. It was just something that I loved,” Tomas said.

His pieces are being carried by several boutiques in Manhattan.

He also said that most of his creations were inspired by some of the classic designers. “YSL is one of my inspirations, so are the early works of the late Gianni Versace. But overall, many aspects inspire me – architecture, art, films, and many others. Oh, and of course, my major inspiration is New York City!”

Apart from mounting successful fashion shows and events in New York, Tomas also contributed to the budding Philippine fashion industry.

In 2009, he showcased some of his creations during the Philippine fashion week.  Designers who witnessed the spectacle of Tomas’ designs dubbed it as “very strong”, and that “women will drool at it.”

He also partnered with a local clothing brand, Penshoppe, and released a 12-style collection for men and women. “It was a move to reach a different market. And I also want to bring my designs here (in the Philippines).”

Just recently, Tomas mounted another successful trunk show at Raffles Makati, showcasing his whole Holiday/Resort 2013 collection.

“I wanted to share my collection to the Philippine market, and the reception I received just affirmed the opportunity to open a store in Manila,” Tomas proudly said. “I would also like to open stores in other Asian and European cities.

He also launched a retail store last year “to make the creations more accessible to everyone,” he said.  In short, it was a move to make sure that he would reach a wider market.

Although Tomas has only been in the industry for some time, he is already slowly making a mark in the world of fashion, thereby paving the way for many budding Filipino designers to continue dreaming big and to reach for their goals no matter how difficult it may seem to be.

Robin Tomas is a New York-based designer for his own label, TOMAS.
Visit his online store at TOMASNYC.com.

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(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)

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