Filipina New Yorkers share personal style and the need to express how they feel

red line

tambi new

red line

Photos by Martin Romero

Young Filipina professionals are proud of their personal style. They dress according to what’s trendy, what’s reasonably priced, and some accessorizing with a Philippine-made scarf or handbag, something to remind them of the islands.

On the streets of New York, photographer Martin Romero found four women who dress according to style and comfort. They are proud to dress in wearables that express their mood or inspire a look popularized by Marilyn Monroe or Rihanna. In these random interviews, the women share their clothing credo with our roving photographer.

Justine Sta Cruz 2

Name: Justine Santa Cruz

Age: 28 yo

What do you do? I’m the VP Strategic Partnerships & Alliances at Satisfi Labs, an Artificial Intelligence start-up based in New York City. We build chatbots for enterprise companies, helping connect brands with their customers on every digital channel. I lead our business development efforts in retail, as well as nurture our platform partnerships with IBM, Twitter and Softbank Robotics to name a few.

What’s your style? My personal style is always polished and clean, but also experimental with details and color. Ever since I was young I hated looking like anyone else! During the workweek my style tends to be more corporate since I’m meeting with clients constantly, and speaking at various conferences, but I make it a point to inject a bit of my personality, whether it be with edgier shoes or a red lip color. On the weekends, I’m either super feminine for nights out in a bodysuit and a mini-skirt, or more of a tomboy during the day in jeans and Adidas hoodies or bomber jackets. I’m kind of all over the place.
Go-to clothes/lazy outfit: High-waisted bottoms with a cropped top/sweater/jacket with sneakers – it fits my body shape and makes me feel very comfortable! I like pops of color with a lip or a bag; it makes me happy and is a great conversation starter.

Usual stomping grounds? My neighborhood in Astoria, Queens and also parts of Brooklyn on the weekends. I like supporting small businesses in the boroughs and being part of my local community. I find that local stores in these neighborhoods are so well curated and have stories behind them. I worked with mainstream brands when I was at Macy’s and now crave for smaller design-centric brands. If I’m in the city, I’m usually around Union Square/Flatiron because of all the workout classes and fast-casual restaurants on every block. I particularly like that you can walk to anywhere interesting from this neighborhood!

Who is your style inspiration? My friends and family! I’m blessed to be surrounded by beautiful people who inspire me –both male and female, in New York and abroad, young and old. I’m inspired by their attention to detail, the brands they find on Instagram or on their travels, and how they wear the same piece a number of different ways. My friends and I use fashion and beauty to express how we feel so we are constantly talking about new looks and inspiration pieces. I’m blessed to come from a family of mostly women; composing outfits, trying on new lipstick colors and checking out local designers were second nature to me growing up. Now that we live in different cities, comparing local designers, especially Manila-based businesses, is our favorite past time! I love incorporating Philippine-made pieces into my wardrobe and always ask my family to bring me new Aranaz bags or Harlan & Holden pieces.

Christine Braganza 2

Name: Christine Braganza

Age: 27 yo

What do you do? Luxury Group Manager at The RealReal.

Go-to clothes/lazy outfit: Go to’s are a fun pair of jeans with an easy top
Usual stomping grounds? I’m all over the city for work during the day but at night I’m usually in the East Village or LES

Who is your style inspiration? I’m a big fan of Erdem and Loewe which I think sums up my style. Girly with a little something to it.

Camille Villavicencio 3

Name: Camille Villavicencio

Age: 26 yo

What do you do? I’m a Customer Success advisor in the tech company Animoto and co-founder and stylist of Butterfly Sleeves, a styling company based in New York

What’s your style? I’d say comfortable and diverse. I love mix and matching different styles, adding a twist on a classic style, big part of my style also depends on my mood and if it’s comfy to wear.

Go-to clothes/lazy outfit: Jump suit

Usual stomping grounds? Lower Manhattan —West Village or Meatpacking area
Who is your style inspiration? I can go on forever but here’s a few: Olivia Palermo; Aimee Song; Marilyn Monroe; Audrey Hepburn; Emma Watson etc.

Cristal Rodriguez 2

Name: Cristal Rodriguez

Age: 26 yo

What do you do? Ecommerce

What’s your style? Casual, borderline athleisure

Go-to clothes/lazy outfit: White tee, black trousers/dark jeans, sneakers

Usual stomping grounds? Brooklyn

Who is your style inspiration? Rihanna!!!

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