Behind the Label | Filip + Inna

Inspired by the traditional craftwork of her native Philippines, former dancer turned fashion designer Lenora Luisa Cabili has created a stylish contemporary label called Filip + Inna. Using a variety of intricate beadwork and artisanal designs?many of which defined her sense of fashion as a child?Lenora has masterfully found a way to mix her past with the present. Filip + Inna is a collection of sophisticated sportswear staples made from only the finest local fabrics, each piece painstakingly adorned by Filipino craftspeople creating a uniqueness often found only at the couture level. Read more about Lenora?s beloved country and the craft that inspired her collection below.

Inspired by the traditional craftwork of her native Philippines, former dancer turned fashion designer Lenora Luisa Cabili has created a stylish contemporary label called Filip + Inna. Using a variety of intricate beadwork and artisanal designs?many of which defined her sense of fashion as a child?Lenora has masterfully found a way to mix her past with the present. Filip + Inna is a collection of sophisticated sportswear staples made from only the finest local fabrics, each piece painstakingly adorned by Filipino craftspeople creating a uniqueness often found only at the couture level. Read more about Lenora?s beloved country and the craft that inspired her collection below.

 

 

 1) What about the Philippines inspired you to create your collection?

The Philippines has a very rich and diverse culture which makes it a haven for inspiration. As you go from one region to the other, you will see different crafts and traditions. I am especially fond of the abaca fabrics in Mindanao, where I grew up.
 
 
2) How did you come up with the name Filip + Inna?
I wanted a brand name that would point to the Philippines and being Filipina, I started with that and played around with it. FILIP + INNA basically stands for every Filipino and Filipina, past and present. Those who have created our culture are our fingerprint and what defines us as a people. 
 
 
3) What is unique about your production process? 
It's a complicated yet very personal process. The clothes basically travel and come from around the Philippines. The different groups get to apply their expertise on the garment?whether it is in weaving, embroidery or bead work. Each artisan puts their name on the garment?when I get back a piece of clothing and see the name, there is this real personal connection to the person who made it.  Making each piece takes time but the end result is worth the wait!
 
 
 
 
 
4) How do you come up with embroidery for your collections?
When I start working with a particular group, I do research on their tradition and go visit them. It is in the personal visits that I come across patterns and details which I miss out on during my research. I also have a small collection of traditional wear from different groups, so I often pick out certain designs and apply to on the clothes. 
 
  
5) What is your favorite Filip + Inna piece?
It's hard for me to play favorites because I know how much time and effort goes into each piece, but I do wear the Pilar and Biti shorts a lot in the Philipppines. The Teodora and Vicenta skirts are also my go-to pieces. 
 
 
6) What are your favorite "secrets" about Manila?
The Peninsula Manila has the best halo-halo?a traditional Filipino icy dessert?which you can enjoy while listening to a string quartet that takes in song requests. The Corner Tree in Makati is one of the best vegetarian restaurants. Cubao Expo has an array of novelty shops and art galleries.
  
7) Who is your muse? Describe the Filip + Inna girl.
My muse is my Mom, Leni. I grew up watching her wear the Maranao Malong to social events or wear the Filipino Terno to functions. The FILIP + INNA girl is someone who appreciates the work of the hands, and values the intertwining of tradition and contemporary. She is someone who seeks out the story behind what she is wearing. 
 
 
 
 
To shop the Filip + Inna collection, please click here.