Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Veejay Floresca, a talented young fashion designer from the Philippines, whose work graces the covers of many fashion magazines. Hello Veejay!
Veejay: Hi Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Veejay: I am from the Philippines and I moved here to San Francisco two years ago to finish my master's in fashion design.
Monika: How did you start your fashion designing career?
Veejay: I got my bachelor's degree in fashion design in the Philippines. I discovered that this is something I want to do and I so passionate about it. I love everything about my job.
|Her new bride collection - Misamis.|
Veejay: I am too short to be a model, I am 5’6” but the minimum height is usually 5’8”.
Monika: Who is your favourite fashion designer? Do you have any inspirations?
Veejay: I have a lot, I admire young designers like Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Christopher Kane and Proenza Schouler; most of them are contemporary designers and that is similar to my design aesthetics.
Monika: The fashion industry is full of beautiful transgender models: Lea T, Felipa Tavares, Ines Rau, Andreja Pejić, Valentijn de Hingh, and many more. How could you explain such a great interest of the fashion industry in transgender ladies?
Veejay: We are lucky that FASHION is an industry where it doesn’t discriminate. I think we are ready for that. Fashion is open and it supports the LGBT.
Monika: How about fashion designers? Can we witness a similar wave of transgender talents?
Veejay: I wanna be known to be the first transgender designer who will win PROJECT RUNWAY US! Haha =)
Monika: What kind of outfits do you usually wear yourself? Any special fashion designs or colours?
Veejay: I work a lot during day, so I make sure to wear comfortable clothes! I like jeans, nice top, and match it with a tailored coat since SF is a cold place. I like to experiment with colors and accessories but nothing too over the top.
Monika: Which trends are going to prevail in the 2015 fashion?
Veejay: There will be a lot of oversized shapes, silhouettes. For the color, neutrals are back! We will also see a lot of leather metal hardware as details. Something funny and fresh!
Monika: At the time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Veejay: I didn’t have any role model, I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read blogs about people who transitioned. I also talked to some friends for advice.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Veejay: My fear of rejection.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in the American and Filipino societies?
Veejay: The Philippines is a country where I can say many people are still conservative in terms of acceptance, but overall majority are open. It depends on which industry or place you belong.
|Fashion on grass.|
Veejay: I am not, politics is not my thing. But for me, being a good leader is not about gender, it is about the willingness to serve the people.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Veejay: LOVE is important, without LOVE, I will not exist. I love my job, family, friends, myself… and I know these people love me as well.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Veejay: YES! Definitely!
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Veejay: I am still happy as I am today. I have my own studio in New York, maybe engaged with someone and continue inspiring people that dreams do come true.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls, dreaming about such a career like yours?
Veejay: Yes, if they have the passion for art and design. It is not an easy job, but it is fun! I would suggest they should study fashion to gain skills, and it is a job that is meant for all types of people!
Monika: Veejay, thank you for the interview!
All the photos: courtesy of Veejay Floresca.