Thursday 5 March 2015

Interview with Veejay Floresca

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor 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 am so passionate about it. I love everything about my job.

Her new bride collection - Misamis.

Monika: Have you ever thought about being a model yourself?
Veejay: I am too short to be a model, I am 5’6” but the minimum height is usually 58”. 
Monika: Who is your favorite 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 colors?
Veejay: I work a lot during the day, so I make sure to wear comfortable clothes! I like jeans, a 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, and 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 American and Filipino societies?
Veejay: The Philippines is a country where I can say many people are still conservative in terms of acceptance, but the overall majority are open. It depends on which industry or place you belong to.

Fashion on grass.

Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
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 a 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.
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska

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