Friday, September 11, 2015

Meet Fast Forward Presenters >> Senpai + Kohai

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Fashion Design

Philadelphia has always been a great place for fashion education and local fashion brands, but the difference now is that Philadelphia has resources to help support emerging designers.

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator program equips designers that already have design knowledge with business education. Graduating 5-6 brands each year, there is a steady group of brands being equipped for the real world of business to thrive.

Recently, an alumni group, the Philadelphia Fashion Alliance, has been formed to further the community aspect of these brands. Through shared networks and collaborative events, there will be workshops, presentations and awareness of design.

The Bok Building- a 340,000 sq ft space that just opened up for makers of all kinds, has the ability to house and foster growth of many designers. The possibilities are exciting and endless.

Lastly, Made Studios in Old City is teaching sewing to aspiring entrepreneurs and home sewers. It’s important for people to learn to sew to develop an appreciation for design and the complexity of putting together a garment. This awareness can only help support designers here and encourage creativity.

With all these resources in Philadelphia in place, fashion has a great future ahead!

Melissa Choi + Pia Panaligan
Senpai+Kohai is created for women like us, who value dressing as an art form. It is a Japanese term that refers to the balance between the relationship of a mentor and their apprentice. This value is the sole inspiration we apply to our work and as colleagues something we can relate to; being inspired from what we have learned from the past and applying it to our modern world.

Senpai + Kohai was a dream shared between the two of us when we met in college in 2003, which we hoped to bring to life one day. After many years spent working in the corporate world as designers, stylists and sales girls, we both decided it was the perfect time as we had reached a milestone in our career life. Melissa was living and designing in India for Urbanoutfitters Inc., while Pia was freelancing as a stylist for clothing brands such as Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters and David's Bridal. We had both collaborated on a few past projects together and had made several first attempts in starting a clothing line but this time it felt right and we were ready! We spent only three months to produce the first Senpai+Kohai collection in time to launch for holiday of 2012 and came out with twelve one-of-a-kind Indian textile inspired pieces, which we individually handcrafted at home.

No comments:

Post a Comment