Designer Robin Tomas' pop-up fashion makes a splash in New York

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 14, 2014

New York – Marketing experts say, for a fashion brand to make it, it has to have a stamp of approval from the fashion capital of the world — New York.

Tomas the brand is doing just that.

The designer behind it is Robin Tomas, son of veteran Philippine actress, Tessie Tomas.

Tomas’ creations have become the talk of the Big Apple. They have been featured in some of the popular fashion magazines in New York such as Bisous Magazine and the Maniac, as well as on Style Source – a show on the Style TV channel that showcases the world of fashion as well as rising industry talent, along with the hottest trends and events.

Tomas said, “Fortunately, nafi-feature tayo sa mga magazines here in the US. That also is part of the whole promotions, because being an emerging brand you have to be able to explore different ways to get your name out there.”

After a successful launch of his online store in New York last year, his next big step is to open a brick and mortar shop in New York.

But for now, Tomas’ says there’s no better way to get people to try his creations on than a pop-up shop.

“Pop-up is the name of the game, even in the Philippines it’s happening,” Tomas said. “So this is a great opportunity for me to get my clothes out into the crowd here in SoHo, which is a very good place for shopping.”

Also known as pop-up retail or flash retailing, a pop-up shop is a trend of opening a store that is temporary. It pops up one day and then it’s gone several days or weeks later.

Pop-up retail allows designers like Tomas to engage his customers and get immediate feedback from them.

One of his designs called the Beatriz Keyhole Shift printed dress is a hot item at his SoHo pop-up.

New York fashonista Serena Vanrensselaer says Tomas designs fit right into New York fashion because they can be dressed up or dressed down.

Vanrensselaer, who is director for Gllam Artisan Market that manages the pop-up shop said, “They can be casual but they can be glamorous casual. Or they can be dressed up and like sophisticated, glamorous. They cover it all, I think, for New York fashion, which is another thing that makes these clothes special.”

Tomas says his clients can make a grand entrance during red carpet events by wearing his rose petals-inspired ruffled ball gown design.

Vanrensselaer said, “Amazing. I’m dying to wear this dress.”

“This is also the beginnings of me figuring out kung anong direction naming. What’s the right market, what are the items that are selling?” said Tomas.

With the US economy still recovering, setting up a brick-and-mortar shop could be a challenge, especially in the Big Apple where competition is tough among designers.

But Tomas says as a Filipino, he is resilient and determined to make a mark in the New York fashion industry.

“Ang edge nating mga Pilipino, we always go beyond what is expected of us in terms of work,” Tomas said. “That’s why I think kaya tayo umaangat sa iba because we give our best with a smile, always happy doing it.”

You may contact Don Tagala at

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