Filip+Inna, distinctly Filipino brand makes a mark in NY fashion

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 24, 2014

NEW YORK – The name itself screams creativity that is distinctly Filipino.

Filip+Inna (pronounced Filip and Inna), a play on the word Filipina, has made a mark at the annual three-day shopping extravaganza called Indagare Souk in New York’s Upper East Side.

Souk means Arab market, so Indagare Souk is a market place of global finds, including intricately embroidered clothes and accessories by Filip+inna.

Founder and creative designer Lenora Cabili says a line dress with mother of pearl beadwork and traditional embroidery from the Philippines is one of her best sellers.

“These are basically shell beads,” Cabili said. “These are like hand stitched, they love the fact that it’s an easy wear.”

New Yorker Carol Mercer is one of Filip+Inna’s loyal customer who bought her daughter a pair of shorts and a top at the market place.

“I like it because its pretty, also because it’s hand made and it’s very different,” Mercer said. “You don’t see it anywhere else, the colors are beautiful, and I just love the stitching, embroidery. It’s just lovely and the prices are reasonable.”

Filip+Inna is inspired by tradition yet designed for the contemporary woman – a weave that creates timeless and unique piece of clothing and accessories.

From the northern to the southern regions of the Philippines, Cabili incorporates old custom weaving, embroidery and beadwork that is handmade by artisans from different indigenous Filipino tribes such as the Tiboli.

“It’s really getting inspiration from the Philippine culture and make it more relevant in our every day lives,” Cabili said. “So how do you make that relevant? By sort of taking inspiration and applying it in contemporary clothing but with a twist of adding the traditional aspect to it in terms of like embroidery, bead work or weaving.”

Cabili’s love for promoting the Philippines began when she was exposed to the different indigenous tribes growing up in Iligan City in Mindanao – further enhanced by her experience as a Bayanihan Philippine Cultural dancer.

Cabili said, “It has to be part of our identity, so Filipinos should really be proud of the culture, our culture and I provided like a way to make it more wearable or more contemporary.”

New York real estate agent, blogger and Fashionista Samantha Lopez says wearing a Filip+Inna creation fits right into the Big Apple’s fashion sense.

“Proven talaga, kasi I was lucky enough to be one of the first Filipina to na nagsuot ng gawa ni Len dito sa New York,” Lopez said, “Everywhere I go talagang napupuna…”

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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