March 13, 2018

Made in the Philippines, Styled in Zurich 


Two fashion labels founded by Filipino entrepreneurs are coming together for the Spring Edition of the Fashion Hotel taking place in Zurich from March 16 to 18. Valerie Remoquillo-Jenni is the founder of VERA, an accessories platform promoting Filipino designers and artisans. Chris Mueller is the creative director and founder of Our. , a fashion label offering gender-neutral clothing. Both were born in the Philippines but now call Zurich home. Their journey in fashion and entrepreneurship are leading them back to their tropical roots.

 Valerie Remoquillo-Jenni of VERA

For Valerie, it was the desire to find her identity as a Filipino expat that led her to create VERA. Hailing from Davao in the southern part of the Philippines, Valerie lived in Singapore and Paris before moving to Switzerland in 2011."I realised that over a decade overseas has shaped me incredibly, yet has also magnified the aspects of being Filipino that I cherish and carry with me wherever I go. I want to celebrate and share these through jewelry and accessories."

VERA Collection 

On the other hand, Chris moved to Switzerland with his family at the age of eight and discovered a connection to his Filipino heritage much later. "I had a very Swiss upbringing. I consider myself Swiss-Filipino, but in the last couple of years, since I'm in the Philippines more often, I've developed a renewed feeling of home and connection to my roots. Today I feel very fortunate and proud to have these two cultures in me." 
Chris Mueller of Our.
Valerie and Chris are among the new wave of creative entrepreneurs who are not only referencing their Filipino backgrounds but are also advocating a social mission. According to Valerie,"While VERA is about fashionable accessories, we also highlight the Filipino designers and artisans who make these pieces. By knowing their stories - the heritage, culture and craftsmanship behind their work - the jewelry becomes more meaningful and personal."
Chris shares this awareness of a more conscious fashion philosophy through Our. For his collection of classic, unisex clothing, Chris has opted to source and produce exclusively in the Philippines. Our.'s premium materials are made by the Anthill Fabric Gallery, a Cebu-based social business that preserves Philippine weaving traditions. "From the start, it was very important to have the connection with the Philippines. I never considered to produce elsewhere. It belongs to the brand and is about being authentic. To me it's important to give our homeland a platform to represent something important and good. We are not only beaches, mangoes and Miss Universe, but a country with a lot of traditions and talent."

Our Collection

Our Collection

Our. is also promoting a broader message of equality. Chris adds, "I want to create clothing that not only looks and feels good but also lets people shine as individuals independent of their gender, age or background. I want unisex clothing to be something very natural or self-evident to fashion and to society."
VERA and Our. are organising a joint showroom at the Spring Edition of the Fashion Hotel, which brings together up-and-coming designers for a weekend of shows, workshops and shopping. "Because of how aligned our brands are, taking part in this season's Fashion Hotel together makes a lot of sense. Visitors will be able to see Our. and VERA's unique line-up of clothing and accessories, but will also discover the Filipino heritage behind our collections. It's a message we believe is worth sharing," says Valerie. 
The Fashion Hotel takes place on March 16 to 18, 2018 at the Kameha Grand Zurich. For tickets and further information, visit www.fashionhotel.net.



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