Considered as one of the Philippines’ emerging fashion designers, Jhay Layson has made a name for himself in the industry with his brand of sartorial elegance that has been worn by various models and celebrities.
He began his career in fashion designing when he joined the second season of “MEGA Fashion Crew: Gen M,” a search for the quintessential fashion crew spearheaded by the country’s pioneer fashion magazine, Mega Magazine. From then on, he’s proved to be a designer to watch out for, with his designs gradually appearing on various editorials, TV shows, advertising campaigns, and pageants.
His remarkable success has been the dream of other fashion designers, but Layson continues to make headway in the Philippines and abroad. He’s launched new collections for the Manhattan Fashion Week 2020 this past February, and will be debuting at the Asia Pacific Fashion Week in Los Angeles in April and the “Best of the Islands (Luxe Tour)” series in San Diego, Seattle and Montreal, Canada in May.
In a recent interview with the Asian Journal, Layson talks about his journey as a fashion designer.
Asian Journal (AJ): What made you take fashion seriously enough to make a career out of it?
Jhay Layson (JL): I have loved fashion since I was in elementary school. I love that it gives me the opportunity to transform elegance into something people can wear, and this opportunity is why I am here today.
AJ: Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
JL: I’m self-taught. Most of the things I learned about fashion designing, I learned through my experiences and also working with some other top fashion designers like Renee Salud.
AJ: What is your favorite part about being a designer?
JL: My favorite part is that I get to showcase my collections on different runways. I also like that I could provide entertainment and glamour from fashion styles — it makes me proud.
AJ: How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?
JL: I want them to feel comfortable in the sense that they like my style. In the sense that they like my designs.
AJ: How has your work evolved from when you started to now?
JL: I think I improved a lot. I started as a fashion stylist, and when I decided to become a fashion designer, I traveled to different countries like the United States and Europe to expand my knowledge and further my potential.
AJ: Is there a difference to your approach in menswear and womenswear?
JL: For menswear, my designs are all classic. For women, it’s all luxury and glamour because women like crystals, they like stones, they like pearls. The only thing that my designs have in common is that they’re all comfortable to wear.
AJ: How do you find influences/inspirations for your designs?
JL: Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana are some of my fashion inspirations to name a few. I like seeing their designs because they inspire me to design in my own way.
AJ: What do you think is the role of social media in fashion?
JL: Social media helps me a lot since it connects me all over the world. I can express my designs on social media. People can give both critique and compliments through it. I can also get clients through social media as well as build connections and gain friends on it.
AJ: You are part of the Asia Pacific Fashion Week. What made you decide to join this show?
JL: I’m very excited to join the APFW because I want to showcase the fabric from Asia, especially the fabric from the Philippines. I want to make everyone see the beauty and potential of Filipino fashion designers.
AJ: Any advice for young fashion designers out there?
JL: Express yourself and express your creativity. Don’t compare your work to others and always move forward.
Asia Pacific Fashion Week will be held from April 25-May 3 in Los Angeles, California. For more information on events, sponsorships and other opportunities, please visit https://asiapacificfashionweek.com.