When you were young, you might have had different aspirations, but, suddenly, you’ve realized that this is not what you want to do anymore. If this is something you can relate to, you’re not alone.
Meet young fashion designer Adam Pereyra. Adam spent years of his life to become a diplomat, but what pushed this SoFA Design Institute alumnus to drop everything for a completely different career?
What were you doing before enrolling with SoFa?
All my life, I dreamt of becoming an ambassador of our country—a diplomat. It started when I was 18 years old. I’ve been to 14 countries representing the Philippine youth to presidents, prime ministers, and other heads of government in different international meetings and events.
I was preparing for the country’s most difficult examination, the Foreign Service Officers Examination, for almost eight years already and just a few months before I took this exam, I got a call from SoFA Design Institute, telling me that I got a full scholarship to take fashion design.
We saw your wonderful collection at the SoFA event. Can you please share with us the inspiration behind this collection?
“Alanganin” literally means ‘doubtful or unsure’, it’s also colloquially known in the Philippines as an ‘inside joke’ to tell if someone is gay—in which I thought, are the exact components to encapsulate this collection.
It all started when I dreamt of myself wearing a Philippine terno. I immediately felt embarrassed and uneasy the moment I woke up. I guess, this memory is based on these doubts and uncertainty. Since I personally feel that it’s not appropriate for men to wear a terno.
For two years, it’s always been a battle with myself if I should just discard the idea―a proof of my internal shame. Until I realized that I was dealing with something bigger than myself. As this collection now exists as a platform for us to explore the unknowns of Philippine fashion.
Through your works, your love for Filipino culture is so evident. Where do these love and passion come from?
I learned to be nationalistic. I got this from my professors when I was studying foreign service at LPU back in 2012. Most of them were retired ambassadors of the Philippines and they would always tell us stories of what it meant to put “Filipino first.”
When I was making a decision to drop my eight years of hard-work in the field of foreign affairs over a two-year scholarship at SoFA, I had all the reasons not to risk it for something that I have no background in, yet I just had a gut feeling of what I know I want to do.
I was always asked by friends what it meant for me to change careers. I told them that I didn’t change a thing in my career. From uplifting Filipino’s interests as a diplomat-to-be, to exploring the limits of Filipino norms through fashion, I learned that wherever I go, as long as I am striving to see the next step of the Philippines, I will feel my path will always be clear as a day.
What are you hoping to achieve in promoting our culture using your platform?
I want Filipinos to recognize the immense ingenuity and talent that is ingrained on us as a country. We are rich in culture and even if we were colonized, we never copied things as is with our western counterparts.
What is your message to the young aspiring designers who are still finding their own colors and style in this industry?
Never stop exploring till you get to dance on your own stage. Once you find your own ground, elevate it.
Currently, Adam’s collection can be described as “Filipino, Future, and Fluid.” Because of him, males can now wear terno in a much more fashionable way.
And honestly, with his talent, dedication, and passion, the future looks bright for Adam.