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#MyPrideInFashion: Content Creator Gabbie Mariano Says Fashion Is What You Make Of It

Amidst the multitude of voices on social media telling you the must-haves of the season, Gabbie Mariano emphasizes intentional fashion

Metro.Style’s ‘My Pride in Fashion’ is a special series of profiles for Pride Month. We interview people from the Philippines’ LGBTQ+ community and see how they wear their pride on their sleeves, and how fashion is indeed a medium of their self-expression.

The desire to bathe oneself in the glamour of luxury fashion houses is a fantasy known to many, but only indulged in by a select few. Gabbie Mariano thrives in such a dream; the 27-year-old content creator is making waves on Tiktok for his stylish looks and take on luxury fashion. Together with Gabbie, we aim to find one’s own sense of style amidst the monograms and prints of luxury fashion brands.

In many of Gabbie’s videos, he can be seen sharing his love for the hottest luxury pieces. Even mixing up his style from being vintage-inspired with Hermès head-to-toe, to a preppy schoolboy aesthetic with Dries Van Noten. His desire to play around with the confines of menswear started at a young age, with the content creator always having viewed clothing as genderless, “All that truly mattered was if I felt comfortable and confident in what I was wearing. This is exactly what taking pride in fashion means to me.”

This safety of dressing up transcending the gender binary was paralleled by his budding love for the fashion giants that began at Louis Vuitton in Greenbelt when he was just 10 years old. From Takashi Murakami’s ‘Monogramouflage,’ Gabbie’s collection has since expanded beyond his first luxury item, a simple passport holder.

Being a social media influencer calls for a certain agility and precision in navigating not just your schedule, but also yourself. It’s an art, really, to be able to blend the perfect mix of being quick to catch on to the trend while also staying faithful to who you are. Despite the noise of such a fast-paced lifestyle, Gabbie Mariano manages to create a well-versed harmony in style.

My Pride in Fashion: Gabbie Mariano | Art by Raff Colmenar

Knowing Thyself

When asked about finding your own fashion identity, Gabbie emphasizes the importance of knowing yourself first. In understanding what works for you and makes you feel the most confident, the world’s hums simply fade away into obscurity until you’re left with your most quintessential, sartorial self. For Gabbie, it’s all about quiet luxury—being proud of who he is doesn’t have to mean overdoing it. He recognizes himself enough to know how to convey his comfort in his identity and sexuality, and for the influencer it’s in the brilliance and premier styling of luxury brands. 

In fact, he even recognizes the excellence of the Filipino, by uplifting local brands on his platform that match the caliber of the international fashion houses, “Carl Jan Cruz is one of my absolute favorites. Quality-wise, his denim is at par with some of the top luxury fashion brands. He also has such innovative designs that are reflective of contemporary Filipino culture. For suiting, I love Fort & Tailler. They fuse the best of European luxury fabrics with the expertise of local tailoring.”

Sometimes, being your best self involves taking a break. For Gabbie, it’s a day off from his phone catching up with a friend over a good meal and an iced oat latte. It’s easy to get lost in the push-and-pull of likes and comments, and getting whisked away by the heat of the moment—in fact, the social media influencer agrees that sometimes, trends do aid in the self-discovery of one’s visual identity. But putting your phone on Do Not Disturb has its perks sometimes, especially in getting to know who you are and what it is you want to portray, “While having an appreciation for other people’s styles is great, it’s also essential to understand that everything is subjective.”

Gabbie Mariano in a Benjamin Barker suit

Of Individuality and Identity

Viewing everything through your own lens allows fashion to become this deeply intimate character that aids in self and gender expression. One’s wardrobe becomes a visual language to express themselves, “A celebration of our individuality and gender identity” as Gabbie puts it. For him, that celebration finds itself in classic, androgynous silhouettes modernized through patterns, materials or accessories.

The articulation of the self through clothing is something that is well recognized with Gabbie, in his TikToks he often showcases the thought process behind putting an outfit together. In sharing his sartorial identity with the world, he wants to make a point about how fashion has evolved over time, “While it was once used as a means to reinforce gender norms, now it is used to redefine those very same stereotypes.”

Gabbie Mariano's street style in Korea

Safe Spaces, Online and Off

His cognizance of fulfillment in fashion by virtue of going against the grain of expectations puts him in the unique position to create a safe space for his viewers. He makes it a point to take pride in his identity through a multitude of ways, from his style choices, to photography and even interiors, “I think we truly celebrate pride when we ourselves become safe spaces of inclusivity and encouragement for others. Be it in our workplaces, social circles, or the communities we’re a part of online.” Because despite the world whizzing past, it’s never wrong to stop and take a stand for the things that matter most.

His place in the fashion industry draws confidence from the likes of Elton John, whose sartorial choices push the boundaries of menswear, “He consistently uses his style to uniquely reflect his personality—unapologetically, which I find most inspiring.” Unlike the singer’s flamboyance though, he rests on the subtlety of style because it’s not what defines him; rather it’s the reverse, “I use it as a tool for self and gender expression.” The composure and poise that Gabbie presents himself with in spite of the haste of the world is one of his most admirable traits, and keeps viewers coming back. This self-assurance and confidence inspires an unapologetic spirit, a sense of pride that comes from intimate individuality. To Gabbie, clothes are just that—it’s up to you to build a story, because “there’s beauty in simplicity and having a good eye for fashion.”

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