New York Made Me
Metro editors, EIC Geolette Esguerra, Executive Editor Kat Cruz-Villanueva, and Editor-at-Large Sarah Meier reflect on the impact of New York City in their lives and their work. From dreaming to aspiring, to being whole; the city continues to inspire them to be at their best.
Metro Magazine Editor-at-Large
1. What makes NYC different from all the other cities you've traveled to? What’s your favorite activity to do there?
I’ve always said it’s a “Choose Your Own Adventure” kind of city that has a palpable energy about it. No two days in New York are ever quite alike. My favorite thing to do is people watch on public transportation — I’m always inspired to write or create afterwards.
2. How is NYC different or alike to Manila when it comes to daily living and fashion sensibilities?
NYC is a judgment free city where even the most radical self-expression is regarded as “normal” — while Manila still leans towards safe choices, I believe there’s a similar creative spirit that binds both cities.
3. Why is perfume important to you? Who taught you or influenced you to like it?
Whenever I think of my grandmother, the distinct smell of her perfume is often what I remember most. She gave me my first tiny vial. The ability that smell has to define a time and place is powerful. It’s a storyteller in its own right.
4. What kind of perfumes do you like and how does it help change or enhance how you feel during the day?
I find I’m continually evolving and playing with perfumes to either complement my existing mood or deliver me to a different place. Some days I’m partial to florals or woody undertones, other days it’s fresh cut grass and citrus.
5. Complete the statement, "New York made me ____" and elaborate why you chose that specific word to encapsulate how you feel about the city.
New York made me whole.
It pushed me to boundaries I didn’t know existed, taught me to live deliberately, be my best self, and provided the canvas for me to create the kind of life I’d always wanted for me and my family.
Metro Magazine Executive Editor
1.What was the most standout experience from your recent trip to NY?
The entirety of Fashion Week. I’ve been attending Paris Couture Week for a few seasons now, but NYFW just has a different vibe to it. It may be the people, or maybe the city itself, but the energy it brings is just infectious.
2. What do you love to do when you travel?
Apart from trying to catch fashion exhibits and visiting local stores, I enjoy walking around the city aimlessly, or sitting in a café to people watch. I find that you get to learn more about the place and its people by trying to immerse yourself and live like them even just for a few hours.
3. Where do you get your inspiration about fashion and styling?
Inspiration comes from everywhere: From the fashion runway to the street, from past decades to the present. But I think what feeds my inspiration most is the energy and personality of the person that I’m styling or working with.
4. What’s your favourite scent and why do you love smelling that way?
I’m more drawn to fresh, fruity scents. It gives me the extra boost I need to power through my often long days. A spritz instantly makes you feel refreshed.
5. Please complete the statement, "New York made me ______" in just one word and please elaborate why you chose that specific word.
Aspire. Seeing firsthand how a small city as New York can be such a melting pot of different people and cultures, there are still those who stand out. Individuals, in the midst of it all, who have found their distinct look, style, and voice, and we read about them even oceans away. It made me realize that I have to strive to be my own person, have my own identity and create my own brand if I want to make it big in the industry and ultimately, the world.
Metro Magazine Editor-in-Chief
1. What do you love most about New York? What are your favorite activities there?
I love the idea that anything can happen in New York City. From fashion shows in the Lincoln Center to book launches in the New York Public Library, to ragtime concerts in Time Square—it is a city of infinite possibilities. When I’m there, I love going from one borough to the other, exploring new stores and finding new ideas and trends to give me new perspective.
2. Complete the statement "New York made me ____" and elaborate why you chose that specific word to encapsulate how you feel.
New York made me dream. I’ve always wanted to live in New York City to become a novelist, and I realize that one need not be in its geographical proximity to make this reality come true; one can also imbibe the city’s energy and dynamism through its by-products. Music, cinema, literature, architecture, and most especially, fashion—the core of the city is expressed through these elements that are ready for the taking.
3. Have you always been into scents? How did you get into it? Who influenced you?
Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with the sensorial. Creating perfume is like making music as you combine different scents combining the top chord, bottom chord, and the core; harmonizing these elements to create an experience, or even a moment. My appreciation of scents began under the influence of my mother, who would never dare leave the house without perfume, and had an arsenal of scents that reflected her current worldview or mood.
4. What is your favorite or signature scent and why do you think it represents you the most?
I like the combination of woody florals and the richer tones of amber and sandalwood. I currently don’t have a signature scent but I have 8-10 scents in rotation depending on my persona for that day.
5. What do you look forward to the most on your next visit to NYC?
I look forward to more adventures and meeting up with friends who have made the city their home. I look forward to more unique experiences—whether escape rooms or sensorial performances—to further inspired in my work.
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