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Bea Constantino Hopes To Sustain Local Heritage And Culture Through Her Clothing Brand

It took a certain amount of ennui to get stylist Bea Constantino to rethink the path she was on. She had a thriving 13-year career in fashion that took her to many interesting places, meeting diverse personalities. But amidst the fabulous, fast-paced, and glamorous world of fashion, she lost herself. And as she was waiting for inspiration to come, she decided to go back to her hometown in Zamboanga City and Sulu. “I don’t think it’s random that I was born into an indigenous community with such a colorful heritage and I’m in the fashion styling business,” she says thoughtfully. Wanting to marry both influences of which she’s proud of, Bea realized she wanted to do something with the different kinds of local fabric she discovered during her visit.

 

Zara dress

 

A strong desire to tell the story of her Mindanaoan heritage gave her the impetus to start Herman & Co., a clothing line that uses woven fabrics made by the indigenous women of the South. Her personal relationships with the indigenous people she met and interacted with help her create pieces that are thoughtful and considerate of local traditions, customs, and beliefs. For her, Herman & Co. is a channel that bridges the gap between Manila and Mindanao, and even the rest of the world.

 

 

“Mindanao has such a beautiful culture. [I want people] to really appreciate the story that comes with the pieces, of the weave, or of whoever or whichever community the weave came from,” she explains. She wants her customers to know that each weave “was done with a lot of love, and to not disrespect that fabric.” Her ultimate goal of being a medium for indigenous people to tell their story goes beyond geography. With each piece of clothing labeled Herman & Co., Bea is able to sustain local heritage and culture through what she loves best.

 

Photography by Cyrus Panganiban for Metro magazine

Styling by John Karunungan and Hillary Lee of Styledit group

Make up by Epo Sindayen

Hair by Russel Gonzaga for Aveda

Shot on Location at Makati Garden Club

 

This article originally appeared in Metro Magazine, Women of Now 2018 issue with Heart Evangelista-Escudero on the cover.