close

follow us on

ArteFino 2018: No One Does Maximalist Accessory Design Quite Like Farah Abu

For Farah Abu, the bigger, bolder, and brighter, the better—and with her talent and her brand's underlying message, it's hard not to agree!

 

 

READ: ArteFino 2018: Anya Lim Of Anthill Fabric Advocates Zero Waste Fashion—Watch Out For Their Collection Of Hand-Woven, Modern Filipina Basics

 

"I started making accessories as a hobby while I was studying architecture at the University of Santo Tomas and I completely fell in love with it. When I graduated, I decided not take the boards and just pursued accessory design. It wasn’t an easy choice knowing that I went against my parents’ wishes. I didn’t think how my future was going to be, but I was dead set that this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life," recalls Farah Abu, a now-acclaimed designer whose designs have made it to the Phoenix and Los Angeles Fashion Weeks.

As doubtful as she might have been during her fashion career's shakiest moments, Farah is now a proud participant at ArteFino 2018, a craft fair that chooses only the most deserving Filipino entrepreneurs whose businesses are anchored on promoting Philippine artistry. 

 

 

A post shared by Farah Abu (@farah_abu) on

 

READ: ArteFino 2018: Rosanna Ocampo, With Her Luxe RTW Tops, Creates Stories Through Color And Texture

 

Yet even amidst her personal successes, Farah's parents need not worry about being forgotten; her brand's name, while it may appear to simply be namesake, is actually a tribute to her father. The Tausug heritage that she inherited from him and his Muslim roots live on in her brand. Coming from a family of four girls, her father had no son to keep the family name alive. By choosing to include her last name in her internationally recognized brand and making the letter A her logo, Farah took on the responsibility of making sure her father's legacy would stand the test of time. 

When it comes to her mother, the few pieces of Muslim jewelry that she owned greatly influenced the Farah Abu aesthetic: confident, unhesitating, and meant to turn the woman wearing Farah Abu designs into the most beautiful creature ever beheld. 

 

 

A post shared by Farah Abu (@farah_abu) on

 

 

 

A post shared by Farah Abu (@farah_abu) on

 

READ: ArteFino 2018: Jor-El Espina Weaves The Story Of Culture

 

Combining her Muslim influences with her love for beautiful ocean life, vivid coral reefs, and her non-negotiable rule of making sure each and every one of her creations is of top quality, Farah has grown into her own, becoming a one-of-a-kind visionary in her industry. 

Years after her first attempts to break into the scene, she's now happily designing for clients in the Philippines, Singapore, Dubai, Paris, and across Canada, the US, and Australia. She's most loved for her statement earrings that go through a rigorous testing process to determine the optimal balance between maximalist design and wearability ("I am very particular with how our earrings sit and feel when worn, so all our hardware is custom-made to achieve a certain comfort and look," she says), but her bejeweled purses, necklaces, and wedding accessories for both bride and groom definitely come close to the top—but that's not all.

Most uniquely, Farah Abu's shoulder pieces, corsets, and body jewelry have been her ultimate trendsetters, her inimitable signature pieces. Not only do they showcase her boundless creativity, but of all the pieces that Farah creates, they arguably live up to her brand's mission the best: “to make things beautiful and make beautiful things."

 

 

A post shared by Farah Abu (@farah_abu) on

 

 

A post shared by Farah Abu (@farah_abu) on

 

 

READ: ArteFino 2018: All That Glitters' Amanda LuYm Is Passionate About Creating Jewels That Shine But Never Outshine The Wearer

 

Of course, to be able to achieve such expertly made pieces, materials and labor factor in, too—and Farah has never once thought of cutting corners when it comes to them.

The feathers, glass beads, cultured pearls, and semi-precious stones that adorn every Farah Abu product go through Farah's trained eye, while her artisans are also well-trained in the art of taking one's time to achieve a beautiful design, rather than a rushed product that looks only half-finished. (As a bonus, all of Farah's employees are from Mindanao, as it is her wish to give back to her hometown and live out the spiritual values instilled in her). 

 

 

A post shared by Farah Abu (@farah_abu) on

 

READ: ArteFino 2018: Anya Lim Of Anthill Fabric Advocates Zero Waste Fashion—Watch Out For Their Collection Of Hand-Woven, Modern Filipina Basics

 

Never failing to look back at her beginnings while being optimistic and well-prepared for what the future holds, Farah is without a doubt a fashion pillar in the making. 

Filipino in heart and spirit, yet global in perspective and in ambition, this woman is on her way to the top, a journey she'll be able to accomplish with both grace and ability. 

 

 

 

Video by Marie Francia, Marnie Giron, and Berwin Coroza 

Video editing by Berwin Coroza

Photos from @farah_abu