It’s always a treat to come across someone with real style. You know, someone with a personal touch on dressing—a little tweak on a bag, a necklace she made herself, and a healthy appreciation for vintage and hand-me-downs—someone a lot like Stacy Rodriguez. Armed with a degree from Parsons School of Design and work experience from international fashion houses such as The Row and Badgley Mischka (“I broke my back,” she says jokingly as she recounts working on countless intricate beading patterns), and now making a comeback to Manila’s fashion scene as the full-time designer of her recently-launched namesake label, Eustacia, Stacy is someone we definitely need to keep tabs on.
“I just moved back, so I’m getting used to living in a big space again,” she answers as I ask her how it feels to be home once more. She leads me into her tastefully decorated boudoir, filled with art, knickknacks from all over the world, and a number of her own creations. It’s practically a bird’s eye view of her personal style—playful, eclectic, and with a dose of the nonchalance of a cool girl. Her wardrobe is aplenty of interesting prints and textures, and boasts of a notable collection of designer bags and shoes, which she claims she’s purchased mostly from her travels and at sample sales back in New York. “I could never buy designer here, it’s too expensive,” she laments, to which I nod my head in agreement and reply “It’s because of taxes.”
Apart from that, she’s found a new obsession for activewear, which accompanies her newfound love for Electric Studio’s spinning classes. Fitness and fashion do come hand-in-hand, and Stacy loves her pair of Nikes as much as her next pair of Dries Van Notens. Don’t believe me? See for yourself in the photos and from my one-on-one with the designer below.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
I just launched my [fashion] line so that’s keeping me real busy. Please go check out Shop Eustacia. If I’m not busy with that, you can probably find me spinning in Electric Studio or catching up with my friends and family. I was away for three years and just moved back to Manila six months ago.
Describe your approach to style
Laidback and personal.
Do you have any style rules you follow?
Balance it all out always.
What are your shopping habits?
[They’re] completely organic. It has to happen naturally because otherwise I hate shopping. Haha!
What was the last best thing you bought? How about the worst—something you regret buying?
These days all I shop for are athletic wear. I love the fitness selection at Shop LCP.
Which brand is your latest discovery?
This Brazilian athletic brand called Track and Field—they have the best workout pants!
What item of clothing do you invest in? How about clothes you scrimp on?
I believe in fast fashion for trendy items but [I think you should] spend on stand-out pieces and leather goods. Once you’ve invested in good shoes it’s hard to go back!
Who are your favorite local and international designers? Any go-to labels?
Locally, I love Martin Bautista’s work for evening wear and Vivien Ramsey for everyday wear. I’m also a big fan of Pepito Albert. For foreign brands, my favorites are Dries Van Noten and Prada.
Who is in your fashion black book?
A lady never kisses and tells.
Who are your style inspirations?
My mom and my brother Junie—they are the standard always.
What’s the best style advice you’ve ever received from your mother?
Hydrate, moisturize, and be yourself.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
A crazy night out!
If you had a signature styling trick, what would it be?
I never wear anything the way it came. I always change it up—wear a top backwards, wear a dress as a top; things like that.
What is one ultimate style tip you can share?
No no to matchy-matchy.
Opening Ceremony, Oak, Love Adorned, Bleach Catastrophe (Ed’s note: Bleach Catastrophe closed years go and Bleach is on break)
Favorite vacation spot?
Our family vacation home called Ginger Hill.
Favorite dish and restaurant?
My favorite spot in Manila is 12/10.
Favorite person on Instagram?
Favorite person, period?
Hard to play favorites when [you’re] surrounded by so many people!
Photos by Paolo Tabuena