The path that got Adante Leyesa to where he is now had many detours, but it’s an encouraging tale that could be told again and again. He was a corporate citizen who taught himself how to design statement accessories like bags and earrings and though he tried to juggle both design and his day job, a series of triumphs in the field of fashion prompted him to pursue his passion and turn it into a lucrative career. A true artist, he finds inspiration from his experiences: meeting people, visiting places and spending time with nature.
“Nature is where color, texture, proportion, harmony, and symmetry meet,” he notes. Many of the handbags and accessories from the collection he is exhibiting in FAME+ use vibrant colors to oppose the bleak climate that has risen from the pandemic. The Reina bag, for example, derives inspiration from Iloilo’s colorful Dinagyang Festival. Like the rest of Leyesa’s creations, he embellishes its bamboo base with the semi-precious stones, beads, and shells, and comes in bold colors of blue, yellow, green, and orange—a conscious contrast against the collective mood of the last eight months. The Lastik necklace (based on childhood games like Chinese garter and 10-20) and the Circo (which draws on the wonder of the circus) try to revive innocence and childhood glee—yet another juxtaposition.
Leyesa was one of the brands who joined FAMph, a collaboration of fashion creatives established to help each other pivot and create a new normal for the industry during the uncertain times caused by the lockdown. Through FAMph, designers like Leyesa shifted their focus towards direct-to-consumer selling.
Leyesa has continued with his design philosophy since his debut in 2010: to defy any trend and to ensure that each piece invokes color, story, and soul. His style is distinct and his products are all created to be scene-stealing—like the pièce de résistance in one’s wardrobe. His commitment to be singular in his aesthetic assures his clients of a truly original piece. Transcending fleeting fads, his statement-making purses and jewelry are timeless testaments to Filipino skill and ingenuity.