Robin Tomas brings New York fashion design to Manila

IMAGE Nerisa Almo

“It’s a fun collection, it’s sophisticated, easy to wear especially for the Philippine weather, and still give that statement,” says New York-based Pinoy designer Robin Tomas about the clothes he designed for a local clothing brand.


After having his winning T-shirt at Bloomingdale’s in New York, Filipino designer Robin Tomas is now making an impact on young Filipinos by designing clothes for a local brand.

The New York-based Pinoy designer was tapped by local clothing brand Penshoppe to create T-shirts for its primary market, the trendy Pinoy youth.

His creations were featured at the Penshoppe fashion show called “Impact” during the Philippine Fashion Week held last weekend.

“The biggest focal point of the collection is the winning T-shirt that was featured in Bloomingdale, New York, which is the layered T-shirt,” said Robin about his designs in a short chat with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other media before the show last Saturday, May 26, at SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia complex, Pasay City.

Robin, who is the son of actress Tessie Tomas, joined and won the Best Reinvention of the Men’s T-shirt at the Supima Design Competition early last year. His winning piece, a V-neck layered tonal tee cotton knit, was then launched at Bloomingdale’s flagship department store in New York.

Like this piece, Robin said his designs for the local brand would have the similar idea that’s perfect for Pinoys.

“I wanna bring a part of New York here in the Philippines,” he said.

“It’s a fun collection, it’s sophisticated, easy to wear especially for the Philippine weather, and still give that statement.

“You know, I have a lot of graphic T-shirt as well, mostly like New York graphic T-shirt.”

Robin, who is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, thought about “sophistication" while working on the featured shirts.

“I like to design for confident men and women.

“With the Penshoppe collection, I wanted to imbibe that. At the same time, speak to the right market.

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“I was able to instill my design aesthetic and, at the same time, know who I’m selling the product to.

“I’m aware who the Penshoppe girl and boy is, they’re always on the go, they’re young, and they’re always on trend. So, I kinda melted that with this collection.”

Robin’s designs, according to Penshoppe’s brand manager Alex Mendoza, were so in demand that they already ran out of stock before these were formally introduced to the public.


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