How Designer Jerome Lorico Is Reinventing the Fashion Wheel in His Own Way

Studio Lorico, the designer's creative space, will be a seasonal one.
IMAGE Studio Lorico

After 11 years in fashion, Jerome Lorico has figured out how to make the whole process fit his ideology. His first move? Making his design space a seasonal one. The concept is something that even the world's biggest brands have adopted, but it's something kind of unheard of in these parts. With all these changes, however, a few crucial things have remained the same: Lorico's talent for innovating and the tough aesthetic that's built his brand.

We caught up with the designer to talk about his latest collection, what's in store for his new studio, and designing with both sustainability and fluidity in mind.

ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES: What's the concept behind Studio Lorico?

JEROME LORICO: Studio Lorico is the embodiment of all the things that I’ve absorbed and learned from different industries like art, fashion, and accessories. It is an incubator of ideas and products that are inspired by modern and timely urban phenomena, cultural shifts, and global influences.


ESQ: It was mentioned that you were doing some sort of a seasonal studio? Can you tell us about that?

JL: We know that this is a little bit unheard of here but we’re hoping that people would be more receptive about the idea soon. Right now, we are looking at August and January to be our hibernation months. This is enough to reset and inspire our brand to do better and to listen to new things happening around us.

Photo by Studio Lorico.

ESQ: Why did you decide on doing a seasonal studio? Is this your response to such a fast-paced industry?

JL: One of the major issues that we face now—not just in the fashion industry but in any industry concerning products—is overproduction. This fast cycle causes a lot of excess, which leads to physical and even psychological trash. The stress caused by an actual material goes way beyond the space that it takes, for example, in the corner of your room or in a big storage facility or dumpsite. We want to combat this linear kind of process by educating our market about products that were ethically sourced and envisioned to have an ethical life span.

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This idea and mission can only be achieved if we start in our own studio. Producing limited pieces that use upcycled, recyclable, and sustainable materials slowly curve the line into a circle type of economy. By having a period where we “hibernate” to discover new materials, concepts, and ideas that can benefit both our world and our brand, we actually promote products that are more aware of our current generation, our responsibilities, and the future that we are looking forward to.

Photo by Studio Lorico.
Photo by Studio Lorico.

ESQ: What do you plan to do with the studio during the months it's closed?

JL: The space will be open for collaborations of the brand with other brands that represent and reflect the aesthetic and the idea of Lorico. When we were designing the studio, we wanted the feel of an empty shell. Like a blank canvas that you can use for different projects. The space used to be a pawnshop and we had to strip the whole surface to achieve a Brutalist feel. It is modern, naked, minimal, and yet very conducive for new concepts.

ESQ: How would you describe your latest collection?

JL: This collection is a return to the genesis of my aesthetic as a creative. I want to go back to that time when I didn’t know how to make clothes and I only relied on instinct and my own ideas. Basically, I want the launching collection to be a reintroduction of the brand and my vision. I don’t want to create clothes that will overpower the process that I am following right now.

Photo by Studio Lorico.

ESQ: Was there something specific you wanted to imbue with it?

JL: A lot of the materials that we used for the collection are damaged, rejected, or recycled. We wanted to create something meaningful from things that were considered to be unwanted. The process was almost transcendental for us; creating something from almost nothing and delivering a message in the end.

There were also a lot of binary oppositions going on between the pieces in the collection. From opaque and almost see-through materials, tech fabrics against the natural cotton, and raw surfaces combined with glossy ones. This, in a way, is what our brand is all about. We are passionate about understanding conflicts, the idea of ruin while trying to birth a completely new product that is both well thought of and relatable.

ESQ: How did you arrive at the look you came up with for your latest collection? Did it come from a place that inspired you?

JL: There is a piece in the collection that looks like a utilitarian vest but is actually a floating device. Growing up, I had this fear of water that prevented me from learning how to swim. [Using] this very personal experience, I was able to connect my narrative to the collection. Its this primal fear that actually gave me a bit of direction for this seasonhuman emotions, its fluidity, influence, and power in an environment that is urban, unsettling, and stark.

Photo by Studio Lorico .

ESQ: How would you describe the man you’re designing for?

JL: I consider my clothes to be fluid so it doesn’t really matter who wears the pieces. You can be a girl and wear the pants or a guy and wear the corseted gilet. I hope that people who want to deviate from the monotonous quality of life would wear my clothes. I detest uniform and anything that promotes routine. I believe people are more interesting when they are more aware of themselves, of the products that they use, and the idea that they choose to consume.

ESQ: What projects are next for you?

JL: Our brand is a small unit inside the local fashion industry. And part of our mission is to keep promoting what we do, our culture, and the kind of craftsmanship that we have as a Filipino brand. This is the primary reason why we aspire to collaborate with other artisans and brands to come up with propositions that will keep our industry inspired and thinking. Our series of Hibernation Projects will explore this concept by making sure we open our doors to the energy of the current trends, culture, and movements.

Photo by Studio Lorico.

235 Cattleya Building, Salcedo Street, Legazpi Village, Makati

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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