fashion magazine
The Uncommon Thread That Binds Earl Luigi
by YNA ANSAY
Illustrations by EARL LUIGI
Earl Luigi, a master of innovative craftsmanship, emerges into the Canadian spotlight. His widely anticipated graduation collection will debut on the runway, joining his 32 talented peers on April 3. In spite of hardships and struggle, his determination and dedication carried him through four years of hard work and sacrifice.

Luigi was encouraged to pursue the path of medicine, but he desired a career filled with creativity. There was an enjoyment found in dressing up and styling, so fashion became the chosen route. He decided, "If I'm going to sacrifice myself by going to school, struggling and suffering, I might as well do it on my own terms doing something I love and not what others expect of me." All those struggles and sacrifices paid off when he was the chosen winner of the Telio competition in February 2011. The following summer, he qualified as a semi finalist in the international Hand and Lock competition. This year, the Montreal Fashion Week committee selected Luigi to make a second appearance at Montreal Fashion Week, as one of the featured upcoming Canadian designers. His best works of the past and a sneak preview into his graduation collection were showcased to create hype with the future of Canadian fashion.

His collection, titled Llui, was inspired by travels to his homeland, the Philippines, and around Canada. He describes the overall theme as, "The uncommon thread - as an upcoming designer, the French couturier or even the hand dyer in India, we are all the same, part of the same circle and lifestyle. There's an uncommon thread that binds us together." The pieces incorporate a gestural energy defined as a "fearless statement maker." Natural textiles are manipulated in ways that are interesting and innovative, crafted for the artistic individual who appreciates the story in clothing. He states, "My woman is knowledgeable with lots of wisdom and these pieces are an extension of her visual voice."

Developing this collection has given Luigi the ultimate sense of accomplishment. He is finally graduating. "It's my pride and joy. I worked so hard and came so far independently. I found something beyond fashion, a victory against myself throughout all the difficult times." One of the greatest challenges of going through Kwantlen's intensive fashion design program is to truly understand the fashion business. A designer is required to do a great deal of research, execute ideas and validate the possibility of success. Although the work can be overwhelming, what was most fulfilling was the growth of skills and mentality. He reflects, "Who I was when I entered is different from who I am now. It really reveals to me that I can do anything if I truly put my mind, heart and passion to it. It's where I grew the most."

Open minded to opportunities available worldwide, Luigi aspires to start his career working with key fashion labels, continuously growing so he can launch his own label. His internship with Kersh and Press along with an education has given him the backbone to all of his accomplishments so far. This talented rising star has the potential to have a strong influence on the fashion industry.

Earl Luigi's collection will be featured among 32 talented designers in "The Show" by Kwantlen Polytechnic University, taking place on April 3 at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond, BC. To buy tickets or for more information, please visit: www.kwantlen.ca/theshow.

For more information on Kwantlen Polytechnic University's fashion design program, please visit: www.kwantlen.ca/fashion/. To contact Earl Luigi, email him at: earlluigi@hotmail.com.