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FACETS: ORIAS

Navigating the Intersection of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Filipino Heritage in Fashion


In a world dominated by fast-paced trends and fleeting fads, ORIAS emerges as a beacon of purposeful creation, blending quiet luxury with sustainable practices. We had the privilege of sitting down with Vin Orias, the visionary behind this progressive slow-fashion brand, to delve into the inspiration, challenges, and aspirations that have shaped the unique narrative of ORIAS.


Can you share with us the inspiration behind the creation of ORIAS? What motivated you to start a quiet luxury, progressive, and slow-fashion brand?


The approach is actually entrepreneurial; given my background as an industrial engineering and rich experience in several design and business incubation programs in my 20’s (not discounting the multiple rejections I’ve experienced in between) I was able to identify a problem in our community / space – it is the lack of the business know-how of running a Fashion Brand.


When I came to realize that building a fashion brand takes time, effort, and huge amounts of money – I had to be realistic. I had to focus on my strengths as a creative and as an entrepreneur, with no proper funding and office to support my goals, I had to (literally) compartmentalize my career.


Taking it step-by-step, I registered my first business in 2012, opened a small factory of 4 machines then grew to 25 machines handling around 45 to 55 employees; learning the ropes in production and marketing, I realized that my strength is leaning towards story-telling. And in 2016, I gave birth to ORIAS with a pipeline goal to solve a very common problem (mistake) when getting-married-couples plans out their wedding, ie. when it is time to talk about the style and set that the groom will be wearing the common approach is always “Madali lang yan.” or “Mabilis lang yan.” which basically misses the point of ‘The Wedding Experience.’ I conceptualized a program that directly solves this problem and it was a hit! This special program for grooms become our cash cow!


In 2-3 years of promoting and streamlining this program, I was able to understand more about the beautiful art and craft of Tailoring plus I was able to reach a certain market that appreciates my work. But of course every designers goal is to have a fully realized brand that sells fashion products in retail form. On the side, I’ve been doing research and product development for my {future} retail line, sourcing local products, finding the right partners, traveling all over the metro to get connected with what the Filipino market is looking for.. with a stroke of destiny and after 2 years preparation (considering my production and financial capacity), I was able to test our “Hero Product” in 2019 – the iconic SOLIHIYA ROLLER BAG – at The Barracks by Artefino, it was a HIT! Our first batch sold out! Then came the pandemic, developments still on-going, slowly.. once the market opened in June 2020 – I fearlessly launched our retail line with additional bag styles at Frankie General Store in Power Plant Mall in Rockwell.


Imagine the grit, the non-stop development, the revelations, struggles and rejections in between, and what not.


I willingly embraced the pressure that most of my colleagues ignored.


The (transactional) experience I gained made what ORIAS stands for today – FILIPINO & GLOBAL



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Your brand is described as maintaining a balance of control, sophistication, sustainability, and circularity. How do these elements influence your design philosophy, and how do you incorporate them into your collections?


Working with these principles gives me and my team clarity in choosing the right silhouette, fabric, and construction techniques in building a collection; it has always been ‘Tailoring’ that inspire most of our work, it is our pivot-point.


Classic = Timeless.


By creating classic and quality pieces, I believe it supports sustainability and circularity.


ORIAS designs are said to speak both globally and locally. Could you elaborate on how you infuse Filipino design inventiveness into your creations while ensuring they resonate with a global audience?


Knowing your brand identity is a key element in how you want your audience to relate with your story; being ‘Filipino’ is essentially being global, Filipinos are everywhere, our culture is a mix of cultures, making a good sense of this makes it relatable. In our design process, we capitalize with our core strength which is Tailoring and we also infuse nostalgic texture or patterns like the Solihiya Weave - which most people correlates our brand with, especially in our ORIAS Essentials (retail) line.


I intentionally give a spotlight with the Solihiya Weave pattern for our bags and accessories pieces, for the last 3 years we have focused on growing the connection with the pattern, which I think became a success. Now we are slowly growing the imagery with this pattern in mind – patterns that gives you that sense of home, a sense of calm, a sense of confidence, a sense of identity. It is a continual exploration of the definition of that ‘Filipino Identity’.



Given the demands of today's metropolitan lifestyle, how does ORIAS cater to the needs and preferences of individuals living in fast-paced urban environments while maintaining a commitment to slow fashion?


It always a wise decision to choose wardrobe pieces that are flexible in styling, pieces that will also give you that extra confidence while wearing it. It is a basic formula of combining ‘High’ and ‘Low’ pieces, as Filipina fashion icon Heart Evangelista would always say.


A basic white shirt paired with a good jeans, leather shoes and a statement Filipino designer bag, cant go wrong with this.


The brand is known for keeping designs clean and straightforward. How do you strike a balance between simplicity and the desire for uniqueness and innovation in fashion?


This is the energy that our patrons reciprocate, it is the confidence that they wear when they carry our pieces. I personally call it ‘Quiet Luxury’, coined it since 2016.


Looking ahead, what is your vision for the future of ORIAS? Are there specific milestones or projects on the horizon that you are excited about?


YES! FLASGHIP STORE THIS 2024! Hopes up!


Plus we are also currently working on our F/W 2024!



For aspiring designers who may be inspired by your journey, what advice would you offer to those looking to make their mark in the fashion industry, particularly in the realm of slow fashion and sustainability?


Clarity in your intention; make sure that you are here for the long run, you are here because you want to create a safe space for your artisans, communities, technicians, and your team.


As for those who do not have proper funding, okay lang yan, law of attraction is real. Believe.


Do you have a favorite piece or collection that holds a special place in your heart? If so, what makes it stand out among the rest?


Aside from our iconic Solihiya Rollers, it is our PAMANA bag, a special collection exclusive for Power Plant Mall’s Rockwellist. It was a simple device, Victorian style frame with Solihiya as closure of the bag. Then thinking about it again, the word PAMANA is ‘Heritage’ in English – it is something that you pass on to the next generation. Indeed, a eureka moment.


Are there any collaborations or influencers that have played a significant role in shaping the identity of ORIAS? How do these partnerships contribute to the brand's evolution?


Very much!


In the digital space, our first influencer collab is with David Guison’s - his influence gave us a new pulse beat for our brand, we learned a lot in identifying what the market wants, what an specific audience relates to, how they react and what they sort of feel. Our sensibility as a brand grew significantly because of these collaboration with influencers.


Meanwhile, our active collaborations with local artisans and communities keeps us on the ground; the raw reality / condition is so far from what we see in posts on Insta. Given this reality, we try to bridge the gap by sharing this experience with our colleagues and clients; by always opening this conversation, we will have a shared consciousness on how to contribute for the advancement of our industry.




Profile photos  by Shaira Luna.

Runway photos by @_marcdemesa

Product photos - on us : https://orias.ph

1 Comment


starfish07
Dec 18, 2023

The first time I saw Orias bags, I was instantly captivated. As a collector of luxury bags, I appreciate both style and uniqueness, qualities that Orias bags embody, aligning them with the finest in luxury brands. Without hesitation, I placed an order to be shipped directly to me in Los Angeles, California.

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