Willar Mateo is the remarkable creative behind Philippine based brand Salad Day. Known for it’s super cute n Kawaii designs, SD clothing is certainly made to make you stare!
In this week’s spotlight Mateo gives us an insight into how he landed in the fashion world (completely unplanned)and how he discovered his passion for abstract lines and cut material.
Describe the general process you go through to conceptualise and design a garment.
From my past collections (Lisa Punk, Space Babe, & Martian Child), I always start with a strong character that I day dream about on my bed. From that point, I meticulously study their behavior, point of view, what they like, what they do, etc. I list them down to put the idea together. If I think that the idea is strong enough to tell a story, I sketch it, next I do some fabric manipulation for draft, and finally some technique study for the collection.
When did you realise your desire to become involved in the fashion industry?
I never thought that I would be involved in this industry lol! I just wanted to do what I love for a living. However, having this gift makes me think ‘Oh yeah! I’m qualified to be in fashion.’ and I’ve always had a passion for making garments. The more passionate you are about something, the easier it is to love what you are doing.
What elements do you believe make your designs unique?
My work challenges the perception of cute and Kawaii and it really excites me when I discover new things to incorporate into my designs. I also love using abstract lines and cutting pieces in my clothing.
How would you define the Salad Day style?
It’s a celebration of youth who endeavor to be FUNand chic. The Salad Day style is all about “I don’t care if people stare” and feeling forever young no matter what your age you are.
“The Salad Day style is all about ”I don’t care if people stare”
Who are some of your favourite brands / designers and why?
Tomoyo Daidouji, from card captor sakura. I thrive off the passion she has for making costumes for her friend to fight the clow cards. I really like this show and it was a big part of my childhood!
From personal experience, where are the best places to gain fashion / design skill, knowledge and understanding?
I have never traveled to another country, but one of the best things you can do is wear your own designs. This will help you look at customer reactions, allowing you to consider what works and what needs to be improved in your design work. This is one of the simpler ways to increase your knowledge, which will hopefully lead to excellency!
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Faith without action is dead. Don’t be a lazy cat!