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Proud Cebuana: Kate Torralba
Kate Torralba Designs was founded in 2002. Since then, the Kate Torralba label has represented flattering, feel-good clothing with character and a sense of humor. Kate Torralba’s designs have made their mark in the local fashion industry with a distinctive look that is demonstrated in colorful, interesting pieces with eye-catching details.
When she was growing up in Cebu, she admired the beautiful textiles and stylish clothes from her great-grandmother, who was a dressmaker, and her grandmother, owner of a Cebu boutique. She first started making clothes when she was in college and she realized she had to be more resourceful since she could not keep buying all the new outfits she wanted.
She had the help of her family seamstress when she started coming up with her own colorful outfits. These were soon noticed by her relatives and friends, so Kate began making clothes for them too. She worked in a vacant apartment in her family’s compound with a staff consisting of three people and made party outfits, kids’ clothes, and uniforms. She used her earnings to shop for her own wardrobe and occasionally used some pieces that did not get sold.
Kate went to Metro Manila and worked as a senator’s media relations officer but continued in the clothes business by making bags from cloth trimmings of designer tops. At a 2002 fashion event, she met prominent fashionista Tim Yap, who introduced her to his friends as a designer, although at the time, she thought of her fashions as merely a hobby rather than a career. A few months later, Kate was introduced to Virgie Ramos of Gift Gate, who included her in the Young Entrepreneurs Society Bazaar. While she developed her KT apparel line, she took short courses on fashion design from local fashion authority Jojie Lloren.
Kate Torralba designs clothes that uplift the spirit and represent a unique individual who is not afraid to use fashion as self-expression. She has made it a mission to empower the local community and make a difference in it by providing career and livelihood opportunities. She is not just devoted to design, however, since she also performs as a musician.
The mother company of the Kate Torralba fashion brand, Kate Torralba Holdings Inc., produces made-to-measure clothing, KT prêt-a-porter clothing and accessories, Kate Torralba for Paperdolls (available at select SM department stores), Leg Love: Kate Torralba for City Lady Stockings (available at select SM department stores and Watson’s), and the KT Mini-Me line for children.
To get in contact with the designer, you can call +63 917 500 1229 or you can view her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/KTdesigns