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Manila, Philippines

Jacqueline Mones: Finding Her Métier In Fashion

Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Mones

The stellar always prevails when one directs remarkable vigor towards a dream worth chasing.

US-based and Filipino-born futuristic fashion designer, Jacqueline Mones, has been making exceptional rounds across the fashion industry as she makes a rise to prominence with her fashion brand, Jacquelabel.

Established in 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts, Jacquelabel presents textile innovation and futuristic fashion.

In an exclusive interview with the designer and founder, Jacqueline Mones shared how the remarkable story of this high fashion brand unfolded: her early beginnings and struggles to get into the industry, her biggest influences, what ignited her to carry on a movement of producing fashion pieces that speak of futuristic and wearable fashion, and more about her dreams for the brand and the industry.

While it has always been her dream to pursue a career in fashion, growing up in the central plain of Luzon, where limited schools and universities offer a course in such field, Jacqueline shared that her parents ended up deciding for her to pursue a degree in Political Science. After three years in college, she migrated to the US with her family, to which she was impelled to get multiple jobs to acquire enough funding for enrollment in a fashion and art school.

“So before enrolling in fashion design, my parents were against me going to art and design school. They have the preconception that there is no money in art and design like any other people do. So I told them they don't have to help me financially in college anymore.
So I worked three jobs. I have a full-time job working as a store employee in the morning from 8am-4:30pm then I go to my restaurant job cleaning tables from 5pm-10pm/12am, depends on the manager how early or how late he wanna send me home, and on weekends I work on another retail store, working as a cashier and arranging store shelves.
So for those two years, I earned enough money to send myself to school, pay for rent, utilities, and food,” Jacquline shares.
Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Mones

Jacqueline got into the Massachusetts College of Arts and Design, where she received numerous scholarship awards from various fashion competitions. In May 2021, she graduated with honors and got selected by the Council of Fashion Designers in America (CFDA) for the annual graduate fashion showcase, RUNWAY360, a digital platform shaped to support designers by spotlighting 50 selected artists to showcase their unique collections worldwide. This is where the early stages of Mones’ flourishing career made its stirring evolution as she proudly presented her thesis collection at the said event.

“In school, I like learning subjects that are not usually related to fashion. I like laser cutting and 3D-2D Designing, which I think will help me grow as a designer, which I also incorporated in my thesis collection,” she shares.

Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Mones

Mones’ thesis collection, Phantasia, features a blend of “fairy-like” and “futuristic” pieces, inspired by two main ideas: her mom’s favorite flower, orchid, and her love for TV shows, Totally Spies and Winx Club.

Today, Mones operates her own fashion brand, Jacquelabel. In six months since the brand’s inception, Jacquelabel flourished and made its distinctive mark in the industry — from notable features in various fashion magazines such as Vogue, Nylon Korea, and Beijing Youth Weekly to dressing significant icons in the industry, including Chinese actress Jiang Xin, and Italian-American model Julia Foxx.

While it may be seemingly evident that Mones appear to be in the early stages of her budding career in the fashion industry, the artist is deemed to be upright with the kind of narrative she aims to reflect through her pieces:

“I want people to see that there is more to fashion than just ready-to-wear and evening gowns. You can get creative and create something out of the ordinary, and that’s still fashion,” Mones reckons.

With all the success, achievements, and recognitions brought by her dent in making such fashionable artistic pieces, Mones’ journey into finding her metier in fashion has been one arduous yet striking runway.

“Getting into fashion design means I have to work for it, challenge myself to balance school, work, and life, and be the person I will be proud of.
I think the biggest takeaway I could get from this experience is that sometimes you have to take risks and focus on your goal.”


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