I left my corporate fashion job in New York City at the height of promise for my career. Everyone I knew thought I was crazy for leaving, and in fairness, rightly so. My decision simply didn’t make sense to common logic and yet, it was a choice I felt called to make.

You see, working for top luxury fashion brands had given me an exclusive glimpse at what really went on behind the scenes. The elusive editorial world that bustles behind the pages of Vogue. And while to the consumer, the surface looked effortlessly flawless, the core was anything but.

Not always, but sometimes (and I am finding that sometimes is enough to do damage), the fashion industry capitalizes on the insecurities of women. Why? The straight answer is that if you can get a woman to truly believe that her worth will be realized in buying an $800 pair of Manolo Blahniks, then she will buy it. Famous fashionista Carrie Bradshaw once said, “When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.” I used to chuckle and nod at that sentiment as I too, sat in my Upper East Side apartment surrounded by too many expensive shoes eating Ramen noodles. Fast forward a few years and I don’t think it’s so cute anymore.

When a woman shops, we assume she’s purely seeking to purchase a top or dress, or whatever particle of clothing. Wrong. She is seeking to be Affirmed. Seen. Validated. Whether consciously or subconsciously, I am finding as I study and speak to women of all walks of life that this is true. The innate human desire is to be known and found to be beautiful. This is why the Art of Dress is so precious; it provides an intimate opportunity for a woman to convey her message to the world without even uttering a word.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner with SM Aura and other incredible brands here in Manila to stand as one unit sharing this message of empowerment. We recently had an event where I broke down how to logistically achieve empowered style and confidence, no matter what your budget or body type; it was about style for ALL! With my brand partners, we were able to educate and inspire a crowd of women longing to understand self-love in a world that often preaches that they are not enough. From topics like sharing your message, shopping on a budget, and dressing for your body to fun contests, activities, and giveaways that reinforced everyday techniques and takeaways, we covered it all!

And this is just the beginning. I am hopeful as I stand at the forefront a generation ready and excited for positive change. I left the corporate fashion industry not because I am through with fashion. No, no. It is for my love for style that I have chosen to make it my personal mission to reclaim the heart of the matter. Through my consultancy, speaking, and styling projects, my goal is to empower women to feel excited about getting dressed in the morning. To honor their body type instead of trying to fit into impossible standards and unrealistic expectations.

To be free to be themselves. Perfectly Imperfect. Fearfully and wonderfully made.

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A special THANK YOU to my amazing partners!

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For any booking inquiries, please contact Business Works: aguila.monica@businessworks.com.ph.

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