CREATIVITY, BEAUTY, PEACE
Lifestyle Asia|May 2021
ROSANNA OCAMPO knows that maintaining healthy relationships is crucial to what she does. “We treat each other like family. That's important in any workplace because you need the peace to create beautiful things,” she says.
KATHARINE ALAMARES

As a veteran in the fashion industry, it is natural for a designer’s style to evolve not only as times change but as life takes a major shift as well. Looking back to her 30 years in the business, Rosanna Ocampo-Rodriguez shares that her social life changed. As someone who likes meeting people and going places, it was a defining moment when she had to balance working full-time while spending time with her children.

This change bore the decision to create her first ready-to-wear label for her eponymous brand—a turning point in her career. “I'm more of a ‘dress up’ than ‘dress down’ and so I wanted to keep in line with that,” she explains. This paved the way for intricate tops and dresses, each still carrying her feminine and sensual aesthetic, reminiscent of sunny days and wanderlust.

The shift from classics to casual especially in the pandemic was a drastic change but she believes it to be necessary. “It was always a process of evolution because my style would really change depending on what point of my life I was in,” she says.

ADAPTING TO THE TIMES

In the beginnings of the pandemic, when face masks became urgent essentials, Ocampo-Rodriguez and her team instantly knew they can produce such and help people. They have all the materials but the problem lies in the lack of access.

“We belong inside a gated community,” she explains. With lockdowns in place, the atelier couldn’t mobilize and operate. “I had two of my staff who were willing to live with me here in my residential home. That’s how we did it for a while.”

The result of the first set of face masks remained in line with OcampoRodriguez’s brand. “We put all our heart into those masks. We made our usual hand embroidery, or applicator or hand techniques—it’s all in the masks,” she adds. From masks that marry textures and colors, the atelier moved to produce clothing fit for the people's needs in a pandemic.

Le Weekend was then born. Under this collection are Play for resort wear, Sport for activewear, and Le Bar, Ocampo-Rodriguez’s foray into furniture—bar cars that are made of the finest rattan. The idea came from the designer’s enthusiasm for enjoying a drink once in a while. “There's a market for this,” she says, “I was correct because the bar cars are still doing very well even until now.”

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