Entrepreneur turns ‘ukay’ items into trendy ensembles

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By KC Santos

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA -For Janina “Jaja” Saspa, being edgy when it comes to fashion is not about wearing the most expensive brands but having the right attitude.

“I want to cater to people who seek a less conventional style without having to spend a fortune,” says Jaja, who sells clothes through her online store Monstercloset.

It was last year when the 21-year old BS Clothing Technology major student from  University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman put to good use her knack for thrift store shopping and her eclectic fashion sense.

Janina often banks on her unique skills of revamping clothes into one-of-a-kind ensembles that never get outdated.  “The fashion now is basically a comeback of what was trendy decades ago. I guess I just wanted to give others the chance to appreciate the fashion of that certain period,” she says.

She personally designs and handcraft accessories as head turning accent pieces to go with the clothes she sells.  Jaja relies on her gut feel when it comes to figuring out what people her age would find attractive and unique in clothes. She puts on every item herself before putting it up for sale.

She often visits ukay-ukay shops all over the city looking for something to add to her collection.  From time to time, she changes her collections’ theme, from Bohemian to “seasonal” fashion.

Jaja incorporates her own style in the items she sells like printing patterns on resin or braiding retaso straps as pendants. She prices her items, usually 250 pesos or a few hundreds more – based on the fabric and the level or “re-work” done.

“That’s what makes upcycled clothes exciting to wear because it’s not easily pulled off by everyone,” she says. “Clothing is a basic necessity but we must also remember that it allows a person to standout from the crowd.”

Get more information about Monstercloset
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