It’s strange how the Internet has made even the most obscure of personalities or brands accessible to even the most far-flung places. Take, for instance, the striking woman I am interviewing in the middle of Greenbelt 5 who, just the night before, gushed about the experience of riding a jeepney. “I am obsessed! My boyfriend and I were like, ‘We’re going to buy a jeepney and take it home with us!’”
Caroline Issa, a familiar face in street style blogs run by The Sartorialist, Garance Doré, and Tommy Ton, and has been profiled several times by the likes of Style.com, Business of Fashion, The Cut, and The Telegraph was flown from London to Manila by homegrown retail brand Harlan+Holden as a creative consultant.
Caroline is the type of fashion personality who is famous in certain circles. In 2012, Jenna Lyons tapped her to be the British ambassador for J.Crew, while luxury London-based brand L.K. Bennett collaborated with her in 2013 on a limited-edition line of women’s shoes. More recently, she released a line of clothing in partnership with Nordstrom. However, unless you follow these tight-knit #squads, it’s likely that you’ll miss her in a crowd of more flamboyant characters.
Luckily for her, though, the right people were paying attention. She first broke into the fashion industry 13 years ago by joining Tank, a biannual fashion and art magazine, as publisher and executive fashion director. She also handles clients like Tod’s, Hugo Boss, and Nordstrom as a creative consultant for Tank Form Creative Agency, and launched an online magazine called Because in 2009.
During her short three-day trip to Manila, we picked her brain on the local retail scene, Filipina style, and the future of shopping as we know it.