Interview: Gino de la Paz
Photography: Mark Nicdao
HARLAN + HOLDEN, known for tailored women’s clothes that work from weekday to weekend, has unveiled B.C., a collection composed of 15 timeless essentials. From shirtdresses and trousers to pleated skirts and cowl-neck tops, B.C. is Harlan + Holden “stripped to the core.”
While she admits that the bags and necklaces she fashions aren’t very subtle, Bea Valdes tends to gravitate towards simplicity when it comes to her everyday clothing. That Harlan + Holden has asked her to be the face of B.C. comes as no surprise, given her pared back approach to dressing is just what the capsule wardrobe is all about.
You’ve become known as a muse to a lot of people in the fashion industry. Is that something you’re comfortable with?
I don’t think about it too much. I know I’m close to Inno [Sotto], but that’s mostly because I grew up with him. I have two kids and we’re pretty busy, so there isn’t really time to think about that. I’m just trying to get to the next thing.
Was it difficult to go from designing spaces to designing fashion accessories?
My background is in industrial design, which is more systems design than fashion design. I think that gives me more play because I look at something in terms of the structure and not necessarily that it’s a bag, a shoe, or a dress. I look at it from a construction point of view.
You now appear in the campaign for Harlan + Holden’s BC line. How did that come about?
They showed my sister Marga [Valdes-Trinidad] the pieces and she told us about the philosophy. That’s what appealed to us very much. The pieces were easy and could go from day to night. At the same time, the material was really nice.
Did you start mentally bookmarking items that you wanted?
I wanted everything because they all were really so easy, and you can wear them anywhere.
What do you hope to teach your children about personal style?
My kids are very young and at this point, I’m just trying to teach them hygiene. If I get through that hurdle, it’s a big one already.