ABOUT

Filipina-born designer, beauty & fashion entrepreneur  
Ima Caryl Cruz launched her brand Signature by Ima Caryl (Ima Caryl London)  in January 2015 with her first line of pieces and other exclusive prints and pieces.

Ima Caryl’s products are available at www.imacaryl.com and 2 more upcoming stores.

OWNER – IMA CARYL CRUZ

Ima Caryl is the owner, designer and the driving force behind Ima Caryl London who is currently living in London, UK with a finished course of Fashion Design & Business. From here, she pursued her love in fashion & arts and created Signature by Ima Caryl

When Ima Caryl collected her fashion design & business diplomas, she stepped into the real world with the same question that plagues creatives of all hell: “What now?”

Fashion School Chelsea and Kensington College taught her about pattern grading, sewing, designing, drawing, illustrating and draping. From inspirations to real life garments. She could drop a style of a fold to making a french seam. she could tell you most of the knowledge she got about fit. Her education taught her about most of these things, however, these didn’t prepare her to actually start a clothing line. These were just her proven skills over the past years studying Fashion Design and Business while she work for other brands such as Lucy Choi London, REISS many more and through taking risks.

Creating your own clothing line, and making it in the madness of the world of style takes a specific set of skills, and natural talents, plus a generous dose of creativity and business savvy. It takes hell of a guts, bumpy rides and a lot of passion drive.

Ima Caryl have been in to designing, production, back of house work, ecommerce, wholesale and other pop-up retail. “My struggle and thrive sometimes simultaneously going crazy, over the last years and t doesn’t end there…”

This year of 2019 she have planned to get her designs and her name in a runaway project and re-brand her clothing line as #SignatureByImaCaryl, re-launching her online store www.imacaryl.com and opening her mini designer boutique in London. 

Ima Caryl Skills & Training

The designers and creators she look up to is very different from just the high street brand such as McQueen, D&G, Vivenne Westwood and many morewho have found massive success, even though they were self-taught and started their careers pre-internet. We live in a time of access, where rebuilding an engine or tailoring a skirt can be learned simply by watching reading online, watching YouTube videos or even a step-by-step pinterest guide.

“You don’t have to study design and business to make it in fashion industry, but formal education, and knowledge to get there is a must have, whether in a classroom or online has its merits.: always strive to learn the latest industry standards, get access to resources and equipments, make contacts and get feedback”

While Ima Caryl owes much of her starting success to learning professional skills in classroom much of her education was gained in the real world. she left school and worked in the corporate world in retail, product development, ecommerce, or even a simple voluntary back of house assistant roles for large companies. 

“Working for other brands such as Lucy Choi, REISS & EcoAir I had a little more creative freedom than I did at any other fashion jobs I’ve done but still, working in corporate, I knew I was hitting a wall. I didn’t want to work for a small or big company. I wanted to work for myself but I felt that it was important to get those experience.

while school offered the technical know-how, she’s an advocate for spending a few years learning to tie ropes from other brands, designers and creatives.

“Through those experience I’ve received a good spectrum of understanding. a lot of younger people get a few months or not at all of experience and then think,’Okay sure, I can do it. It’s easy to do it. I’m ready for the JUMP off to into business.’ but the experience and knowledge is so valuable so why would you skip and jump without them? It took me hell of a long time to be confident about myself, my passion, my work… that I could fill a store with my clothing. I think that I still need the time to grow, still get advice and experience. It’s not easy. Eventually, while you are growing you need your own accountant, marketer, manager, PR, Co-designer, sometimes photographer and everything that comes with it that needed a personalisation. Of course the fun stuff, searching and picking fabrics, moodboards, inspirations and many more….. it doesn’t end there! You have this money going in and out, speaking to all sorts of clients/customers, emails, packaging, everything!”

Ima Caryl completed her education in a 5 year course diploma at a college in London. “Don’t get me wrong, although I have these diplomas in my hands I still wanted to go Centra Saint Martins or London School of Fashion in Oxford Street UK they’re both world renowned for their fashion programmes. You should have more drive, time than funds most of times in the fashion industry money isn’t the solution. It’s who you are as a designer, what you are as a designer and what can you serve the fashion industry as a designer. PASSION & KNOWLEDGE.

Ima Caryl is still going to Pattern Workshops or even knowing The Business of Fashion’s Education Platform.

“When developing a designer brand it’s not just about the designs and how to sell your products. You’ll have to focus on the business side too from retail buying, costs, the right amount of profit, about manufacturing, about what goes into each pieces. For a piece of skirt or blouse or even a simple crop top, you’re not just costing fabric, and buttons, and labour. you’re costing shipping, packaging, tags, heating, rent or even your business phone line so, really you have a long knotted lost yard to count on your costs. 

Branding & Trends

After leaving her fashion roles, Ima Caryl Launched her brand Ima Caryl London while holding down several day (and night) jobs. She pursued her passion in between modelling, acting, kitchen back of house and working for an upscale highstreet, boutiques, pop-up stores.

Through her years of developing her brand as a “side-hustle”, she’s learned that while it’s equally important to focus & grind your strengths and be true to your own design sensibilities.

“When I got out of fashion school, I wanted to make lingeries and other accessories. The trick is finding what you’re really good at and focusing on that. When I first started, I had only 5 pieces made in my collection. Of course, on my own size. since then, I’ve done more designs, three different tops and dresses in my own different prints. I’m always going to be shocked when one print can make dozens/variety of pieces. I’ll just have to repeat those. Now, I’m just focusing more a lot on the prints and details, I’m always updating my designs of course making them better and making them fit in the industry. Somethings are cool temporarily so it’s good to drop those sometimes too. I really want to be a trend maker kind of a designer”

While she’s always on the cliff to hell making her designs and pieces  – she is always watching trends and that’s one of the most important things when it comes to TREND MAKING. You always wanted to be ahead of everybody else right? /she says,’The key to adopting trends to your brand, personalising them and making them work for your customer WITH MEANING”

“I’ve always had a good score when it comes to trend intuition, but it’s all about translation and I don’t like to follow trends. I like making them. When I started all of this I knew what I was getting myself into. This is something I’ve been looking forward since I was younger. As a designer I like to be the influence, knowing that I’ve started something, that my creativity and ideas are spreading; knowing that someone is watching. Other designers, and other creatives may take the idea and upgrade it but they can never buy the knowledge, the authenticity, the originality, the aesthetic of it all. You can never buy ideas and how you interpret a thing going through museums and galleries. I mean putting the next trend and your idea is always the BEST IDEA.”

“In the noisy world of fashion, consider finding niches or filling gaps in the industry. Always ask yourself,’what’s missing?’ Remember that your brand extends beyond your logo, and designs of your collection. Use social medias to build a lifestyle around your brand: share your own personality, and be deliberate with every post. The key to social media is CONSISTENCY make it yours, make it interesting.

Development

Ima Caryl is an advocate of the sketchbook as one of the most important tolls for a designer and like all of us, she grew up with just PENS & PAPERS.

“I try to always take my sketchbook everywhere I go could be an A2 to A4 sketchbooks but having one is always a must. You don’t want to miss random popping ideas from the streets or even just by sitting in the park staring to this nice cherryblossom in front of you. As I’m rough sketching away and doing random things to sometimes kill the time, I often find myself.’Oh, this little random thing would translate really well into a repeat pattern.’ Random doodling is very important without you knowing it.”

Ima Caryl always believed that,”You should make your own samples if you’re a clothing designer, being able to make them on your own. That way you really understand construction. When you have to send it out to be manufactured, you’ll actually know what’s going on. This way manufacturers won’t try and spin you a yarn, and get you going crazy with production costs.”

Ima Caryl of course began to produced her clothing by her own hands but she began outsourcing some elements to local sewers as she grew. Now, she’s on her way working with factories and taking her time to focus on building her brand, developing collections and growing her retail channel.

“I do most of the things by myself but generally for me I’m outsourcing manufacturing for the next moves because that’s something I don’t have the time to do. I’d rather make the sample, perfect the samples, and give it to somebody else. That way I just have clothes come onto my website or future sales floor, and they’re already tagged and everything’s already done. Manufacturing designs can be accomplished in a number of ways it could be: One-of-a-kind/handmade by yourself, hired staff or freelance sewers or Local factories” When vetting local factories, she believes it’s important to visit each one, to get a feel for their practicies. she initially requests samples form their factories to inspect the CRAFTSMANSHIP.

“The only way that I can really guarantee that my stuff is one of a kind is if I actually design the prints myself”

“With time you learn to take risks. I had my work that was sitting at my house since forever and I was like,’hold on! wait up! I have and Idea for it’ Now, I think,’nope, let me just die in and do it.” There’s no harm in actually going in and making something and see how it turn out.”

As a child with a love of fashion & beauty

For as long as I can remember, I have been an artist. A creator. A ‘FASHIONISTA’. As I matured, I evolved from just mere sketching to becoming a fashion and makeup artist. I got serious about fashion when I took my Fashion and Business Course in Kensington and Chelsea College. I remember when I was a child, I sketched outfits and accessories for my Barbie Dolls. Some people in our neighbourhood sometimes ask me to draw for their son’s and daughter’s school project, make something, or make them a pair of earrings, or necklaces especially bracelets, paintings especially abstract arts and buy them. I used to hang my creation and artworks on my Grandma’s Store to sell. Seeing the potential and my passion with fashion, I have considered to be a fashion designer one day, a business woman really, have my own clothing shop/brand. As I got older, I bought items with my Dad to make and sell my own accessories outside our house back in the Philippines with my grandmother and bought cheap make-up from drugstores or clothing shops and literally used it everywhere on my face as I couldn’t afford the high-end and expensive make-up when I was very young. I used Q-tips as brushes. Now… sitting in front of a mirror practicing. My friends asked me to do their make-up and I would receive praises from my peers and family when they personally see me or in Social Media how I style myself, how I work or even the simple how I do my make-up. A hand for arts really. I use my face as a canvas. It felt amazing when I realised I could make people happy doing make-up and fashionable stuff I love.

I dreamt to be a reputable Makeup Artist one day or more a Fashion Designer,  a business woman, to travel the world and host beauty and fashion seminars, and open several beauty studios and clothing shops.

A dream no more, here is the beginning! 

“After years of dreaming about this, I am so excited to finally share my passion with you guys. Signature by Ima Caryl is a collection of products which I have created, made and designed. This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see how individually perfect everyone is going to look like. Share your photos with me on our official Instagram @SignatureByImaCaryl”

Filipina-born designer, beauty & fashion entrepreneur  
Ima Caryl Cruz launched her brand Signature by Ima Caryl (Ima Caryl London)  in January 2015 with her first line of pieces and other exclusive prints and pieces.

Ima Caryl’s products are available at www.imacaryl.com and 2 more upcoming stores.

OWNER – IMA CARYL CRUZ

Ima Caryl is the owner, designer and the driving force behind Ima Caryl London who is currently living in London, UK with a finished course of Fashion Design & Business. From here, she pursued her love in fashion & arts and created Signature by Ima Caryl

When Ima Caryl collected her fashion design & business diplomas, she stepped into the real world with the same question that plagues creatives of all hell: “What now?”

Fashion School Chelsea and Kensington College taught her about pattern grading, sewing, designing, drawing, illustrating and draping. From inspirations to real life garments. She could drop a style of a fold to making a french seam. she could tell you most of the knowledge she got about fit. Her education taught her about most of these things, however, these didn’t prepare her to actually start a clothing line. These were just her proven skills over the past years studying Fashion Design and Business while she work for other brands such as Lucy Choi London, REISS many more and through taking risks.

Creating your own clothing line, and making it in the madness of the world of style takes a specific set of skills, and natural talents, plus a generous dose of creativity and business savvy. It takes hell of a guts, bumpy rides and a lot of passion drive.

Ima Caryl have been in to designing, production, back of house work, ecommerce, wholesale and other pop-up retail. “My struggle and thrive sometimes simultaneously going crazy, over the last years and t doesn’t end there…”

This year of 2019 she have planned to get her designs and her name in a runaway project and re-brand her clothing line as #SignatureByImaCaryl, re-launching her online store www.imacaryl.com and opening her mini designer boutique in London. 

Ima Caryl Skills & Training

The designers and creators she look up to is very different from just the high street brand such as McQueen, D&G, Vivenne Westwood and many morewho have found massive success, even though they were self-taught and started their careers pre-internet. We live in a time of access, where rebuilding an engine or tailoring a skirt can be learned simply by watching reading online, watching YouTube videos or even a step-by-step pinterest guide.

“You don’t have to study design and business to make it in fashion industry, but formal education, and knowledge to get there is a must have, whether in a classroom or online has its merits.: always strive to learn the latest industry standards, get access to resources and equipments, make contacts and get feedback”

While Ima Caryl owes much of her starting success to learning professional skills in classroom much of her education was gained in the real world. she left school and worked in the corporate world in retail, product development, ecommerce, or even a simple voluntary back of house assistant roles for large companies. 

“Working for other brands such as Lucy Choi, REISS & EcoAir I had a little more creative freedom than I did at any other fashion jobs I’ve done but still, working in corporate, I knew I was hitting a wall. I didn’t want to work for a small or big company. I wanted to work for myself but I felt that it was important to get those experience.

while school offered the technical know-how, she’s an advocate for spending a few years learning to tie ropes from other brands, designers and creatives.

“Through those experience I’ve received a good spectrum of understanding. a lot of younger people get a few months or not at all of experience and then think,’Okay sure, I can do it. It’s easy to do it. I’m ready for the JUMP off to into business.’ but the experience and knowledge is so valuable so why would you skip and jump without them? It took me hell of a long time to be confident about myself, my passion, my work… that I could fill a store with my clothing. I think that I still need the time to grow, still get advice and experience. It’s not easy. Eventually, while you are growing you need your own accountant, marketer, manager, PR, Co-designer, sometimes photographer and everything that comes with it that needed a personalisation. Of course the fun stuff, searching and picking fabrics, moodboards, inspirations and many more….. it doesn’t end there! You have this money going in and out, speaking to all sorts of clients/customers, emails, packaging, everything!”

Ima Caryl completed her education in a 5 year course diploma at a college in London. “Don’t get me wrong, although I have these diplomas in my hands I still wanted to go Centra Saint Martins or London School of Fashion in Oxford Street UK they’re both world renowned for their fashion programmes. You should have more drive, time than funds most of times in the fashion industry money isn’t the solution. It’s who you are as a designer, what you are as a designer and what can you serve the fashion industry as a designer. PASSION & KNOWLEDGE.

Ima Caryl is still going to Pattern Workshops or even knowing The Business of Fashion’s Education Platform.

“When developing a designer brand it’s not just about the designs and how to sell your products. You’ll have to focus on the business side too from retail buying, costs, the right amount of profit, about manufacturing, about what goes into each pieces. For a piece of skirt or blouse or even a simple crop top, you’re not just costing fabric, and buttons, and labour. you’re costing shipping, packaging, tags, heating, rent or even your business phone line so, really you have a long knotted lost yard to count on your costs. 

Branding & Trends

After leaving her fashion roles, Ima Caryl Launched her brand Ima Caryl London while holding down several day (and night) jobs. She pursued her passion in between modelling, acting, kitchen back of house and working for an upscale highstreet, boutiques, pop-up stores.

Through her years of developing her brand as a “side-hustle”, she’s learned that while it’s equally important to focus & grind your strengths and be true to your own design sensibilities.

“When I got out of fashion school, I wanted to make lingeries and other accessories. The trick is finding what you’re really good at and focusing on that. When I first started, I had only 5 pieces made in my collection. Of course, on my own size. since then, I’ve done more designs, three different tops and dresses in my own different prints. I’m always going to be shocked when one print can make dozens/variety of pieces. I’ll just have to repeat those. Now, I’m just focusing more a lot on the prints and details, I’m always updating my designs of course making them better and making them fit in the industry. Somethings are cool temporarily so it’s good to drop those sometimes too. I really want to be a trend maker kind of a designer”

While she’s always on the cliff to hell making her designs and pieces  – she is always watching trends and that’s one of the most important things when it comes to TREND MAKING. You always wanted to be ahead of everybody else right? /she says,’The key to adopting trends to your brand, personalising them and making them work for your customer WITH MEANING”

“I’ve always had a good score when it comes to trend intuition, but it’s all about translation and I don’t like to follow trends. I like making them. When I started all of this I knew what I was getting myself into. This is something I’ve been looking forward since I was younger. As a designer I like to be the influence, knowing that I’ve started something, that my creativity and ideas are spreading; knowing that someone is watching. Other designers, and other creatives may take the idea and upgrade it but they can never buy the knowledge, the authenticity, the originality, the aesthetic of it all. You can never buy ideas and how you interpret a thing going through museums and galleries. I mean putting the next trend and your idea is always the BEST IDEA.”

“In the noisy world of fashion, consider finding niches or filling gaps in the industry. Always ask yourself,’what’s missing?’ Remember that your brand extends beyond your logo, and designs of your collection. Use social medias to build a lifestyle around your brand: share your own personality, and be deliberate with every post. The key to social media is CONSISTENCY make it yours, make it interesting.

Development

Ima Caryl is an advocate of the sketchbook as one of the most important tolls for a designer and like all of us, she grew up with just PENS & PAPERS.

“I try to always take my sketchbook everywhere I go could be an A2 to A4 sketchbooks but having one is always a must. You don’t want to miss random popping ideas from the streets or even just by sitting in the park staring to this nice cherryblossom in front of you. As I’m rough sketching away and doing random things to sometimes kill the time, I often find myself.’Oh, this little random thing would translate really well into a repeat pattern.’ Random doodling is very important without you knowing it.”

Ima Caryl always believed that,”You should make your own samples if you’re a clothing designer, being able to make them on your own. That way you really understand construction. When you have to send it out to be manufactured, you’ll actually know what’s going on. This way manufacturers won’t try and spin you a yarn, and get you going crazy with production costs.”

Ima Caryl of course began to produced her clothing by her own hands but she began outsourcing some elements to local sewers as she grew. Now, she’s on her way working with factories and taking her time to focus on building her brand, developing collections and growing her retail channel.

“I do most of the things by myself but generally for me I’m outsourcing manufacturing for the next moves because that’s something I don’t have the time to do. I’d rather make the sample, perfect the samples, and give it to somebody else. That way I just have clothes come onto my website or future sales floor, and they’re already tagged and everything’s already done. Manufacturing designs can be accomplished in a number of ways it could be: One-of-a-kind/handmade by yourself, hired staff or freelance sewers or Local factories” When vetting local factories, she believes it’s important to visit each one, to get a feel for their practicies. she initially requests samples form their factories to inspect the CRAFTSMANSHIP.

“The only way that I can really guarantee that my stuff is one of a kind is if I actually design the prints myself”

“With time you learn to take risks. I had my work that was sitting at my house since forever and I was like,’hold on! wait up! I have and Idea for it’ Now, I think,’nope, let me just die in and do it.” There’s no harm in actually going in and making something and see how it turn out.”

As a child with a love of fashion & beauty

For as long as I can remember, I have been an artist. A creator. A ‘FASHIONISTA’. As I matured, I evolved from just mere sketching to becoming a fashion and makeup artist. I got serious about fashion when I took my Fashion and Business Course in Kensington and Chelsea College. I remember when I was a child, I sketched outfits and accessories for my Barbie Dolls. Some people in our neighbourhood sometimes ask me to draw for their son’s and daughter’s school project, make something, or make them a pair of earrings, or necklaces especially bracelets, paintings especially abstract arts and buy them. I used to hang my creation and artworks on my Grandma’s Store to sell. Seeing the potential and my passion with fashion, I have considered to be a fashion designer one day, a business woman really, have my own clothing shop/brand. As I got older, I bought items with my Dad to make and sell my own accessories outside our house back in the Philippines with my grandmother and bought cheap make-up from drugstores or clothing shops and literally used it everywhere on my face as I couldn’t afford the high-end and expensive make-up when I was very young. I used Q-tips as brushes. Now… sitting in front of a mirror practicing. My friends asked me to do their make-up and I would receive praises from my peers and family when they personally see me or in Social Media how I style myself, how I work or even the simple how I do my make-up. A hand for arts really. I use my face as a canvas. It felt amazing when I realised I could make people happy doing make-up and fashionable stuff I love.

I dreamt to be a reputable Makeup Artist one day or more a Fashion Designer,  a business woman, to travel the world and host beauty and fashion seminars, and open several beauty studios and clothing shops.

A dream no more, here is the beginning! 

“After years of dreaming about this, I am so excited to finally share my passion with you guys. Signature by Ima Caryl is a collection of products which I have created, made and designed. This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see how individually perfect everyone is going to look like. Share your photos with me on our official Instagram @SignatureByImaCaryl”