BEHIND THE BRAND
Carol de Leon
Dedicating her life to a career in fashion which she dreamed of since childhood, Carol de Leon had the satisfaction of working in the world’s fashion capitals, NY, Milan, Paris , London and seeing her designs in top stores and magazines. After 2 decades in the fashion industry working for big corporations churning out designs in enormous quantities and at the helm of her own own shoe line which was sold in over 44 countries , she began to question the meaning of success in the industry that she loved.
Based in Los Angeles, where sun, fun and beautiful people were the idyllic superficial
norm, she began to search for a deeper purpose while continuing to design and develop product.
It was no longer satisfying to design just to meet sales goals which corporations consider the main measure of success even if it means profits over people. As the traditional retail infrastructure in the USA crumbled, and e-commerce became the new way to shop, she realized new opportunities can be created by moving away from hyper consumerism and instead take steps toward a conscious way to shop, where people and marginalized communities can have an opportunity to earn fare wages and artisans can have their work exposed and appreciated by like minded people across the globe.
The first products designed with this new enlightened thinking were energy cuffs with biomagnets that connect with the wearers own aura. Each design was made to be a reminder that each thought, is an inspiration that leads to action and empowerment. Activating your consciousness will lead you to an awakening and understanding that we are all connected and have a role in social responsibility and the preservation of the planet. Angkan in tagalog, means Family, Tribe or Clan. This reflects the interconnectedness she felt was missing in the fashion industry. Angkan as a brand was registered in the USA in 2015 just before the line was distributed internationally in Europe .
While working on large scale production in China, for her own brand and as a designer for Forever 21, she found herself visiting the Philippines a few times a year. Born in the Philippines, she was interested to learn more about the country, it’s people and talented artisans. Having been trained and working with production in Italy, she had a keen appreciation for quality and intricate hand made designs and was pleasantly surprised to discover the talented artisans spread throughout the Philippine islands , each region with a unique specialty or “mano d’opera” . Angkan quickly expanded to resort accessories, handbags and shoes .
The Rich Gypsy collection by Angkan is a collection of redesigned limited edition pieces, using only 100% natural fabrics , salvaged and given new life with sacred hand embroidery by indigenous communities in the Philippine Islands .