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Carol De Leon’s easy and laidback style along with her golden tan and beach waved hair definitely spells out Cali Vibes. But what sets her apart from everyone else is a kind of Filipina warmth that is undeniable. Add that up with a sharp business acumen, we see a formidable Filipina we could all admire and look up to. With her dad working as an architect and her mom doing social work, Carol’s destiny as a designer wasn’t obvious at first. But since moving to Los Angeles when she was four, she found herself sketching designs on her father’s drafting table. She admits that the custom-made pieces she and her family would wear when they were still in Manila had a special place in her heart. Her mom was extremely supportive of

Carol’s passion and thus making Carol feel empowered to achieve her dreams.In elementary school she designed her own lavender maxi dress with sheer details and romantic ruffles for her very own graduation. From then on, Carol found herself creating pieces that reflected her personal style aesthetics. She would travel around the world at a young age flying to the fashion capitals in search of inspiration. “Fortunately as a designer, I was able to travel to Europe twice a year visiting Paris, Milan, and London for inspiration,” she shares. “The business and economy in the 90s in the United States was amazing, people spent money on designer brands, the dollar was strong, and we could buy Gucci, Prada for half the price. It was a time of reckless abandon, supermodels, and excess. I lived that lifestyle for a while.”

In 2013, she launched FLOGG footwear, which combines the ease of flip-flops with the striking style of a clog. It was instantly a huge hit all over the world and was soon available in the top luxury department stores. Soon enough she delved into designing clothes full time with a small line called Angkan, but this time she veered away from the fast fashion trend and focused on the process, quality and the artisans who are making each piece. “The Angkan brand which means, Family, tribe, clan, is Slow Fashion and I intend to grow it organically.

In the past year I’ve also been involved with several projects with DTI and the Design Center of the Philippines as a product development specialist.” she proudly mentioned. This gave her a kind of fulfilment that goes beyond profit and ultimately helps indigenous communities in the process. With her global perspective, she lifts the Filipino artistry to a whole new level and sees a change in the local industry where men and women are proud to wear Made in the Philippines products.

Currently residing in sunny California, Carol continues to live the life of a designer, mother and entrepreneur. She admits, now that her daughter Allegra has graduated in Italy and has landed a fashion job in Florence, she has more time for her passion projects such as sustainable fashion and initiatives that uphold social responsibility above all. She has also recently launched Rich Gypsy, a line of upcycled clothing using 100% natural materials like cotton, linen, silk. Instantly, everything was off the rack and quickly sold out even in the initial trunk show they did in Rockwell. There is a purpose in everything Carol does. May it be a push for style or a more meaningful love for sustainability, Carol proves that with passion, kindness and empathy, she can be successful in every facet of the word..

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