Masculine and Feminine Styles for this Fashion Maven

The entrepreneur and creative director of fashion brand Áraw, Carla Sison talks about style icons, trend-setting cities, and wardrobe staples.

The entrepreneur and creative director of fashion brand Áraw, Carla Sison talks about style icons, trend-setting cities, and wardrobe staples.

Fashion Background
I was the marketing coordinator for Fred Perry and SOTO Berlin before setting up my brand, Áraw.

Current Fashion Wishlist
Perks and Mini asymmetrical pink bomber jacket, Sophie Buhai Arp earrings, Acne Studios Brigitte pumps.

Everyday Style
Áraw apron or painter jumpsuit with leather sandals or Converse high-top sneakers.

Travel Style Essentials
Eairth Mandaya kimono, Matteau Swim petite triangle bikini, a white painter jumpsuit, Majorelle skirt, apron top, Tropa leather visor, basic T-shirts, and Aesop everything.

Work Style Essentials
Jumpsuits. They’re no brainers. Comfortable shoes because I’m always running around. A tote bag big enough for my laptop.

Favorite Fashion Movie
American Gigolo. I wanted both Richard Gere’s and Lauren Hutton’s wardrobes in that film. The color palette, the silhouettes—everything was just perfect.

Earliest Fashion Memory
Wearing mustard overalls at 5 years old, thanks to my infatuation with ’90s hip-hop. Now that I think about it, it could be a major influence in Áraw and my obsession with jumpers.

Describe Your Style
Never polished, always simple and thrown together. Menswear-influenced, so always comfortable.

Favorite Brands
Acne Studios, Lemaire, Eairth, Uniqlo, and Aesop.

Favorite Shops
I love ukay-ukay here. That’s where I’ve found all my best pieces. Abroad, I like the concept of The Line in New York—it’s set up like a beautiful apartment with exquisite furniture in SoHo. Their in-house brands Protagonist and Khaite are simple and elegant mixed with beautiful accessories from Sophie Buhi and cool design objects. Maryam Nassir Zadeh, also in New York, is really fun and playful but still wearable. I love their shoes and their growing in-house collection. They too stock my favorite brands. In Sweden there’s Tres-Bien—it’s only menswear but their styling and the high-low product mix is great and something I would love to create for women.


Fashion Philosophy
Don’t try too hard. Keep it simple. Juxtapose. I like to offset my looks. If I feel too made up with my outfit I’ll do messy hair and no makeup or pair it down with sneakers, I’ll dress up a basic jumpsuit with interesting earrings, team a gown with a men’s blazer, or I’ll take linen which is normally quite airy and flowy and turn it into a more structured silhouette.

Fashion Influences
I’m always influenced by the city that I’m in, the style, the culture, the architecture, and of course the weather. I think now I’ve really taken those influences and come into my own. I grew up in Melbourne and Australian style is so laid-back and easy. Then, I moved to Berlin, which is heavily into streetwear. Now that I find myself in the Philippines, I’m inspired by all the color and my need to wear things that are easy breezy. I think it becomes quite evident in Áraw.

Style Icons
Tina Chow—I love her masculine style yet she always looks so elegant. She was so unique to her time and even now. Jane Birkin, the picture of the 1970s, my favorite time in fashion. Always easygoing and effortless. Kate Moss—I hate to be cliché but she’s been the style icon for decades with good reason. I love ’90s minimal Kate Moss, also another huge fashion moment that influences my style.

Signature Accessories
My Áraw fan and leather Tropa visor.

First Big Splurge
A Scanlan & Theodore leather jacket. I was moving to the Philippines and didn’t really need it, but it’s timeless.

I Can’t Live Without…
Sneakers. I live in my Steve Jobs New Balance 990s and I can wear them to the gym and in my day-to-day. With the trend moving toward the “ugly sneakers,” I guess they could soon be seen as cool.


This story was originally published in the August 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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