Published Write-ups & Articles

The FilAm: "When Tracy met Betsey!"

June 17, 2019

Author’s unabashed devotion to her Fashion Patron Saint Betsey Johnson

By Tracy Dizon
 
New York or bust!
There is no one else in the world who has salivated, daydreamt and fantasized about New York more than I did in my lifetime. The Universe conspired and also with the help of Good Karma, our U.S. petition finally came through after waiting 11 years. Now here I am finally settling down with my son as a New York City legal resident. I am finally checking my boxes one at a time!
 
My New York fashion love affair started two decades ago. Half of my life I have looked up to the New York Fashion icons — from the flamboyant Club Kids: Heatherette (Richie Rich & Traver Rains), Patricia Field’s Sex and the City genius, The Accidental Icon: Iris Apfel’s Legendary Maximalism at its best and of course every girl’s (especially me!)  Fashion Patron Saint: The Betsey Johnson!
 
In a New York minute!
So first thing’s first in the New York Fashion Life. Lesson #1: Always be in the loop!New York City lives by its saying “in a New York Minute!” So as soon as I heard The Betsey Johnson is coming to NYC for her latest Spring-Summer Collection 2019 launch in collaboration with Urban Outfitters, I was there! It was also Betsey’s first public appearance after her successful open-heart surgery just this Spring. I know we have not met yet but learning about her health and how closer I am now to Betsey Johnson proximity-wise I couldn’t help but feel I had to show my full support to our Fashion-Mother-of-all-things-cute-and-girly!
 
I had this all planned out for a very long time. I have a list of my New York Fashion icons for whom I have prepared a special gift when I get the chance to meet them. Betsey Johnson is on top of that list! I had been inviting Betsey Johnson to watch my NYFW Shows since I had my first show in Fashion Week Brooklyn. What I like about New York is how everyone can just try and go for things. Just do it, and that’s what I have been doing! Weeks before the launch, I was doing dress rehearsals at home wondering which would make a great impression. Or course I had to carry along my iconic “Camera Purse” which always brings along a nice conversation anywhere I go.
 
It was still a little bit rainy as May was coming to an end, but the Urban Outfitters Herald Square was filled with so many cute and quirky fashion girls (and some few boys) waiting patiently and excitedly for Betsey to show up! I never thought there are many serious contenders out there showing some Betsey-lovin-support! I have never been inside a place where so many girls have seriously dressed up, plainly having fun, and expressing themselves, embracing how fun it is to be a girly-over-the-top-fun-girl-girl!  

The Urban Outfitters Herald Square store was filled with cute candy cocktail snacks and drinks, ear piercing booths, photobooths and graffiti tote bag painting booths. Betsey truly is the queen of all quirky cute things and we are her girl squad!! I am seriously getting a lot of fashion tips just seeing how it is done by the Legendary Betsey Johnson!
 
I must admit I was getting so impatient waiting for my turn. I was worried someone might be cutting the line but I think what is a few more hours when I waited half of my life! But as soon as Betsey Johnson came down the stairs with her blue hippie hair, she was almost floating and so ethereal! You would genuinely feel she was so happy to see her loyal fans! She was throwing rose flower petals going down stairs! You can’t get more whimsical as our Kween Betsey!
 
Best validation for a young designer
As soon as everyone saw her the whole party got more lively! I got more excited as I got my turn! It just literally happened so fast. I had prepared my cute Tiara by Tracy Dizon gift. But the best most unforgettable moment in all of this whole epic moment is as soon as I sat down, Betsey touched my dress and whispered, “I love your dress, it reminds me of Harajuku. I love it!” I was completely dazed and ecstatic! 
 
I proudly showed her I have prepared her a gift and she was so gracious and happy that we opened it right away! Literally a dream come true that she grabbed the two millinery pieces I made and she tried it on right away! Hey, when your fashion icon likes what you designed, I believe it is a good sign that I am on the right track! I told her a little about Harajuku, how she inspired me to keep on going and I even said jokingly if she could adopt me haha! Betsey adorably answered “I wish honey!”Isn’t she the sweetest ever? 
 
Later that evening I got a lovely thank you message from Betsey Johnson herself. She thanked me for her hat and for coming. Oh Betsey, I will always aspire to be as awesome and as kind as you are. I was so blown away how genuinely sweet she is.
 
The fashion world is filled with many fickle characters and fleeting trends and styles. It is cutthroat as hell! But just knowing that a steadfast legend in her fifth decade in the fashion industry remained true and genuinely sweet and whimsical as her design is such a comfort and inspiration for many quirky fashion dreamers out there! I am just happy to live to write a genuinely good-vibe New York Story!

Tracy Dizon, a 36-year-old fashion designer and milliner, is often coined to be “The Filipina Betsey Johnson” by many fashion enthusiasts. She recently migrated to New York with her son to pursue her New York dream of becoming a world-renowned fashion designer. For more about the “Pinoy Pop Life” creative, visit her vlog https://youtu.be/sxWZD0jO9Eg.

MB Life: Dreams come true: Pinay designer Tracy Dizon meets fashion icon Betsey Johnson

June 1, 2019

Filipina fashion designer Tracy Dizon talks about letting her "design inspiration" wear her creations.

June 1, 2019 • Angela Casco

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Filipina fashion designer Tracy Dizon has always looked to American fashion designer Betsey Johnson as a design inspiration. The connection makes total sense, as both designers, though coming from opposite sides of the world, specialize in fun, funky, and colorful creations.

So when the self-confessed “ultimate Betsey girl” finally met the iconic designer, the dream finally became a reality.

‘New York Dream’ come true

“Grabe since I was 15, I’ve looked up to Betsey Johnson,” she writes. “I can’t believe I met her finally. That’s 21 years of looking up to her and she turned out to be everything I dreamed of–super bubbly and sweet.”

‘Best validation so far’

But perhaps the best part for Dizon is Johnson complimenting and wearing her creations. “As soon as I sat down, Betsey touched my dress and whispered, ‘I love your dress, it reminds me of Harajuku. I love it!'” the Pinay designer says.

She has also gifted Johnson a Furry Eyeball Sunhat, a limited edition funky hat, which is an item exclusive to the Pinay’s Tokyo Market and inspired by her fascination with eyeballs and googly eyes.

The other hat, which Johnson holds up in the photo with Dizon, is also a special edition, quirky tea party hat from her Tea Party Collection.

The “gift of gratitude” has not only been received well. Johnson has also worn both with much enthusiasm. “When Betsey asked me to open the hatbox, she grabbed it literally and wore it right away!” Dizon says. “Super kakakilig!”

The moment is a big deal for the Pinay who considers herself a “fashion dreamer who wouldn’t even have the spunk to make these crazy fun designs if it weren’t for my fashion icons inspiring me all the way from NYC to Manila.”

“They are the reason I pursued fashion and believed there could be a place for me in this industry,” Dizon says. “It is the best validation my brand had so far in NYC—top fashion designers loving my designs!”

The launch party is not only Johnson’s first public appearance after recovering from an open-heart surgery. It is also marks her fifth decade in the fashion industry, starting from the youthquake movement and Andy Warhol’s underground scene in the 1970s to this year’s revival of ’90s trends.

Apart from her feminine and whimsical designs, Johnson is also known for ending her fashion shows with a cartwheel and a split.

As of writing, Dizon says she is trying to “bust my way to work for [Johnson],” though she prefers keeping a tight lip on it “[dahil] baka ma-jinx.”

“When I seal the deal, I’ll update everyone,” the Pinay designer ends.

Cambio&Co: Tracy Dizon on being a Filipina Designer & How She Became Her Own Dream Girl

February 25, 2019

Several weeks ago, I visited Tracy Dizon’s home and studio in Varsity Hills, where she has lived with her 14- year old son ever since coming back to Manila from her recent collection’s success in Brooklyn, New York. Tracy’s designs have been recognized by one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world and is well on her way to putting her vision of Philippine women’s wear on the global map.

She lives in a two-storey townhouse, previously her parents’ home and the house she grew up in, a seemingly quaint and tidy place. Doubling as Tracy’s studio is the second floor, which, upon entering, I was taken aback.

Contrary to the orderly first floor I had just seen, here there are heaps of clothes and papers, racks of dresses, mannequin heads wearing kitten-ear headbands, sketches of women that look like Bratz dolls of the early 2000s, piles of pink clear folders, and a coffee table with donuts and strawberry tea.

Tracy herself is a bundle of energy, exploding with enthusiasm and a passion for life reflected in her cat-eyed glasses, bright pink coat, and matching lipstick. You can’t help but feel a sense of joy being around her. Which makes her story of struggle all the more extraordinary. “I have always been interested in how best to represent the Filipino through design. We, Filipinos, are so joyful. We light up the room.” And so are her clothes: she admires the fashion sense of the younger years of the Rookie Magazine founder, Tavi Gevinson and considers Iris Apfel one of her greatest inspirations. They have both been known for their boldly feminine way of mixing prints, colors, and patterns into their personal styles.

FEELING AT ODDS WITH THE WORLD

With tears in her eyes, Tracy recalls vividly how in 2001, she struggled to find a place for herself. Literally.

First, she defied her parents’ wishes of staying in a small college and instead chose to hone her skills in a big university to study Fashion Technology. “My family was super conservative, but I went rogue. Fashion wasn’t a popular thing - to be creative, it’s like you’re a bit weird.”

Then when she became pregnant at the age of 21, she lived in a shelter under the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, a home for single moms for around seven months. “It was super humbling because the friends that I hung out with, the minute that they got the news, they totally disassociated with me.” She had lost everything, even her sense of identity. ““Homeless, pregnant, kicked out of the house- I thought, ‘Maybe fashion isn’t my field.’”

Yet she made the decision to move out of the shelter, live with her parents again to continue her schooling on her own, while raising her son.

During her classes, she would bring her son with her to school and even breastfeed him while the professor went on with the lecture. Cautious and aware of the risks in pursuing a challenging career like fashion, she took education subjects, so she would have something to fall back on.

“The world of fashion is glamorous, but my life wasn’t glamorous,” she says matter-of-factly, but with a hint of disbelief, as though even she can’t believe what she went through.

“I was so bad in sewing and patterns. There’s this one pattern class I had to make up for my failure and the requirement was to join a competition for plus points. That was my only goal at that time. I didn’t ever think that I would get into the finals and I was the only representative of my university. ” So as part of a class requirement, she joined the Philippine Fashion Design Competition (PFDC) in 2006, a nationwide contest alongside aspiring couturieres who have since then become big names in the Philippine fashion industry.  “From a babagsakin (failing) girl, I suddenly became this representative. It became a big divine sign.”

In 2007, not having finished her degree to prioritize her obligations at home, she signed up as a stylist for ABS-CBN. She moved into her own space, with no refrigerator nor kitchen utensils -  just an empty space with a bed for 4000 pesos per month (the equivalent today of $76USD).

She worked three times a week, preparing costumes and going on set, working for almost 24 hours on call. A year later, she signed on to become a merchandiser for Kamiseta brand, designing perfume packaging and luggages.

Despite the struggles, Tracy couldn’t give up her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Eventually she resigned from her full-time job as a merchandiser to join the television show Project Runway, where, sadly, she got eliminated early.

“I joined Project Runway not to win, but for my son to be proud of me.”

DISCOVERING KAWAII

Despite the disappointment, Tracy, with her characteristic determination, decided to press on and, in 2009, joined the Japan Fashion Design Contest in Tokyo.  

From then on, she felt like doors had opened for her, the audience in Japan more receptive of her style. People were more open to what Tracy calls the “poof” in her designs - the way her dresses would balloon along the bodice of the wearer and how she sometimes use her own doodles as patterns.

It was her time in Japan that introduced her to the Kawaii style. During the same year, she began creating Kitty head pieces.

“I really like it, because it’s playful. These are the things I missed out on when I was younger,” Tracy explains.  “Kawaii is the regression to childhood, that’s it’s psychological definition. It’s also a form of rebellion.”

These seemingly counterintuitive ideas - rebellion and playfulness - are themes that continue to crop up in Tracy’s designs, showing a way of defying convention and constraints by simply rising above.

“It interested me that [with Kawaii] you were acting out, but not in a destructive way. Even until now, even when I expand to different styles, I’ve grown from it but my roots are there.”

FINDING INSPIRATION IN HANOI

When her mother died unexpectedly in 2014, Tracy faced not only the loss of her mother, but it also made her question her identity as a designer. She no longer felt like she could embody what Kawaii stood for because it was so far from her current state.

“I thought, ‘I want to start anew.’ And then I realized maybe I should grow up a little. I don’t want to associate myself with being a Japanese, Kawaii designer. I don’t want to be pigeonholed.”

Shaken by the death of her mother and desperate for new inspiration, she booked a one-way ticket to Hanoi, Vietnam. Like out of a tragic romance novel, she went to Vietnam to follow a French lover, only to discover he was already with a Vietnamese woman.

Dispirited and heartbroken, Tracy became fixated. “Sino ba yung girl na yun?” (Who is she?)

Her trip to Hanoi, though, gave her something surprising: a widely accessible and affordable textile dream. “When I came back that’s when I started designing again, I was so inspired by the fabrics in Hanoi. It was so ironic because the fabrics are cheaper there. And their indigenous materials are flourishing. There you can buy it in bulk. You can buy it outside your hotel room.”

Meanwhile, Tracy continued to obsess about The Other Woman. And it was this obsessive revisiting of this mystery woman that actually inspired her Miss Hanoi collection. This would soon be her entry to the Spring Summer 2018 Fashion Week Brooklyn competition, in which she would eventually be hailed as the grand winner, her first major win.

The dresses in the collection have a very traditional feel - the process entailed research and meeting with her Vietnamese friends to ask them of their lifestyle and worldviews, but they would remark, “Why are you so curious about us? Every Vietnamese girl would want your life. You are independent, you can travel, you have a life.”

Eventually, along the process of designing the dresses for her collection, Tracy found them becoming more and more like the dresses she used to design when she was in college. “The dresses gradually become doll dresses. And that’s when I realized that I didn’t have to look elsewhere. I can be my own dream girl.”  

Inspired by tea cups, stamps, flowers in the park, and ceramic piggy banks, Tracy created a collection that resembled postcards in living, breathing bodies. Her trip to Hanoi, which once was a chase for an idea of this Mystery Other Woman, became a personal revelation instead.

PINOY POP! COLLECTION: A GLIMPSE OF CHILDHOOD IN THE PHILIPPINES

After a year, she re-entered the same competition, hailing a different collection. Her Spring Summer 2019, “Pinoy Pop Life”, which won third place, was more reminiscent of her life back home.

After exploring the Kawaii in Tokyo and the indigenous textiles of Hanoi for inspiration for her designs, she decided to take it one step further by making a collection that showcases not just her personal story, but her personal heritage. “I’ve always been inclined to use indigenous materials, being an Iskolar ng Bayan (Scholar of the Nation), the University of the Philippines taught me to give back to my country as much as I can,” she says.

Tracy believes that to represent the Philippine culture entails an awareness of its history, backed by genuine experiences.

“Promoting culture should involve ethics, research and certain awareness of things. It’s not just fashion, it’s also in daily life, it’s a matter of human etiquette, you should have respect.”

Indeed, her latest collection is a narrative of her life, borne from her own experiences growing up in Manila. She collaborated with Girl Scout to create a dress inspired by her prepubescent days of outdoor camping activities. In the collection as well are denim doll dresses and pantsuits that speak of Tracy’s personal recollections of jeepney sign boards, dirty ice cream vendors on hot Manila afternoons, pink petals of the Bougainvillea, and Taka Horse Paper Mache Toys during provincial town fiestas. She wants to create youthful pieces that stir the hearts of young Filipinas, who themselves have gone through similar childhoods and hold these same memories. 

On her website, she writes: “I want to be appreciated as an integral part of the daily street fashion of the youth not only for Filipinos, but open to be appreciated by the whole world.”

FROM MANILA TO NEW YORK

When I visited her home, her son mentioned his dreams of being an actor and his excitement over moving to New York. Tracy has been documenting their new life since February on Instagram. One photo is of her son acting in his first theatrical show, another is of them both witnessing their first snowfall.

I remember her saying, “It also bled me a lot to shoulder every collection I made, just to offer something beautiful.” This is especially true if we look back on her life: A young Tracy, who recently discovered how harsh the world can be, showing up to class with her son and designing her doll dresses anyway. And now a much older Tracy in her cat-eye glasses and pink coat, wiser now because of her experiences, bringing her warmth and vision to New York.

Tracy remains ambitious that wearing Filipiniana would, in the future, not seem like a cultural show, but a mere form of self-expression.

“I would still want young girls to wear this.

I want more occasions where young women can wear their own Filipiniana. ”

Maybe from Tracy we can expect more events like her tea parties, where it can be commonplace to wear her blazers and skirts made from indigenous materials. One in which we have also sorted out the matter of production costs and taking proper care of the hands that weave the fabrics. It’s a hefty vision, one that inspires her to keep on creating. We can look forward to the day, as if in a sort of utopian world, that maybe in bookstores or cafes, young women will don these articles of clothing, as easily as they do multinational brands, but more valued for the stories they tell.

Although the elements of Tracy’s life changed - her houses, jobs, and friends - she stayed true to her unique vision and pursued people and places that encouraged it. Maybe this is what it means to be your own dream girl: Like Tracy, we can find it in us to have faith in the world’s sensitivity to our dreams, to have courage in offering something beautiful over and over, despite how complicated the pursuit has been.

Ka'akbay: The Philippine Consulate General in New York Welcomes Filipino Fashion Designer, Tracy Dizon Bringing Pinoy Pop Fashion to New York Fashion Week

July - December 2018

Ka'akbay Official Newsletter of the Consulate General of the Philippines in New York

Page 13

New York – The Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY) welcomed to the Philippine Center yesterday Filipino Fashion Designer and milliner Tracy Dizon, who will be showing her Pinoy Pop Life Fashion collection for Spring Summer 2019 at no less than the prestigious New York Fashion Week. As the grand prize winner of the Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition in Fashion Week Brooklyn last Fall, Ms. Dizon featured a collection inspired by her trip to Vietnam. This time around, Ms. Dizon will be putting Filipino-inspired couture at the forefrontby featuring Filipiniana-inspired designs and indigenous fabrics. PCGNY is very proud to see young Filipinos succeeding in the globally competitive fashion industry. Mabuhay ka, Tracy Dizon!

Distract TV: Fashion Designer Tracy Dizon’s Debut

Written by: Jodi Cornish

December 31, 2018

There she was, with an infectious bubbly personality, in a beautiful, bright pink dress, fuchsia sneakers and adorned with one of her signature tiaras, laughing amongst a crowd of fashionistas outside of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall. I’m speaking of the one and only, Tracy Dizon, Milliner/Filipina Fashion Designer and winner of the Rise Sport’s Art & Design Fashion Designer competition. It was the final evening of Fashion Week Brooklyn, 2018, showcasing Spring/Summer 2019collections.  Tracy presented her quirky, yet magnificent collection “Pinoy Pop Life”, 12 different looks for the grand finale. To say it was an honor and a dream come true, is an understatement. The collection was inspired by her childhood memories of eating “dirty ice-creams” on hot afternoons in Manila, Philippines, feeling “pink petals of Bougainvillea flowers over the urban streets and taking a curious interest in Taka horse paper mache toys”. Models cascaded down the steps of a historic monument, Borough Hall and onto a runway, wearing Ms. Dizon’s colorful dresses, fun prints and signature tiaras. Classic Filipino fabrics, such as; Ifugao textiles, Cordillera, Yakan and Abel Ilocanos were used to give a “nostalgic essence and share her beautiful culture” through her designs. Her pieces had unique character and an auto-biographical story shined through as each model posed. I was immediately inspired to meet the mind behind such whimsical fashion and her fascinating culture. Tracy Dizon’s story is far from boring or easy.

Born in Manila, Philippines, Tracy recalls desiring to become a fashion designer since the ripe age of 5 years old. Finding solace playing, “Barbie Dolls and Paperdolls”, she would draw clothes and put prices on them. She even made her own make-shift “fashion magazine” and pretended to be an editor. In her high school years, she attended, Miriam College Pep Squad (an exclusive Catholic school for girls in the Philippines). During that time, she used to doodle and give her classmates ‘prom dress designs’. She always had a fascination with color, costumes and dressing up. Tracy would then go on to pursue an advanced education in clothing design at Miriam College and courses at the University of the Philippines Diliman, amongst some of the most talented Filipino students. It was there that she was served a large slice of humble pie.

Later, Tracy became a stylist and costume designer for ABS-CBN in 2007. She designed for four shows; Lastikman, Imortal and PHR’s Pintada and Corazon Ang Unang Aswang. Although, working as a stylist for television and film helped her to pay bills and take care of her son, Travis Atreyu Dizon, she really desired to build her own brand. Over the years, Tracy participated in various fashion contests, such as; AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search (Malaysia) and Vietnam EmergingDesigner competition, which later lead her to the popular televised show, ProjectRunway Phillipines (season 2), in 2009. Although, it was a learning experience, the “cut-throat” and often viscious environment on the show, was not her cup of tea. Also during that year, she was chosen as the Phillipines Representative in the 47th Japan Fashion Design contest (Tokyo). Her involvement with that contest was received well by many new fans of her “weird, child-like aesthetic”. She then had an ah-ha moment and decided to “penetrate the international market, where options are wider and open to various bold and playful designs”.

Fortunately, Tracy grew up with travel agent parents and started traveling around the world, at a young age. Many of her design inspirations come from her appreciation for other cultures. She would often “wanderlust” as she refers to it, in Paris, London, New York, Hanoi and other cities. Although, these experiences may sound glamorous, Tracy’s career journey and personal life as a single parent have been a constant struggle.

Less than two years ago, life took an unexpected turn for Tracy and her son, Travis. Upon the heels of picking up business at big trade-shows, they received news that Travis had been diagnosed with a rare brain tumor and had to undergo immediate brain surgery. Sadly, Tiara by Tracy Dizon had to be put on hold, which was heartbreaking, but necessary. Today, Travis is a cancer survivor. The inseparable and inspiring mother and son team are pursuing their design dreams together. I had the pleasure of spending some time with them, while they were in New York City this past Fall. They were a breath of fresh air! Their smiles warmed my heart and I remember being in awe by their huge amount of love and respect for one another. They are truly the epitome of positivity, perseverance, strength and talent. Their future is bright and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019.

or more information regarding Tiara by Tracy Dizon, you can follow Tracy on Instagram @tracydizon.ph and @tiarabytracydizon.

Runway Photos and Article by Jodi Cornish

Additional Photo Credits: Solo photo of Tracy Dizon and photo of Tracy and Travis together, by Redford Mancio

Models: Virginia Liang, Morgan Glenn, Caroline Paras, Jackie Paras (Ms. New York US Nation 2018), Joyce Sheng, Vanessa Ramos, Alex Leimesiter, Jeannette Josue (Ms. World Elite 2018), Muyta Ng, Julee Bourgoin and Serenity Ford

Spot.PH: 25 Best Arts and Culture Moments of 2018 (Let's look back at another art-filled year.)

Written by: Christa I. De La Cruz 

Dec 28, 2018

Filipina designer Tracy Dizon makes it big in New York

Tracy Dizon, who is known for her quirky hat designs and non-traditional style, launched her Maria Clara-inspired collection "Pinoy Pop Life" during Fashion Week Brooklyn in New York on October 13. Instead of dresses that go all the way to the floor, her ensembles included a bouffant babydoll dress that uses Cordillera fabrics. She also had a sarimanok-inspired outfit featuring materials from the Tausug and Yakan peoples and a maxi skirt made from Ilocos’ inabel.

The FilAm: "Mad hatter Tracy Dizon’s bold and quirky designs"

December 2018

By Tracy Dizon


In 2010, I became a milliner, as the British would call people who design and craft hats for fashion and not so much to protect them from the sun.

I love designing hats because I can go all bold and full on creative. With hats, I can have the creative freedom to go quirky, opulent and dramatic. Hats are the first thing that will be noticed in a look, and they’re meant to catch attention, subtle or not.

In February 2010, right after my Japan Fashion Design Contest stint, I was able to put together the right team that can bring Tiara by Tracy Dizon come to life.

What is interesting is that the demand for me to make hats came even before I even started designing. After Project Runway Philippines Season 2 in 2009, there were several clients asking me to make their prom dresses, graduation ball gowns and all those made-to-order cocktail wear, and they started to ask me if I could also match their dresses with a bag and a hat. At the time, Avant Garde Lady Gaga and the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton were the interest of the market, and I was lucky to be a fashion bystander.

Together with my Miriam College high school best friend Jasmine Antonio, we were able to launch some interesting Wedding Collections, Cocktail Collections and some quirky unique stuff like Valentine’s Day and Pop Art pieces. Unfortunately, after the launch, Jasmine had to defer from Tiara since she had to focus on her career as an architect.

We initially aimed Tiara by Tracy Dizon as an online store, but opportunities created another pathway. After a major newspaper feature, Tiara was invited to consign in a very posh space in a mall in Makati City. Having the niche to design for headpieces gave me an edge among fashion designers. I was able to complement their works, blend in ensembles, and come up with a complete look altogether. That’s when I started to notice a big following in the local wedding industry.

Creativ Magazine: Spotlight Designer Tracy Dizon

December 2018

November 27, 2018 | Creativ Magazine | US Publication Feature Congratulations Tracy Dizon Fashion Designer for yet another successful showcase at the Brooklyn Fashion Week!!

Metro.Style: All The Celebrities And Personalities Who Graced #Metrowear2018 Featuring Vania Romoff

by Jovi Figueroa

November 23 2018, 2:12 AM

"...The red carpet was set on fire by stars and celebrities who made it to the event, including Jericho Rosales and Kim Jones, who came together in cool and stylish ensembles; Joanna Preysler looked regal in her white dress; photographer to the stars BJ Pascual donned a coordinated attire of blazer and trousers; Isabelle Daza in a powerful two-piece outfit by Vania Romoff; Martine Cajucom-Ho in a form-fitting Vania Romoff number; Jasmine Curtis-Smith with her boyfriend Jeff Ortega; Tessa Prieto-Valdez in a colorful stand-out ensemble by Tracy Dizon; and Heart Evangelista-Escudero who stunned in a black Vania Romoff dress."

Wow Cordillera: Cordillera Indigenous fabric 'INABEL' goes international, recognized at New York Fashion Week

November 17, 2018

Cordillera - The traditional Cordilleran fabric "Inabel" is already having an international recognition as it made its  way to the New York Fashion Week which was held last week.


Filipina fashion designer Tracy Dizon with the help of a fellow Cordillera designer Harvic Dominguez made the effort for this traditional Inabel fabric to be recognized abroad. 

With her fascination with textiles from different regions in the Philippines, she has created numerous dresses which include a baby doll dress made with Cordillera fabrics. The dress can be used in any formal or casual occasions. 


One of her award winning collection is the Cordilleran ensemble worn by Filipina actress and singer Johanne Morisette Daug Amon, better known by her stage name, Morisette.

Among the attire showcased in the Fashion show were fabrics made with Ifugao textiles, Cordillera fabrics, Yakan and Iloko Inabel. 

Dizon will be showing her Pinoy Pop Life fashion collection for Spring Summer 2019 at the prestigious New York Fashion Week and will be putting Filipiniana-inspired designs and indigenous fabrics.

Solis Magazine: Tracy Dizon Fashion Weekn Brooklyn Spring Summer 2019

November 17, 2018

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Manila Bulletin: Turning the Spotlight on the TERNO Written by: Liza Ilarde

November 16, 2018

We’re still on a high over all the lovely ternos we saw at last Sunday’s first TernoCon held at the CCP—especially on the guests! Fashion & beauty editor Liza Ilarde was there and broke it down to 11 trends. See designers’ versions of “ternong pang-cocktail” in today’s Manila Bulletin! 🇵🇭

Tracy Dizon one of the notable best dressed in the Ternocon 2018 event.

When in Manila: This Filipina Single Mom is Making It Big as a Fashion Designer

Written By: ANGELINE RODRIGUEZ

November 16, 2018

We’re suckers for stories of Filipinos who are making a name for themselves, whatever the industry. Well, when it comes to fashion, there is one particular Filipina who is really making it big abroad with her quirky designs that have already been seen during New York Fashion Week.

Tracy’s story is an incredibly one as she became pregnant with her son while she was still in college taking BS Clothing Technology at the University of the Philippines during which time she lived in a home for troubled pregnancy single mothers. Still, that didn’t stop her from finishing school, even eventually bringing her son to school with her and breastfeeding him in class. Her classmates helped take care of her son as she joined inter-school fashion design contests to strengthen her resume.

Things got even harder when her son was diagnosed with brain cancer. Still, they kept fighting and her son was healed 10 months later. Soon, she was on her way to Brooklyn Fashion Week with invites to Vancouver Fashion Week, Dubai International Fashion Week, and Battle of Designers in Toronto, all of which are opportunities that Tracy says she never got here in Manila.

Her most recent collection, her Spring-Summer 2019 Collection entitled ‘Pinoy Pop Life’ is, according to Tracy, an autobiographical excerpt of her life growing up in Manila where she was born and raised.

“Over the years that I had been privileged to represent my country in various fashion occasion, personal travels and research I have learned to appreciate the colorful hodgepodge of Filipino Culture that I represent,” she shares. “I am a Filipina. The smile in my face that lights up any room and that joyful energy I bring in, it is because I am a Filipina.”

She reminisces, “I grew up with the guilty pleasure of sneaking some servings of “Dirty Ice Creams” on hot Manila afternoons. I grew up feeling the pink petals rains of Bougainvillea Flowers over the urban streets of Manila. I grew up taking curious interest over Taka Horse Paper Mache Toys which I would look forward to during provincial town fiestas. I wanted to join the Girl Scouts of the Philippines wanting to wear their cool uniforms not knowing I would often be soiled with outdoor camping activities. Filipiniana Day in school would always be a fashion challenge trying to make Filipiniana look more hip than everyone. Even back then, I must say that I already have the knack for fashion in very odd ways.”

These are all personal memories that Tracy draws inspiration from, celebrating the unique nostalgia of our different backgrounds as Filipinos.

“I am making this collection with a big heart of sharing my beautiful culture in the form of fashion,” she explains. “I want to share the undeniably show-stopping beauty of the Philippines. This is my long-term dream as a Filipino creative: to stimulate the appreciation of Filipino culture not only to the global audience, but to Filipino youth all over the world.”

It is incredibly humbling and inspiring to watch Tracy soldier on and thrive in her field of work despite all of the hardships that she had to go through as a single mom and with her son’s sickness, and we couldn’t be more proud and amazed by her success. This just goes to show how far someone can go with the right mindset, and a lot of faith and hard work.

COSMO.PH: These Local Celebrities Will Show You Modern Ways To Wear The Terno Written by: Steph Sison for Preview.PH

November 15, 2018

When one speaks of the terno, we immediately think of the Filipiniana costume we used to wear at school during Linggo ng Wika. But mind you, this locally made dress is more than that. In fact, it's a stylish option when attending gatherings and social events. Still need more convincing? We spotted these local celebrities wearing modern ternos at the first ever Bench TernoCon 2018. Time to take style notes, ladies!


11. Use indigenous fabrics for a colorful, modern terno. Tracy Dizon in her own design.

#MetroStyleWatch: These Celebrities Are Encouraging Filipinos To Make The Terno In Vogue Again! TernoCon Best Dressed Guests

November 12, 2018

For most of us, formal attire means embroidered ball gowns, tulle dresses, edgy minimalist pieces, and even androgynous pantsuits. But how about the terno? Does it even enter the mind?

The Cultural Center of the Philippines and local fashion brand Bench is starting a movement: to encourage more Filipinos to patronize the terno. After all, if the Japanese and the Koreans can wear the kimono and the hanbok with pride—then why not promote this attitude among Pinoys, too?

To keep a century of culture and local craftmanship alive, the two organizations have joined forces in promoting the terno to the next generation of fashion enthusiasts. They've done it all—from publishing a book on the evolution of Philippine national dresses (written by costume designer Gino Gonzales and Slim's Fashion and Arts School co-director Mark Lewis Higgins), to hosting terno-making competitions, and recently, to concluding a terno-making mentorship program across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.    

For the regional designers who participated in the program under veteran Pinoy designers JC Buendia, Cary Santiago, and Len Cabili, months of learning and hard work finally lead to last night's big culminating event—the TernoCon.

Competing for two categories—the Balintawak Cocktail Terno and the Formal Terno—were 28 finalists from 17 provinces nationwide, whose works were judged according to craftsmanship, creativity, and functionality. 

Aside from the competition, the TernoCon also presented a show of couture terno creations by the program mentors.

Celebrities, designers, and society personalities supported the advocacy, gracing the iconic halls of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in their own statement-making terno. From classic, Maria Clara-inspired dresses to modern, avant garde interpretations, the evening's guests shone in their proudly local ensembles.

The butterfly-sleeved dress is indeed one of the uniquely Filipino costumes we can truly call ours. And with passionate Pinoys fighting to keep it relevant in the fast-paced industry of fashion, we're hopeful to see that it's thriving—and here to stay.

For our list of #MetroStyleWatch best-dressed guests at the TernoCon 2018, scroll ahead!
 Designer Tracy Dizon in her own creation

The Philippine Star: Guests in Ternos are Made to Feel Like They're Part of the Ternocon Show

November 14, 2018

November 14, 2018 The Philippine Star (Philippines) F1-F3

University of the Philippines Alumni: Filipina Designer Tracy Dizon Shows Off Pinoy Pop Culture in Brooklyn

November 5, 2018

Her collection, showcased at Fashion Week Brooklyn, featured indigenous Philippine fabrics.

(SPOT.ph) It is fall in New York. But instead of typical autumnal outfits making an appearance, the audience in front of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall is greeted with the sight of a modern Maria Clara. She wears a straw hat just like her male contemporaries would, except hers is etched with roses and angled with attitude. She dons the traditional black-and-white stripes, but this time they are tailored into lightweight pants in lieu of a floor-length skirt. This outfit was part of “Pinoy Pop Life,” a collection by Filipina designer Tracy Dizon, launched on October 13 at Fashion Week Brooklyn: Spring/Summer Collections 2019 in New York.

A pop culture take on Philippine fashion doesn’t sound like something that hasn’t been done before. Local brands have plastered aviators on Jose Rizal, ikat fabrics on jumpers, and jeepneys on just about everything. But what makes Tracy Dizon’s show stand out? It starts with the designer herself.

An intersection of history and design 
Dizon specializes in fashion and hat design, but her background includes a multi-disciplinary exposure to the industry, having taken on roles ranging from a costume designer, stylist, illustrator, and even teacher. “Pinoy Pop Life” is an expression of all of these. While she was studying Clothing Technology at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, Dizon was fascinated by textiles from different regions of the Philippines. Eventually, she created a baby doll dress in Cordillera fabrics, a sarimanok-inspired dress featuring materials from the Tausug and Yakan peoples, and a maxi skirt made from Ilocos’ inabel.

With cultural appropriation being risky territory among designers, Dizon acknowledges that “there will be more authoritative figures who can give more expert advice on cultural and Filipiniana matters,” she humbly tells SPOT.ph. She emphasized that product development and research was the “longest, time-consuming” part of making her collection. When asked about tips for other designers, she advises: “Be immersed, study and research. Not just Google-pegging-research. Learn the sociology. Learn the history.”

She also expounds on the value of fabric use, which are mostly handwoven manually by local artisans.

“Imagine: The Yakan weaver will take three months to finish such fabrics? It’s beautiful! Especially nowadays, [when] we are struggling to survive the fast-fashion trend, I want to put something out there that will remind consumers [of] the value of fashion and clothing,” Dizon narrates.

Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

“I am so touched that after my show, I have been seeing local tribe Facebook Pages sharing my collection and that I made them proud. There’s nothing more rewarding than that,” she beams with pride.

Imbibing the Filipino spirit
Dizon’s drive is what got her a slot in Fashion Week Brooklyn. For the past 12 years, she has regularly joined fashion competitions. You might recall her as a contestant for the show Project Runway Philippines in 2009, but it was her stint in Solis Magazine’s “Fashion Designer Competition” in September—where she ended up placing third—that paved the way for her New York show—and it wasn’t easy. “[My team and I were] working during the height of typhoon season in Manila. I commend my staff [for] pulling [through] floods just to finish one look. The editor-in-chief of Solis Magazine even told me that the first and second placers weren’t able to do the show this season, because of the short production time, which I totally understand,” Dizon recalls.

Dizon and her team’s resourcefulness is perhaps what makes “Pinoy Pop Life” so Filipino. In an online post, Dizon laments how she wanted to buy “top class—fabrics,” but it was too expensive. As an alternative, they created a collection that combined indigenous Philippine fabrics with ready-made and familiar materials.

This familiarity is what you’d see in a terno made with denim, embroidery inspired by jeepney stickers, and a sinamay hat shaped like sapin-sapin. The designs are reflections of Dizon’s life in Manila. She recalls how the traditional rice cake was a childhood favorite, especially since her mother would often bring it home from work. One of her floral hats call to mind fallen bougainvillea in summer.

The jeepney references aren’t just standard Philippine pop symbols, but mementos of when Dizon had to set aside P20 fare to get home from school. She was a part-time student in college, then a working single mother, and—finally—a fundraiser for her own collection.

Self-doubt was only one of the many challenges that Dizon has had to hurdle in her journey as a designer, who never gave up in the face of failure back home. “I [could] never even book a show in Manila,” Dizon wrote in a Facebook post. Now, she is participating for the second time in Fashion Week Brooklyn.

When Dizon is asked, what’s it like to be living your dreams? She muses, “I think the key is not to think that this is the end game. I constantly remind myself where I came from. I want to remember those days when I was at the bottom so now that I have elevated a little, I will keep in mind how difficult it is for those who are starting up.”

Looking back on the time when she was just starting out, she can’t help thinking about what she would say to herself back then: “Just work. ” For Dizon, “it is a true test of passion to continue pushing on despite unpopular remarks and feedback.”

Staying in the present
Naturally, people are always curious about what’s next. But Dizon asserts, “I actually want to focus on the now. Fashion is so fast, everyone would want to ask what’s next, but I believe that my designs are made so well [that] it would not be just some fad that will fade away quickly. I owe it to the tribes, the craftsmen, and artisans I’ve worked with to give this collection the best recognition commercially and artistically. The bigger cause I’ve wanted to offer for this collection is making a younger and wearable Filipiniana [that] surpasses fashion trends.”

Perhaps today’s Maria Clara is more forward-thinking than ever.

Written by Anika Ventura

Manila Bulletin: Pinay Rocks Fashion Week Brooklyn

Written by: Pierra Labrador

November 2, 2018

In today's MB Fashion and Beauty, Pierra Calasanz-Labrador sat down with Filipina milliner and fashion designer Tracy Dizon as she talked about bringing Pinoy pop culture to New York and closing Fashion Week Brooklyn. Grab a copy of Manila Bulletin and read all about it on Fifi's Finds!

Spot.PH: Filipina Designer Tracy Dizon Shows Off Pinoy Pop Culture in Brooklyn

Her collection, showcased at Fashion Week Brooklyn, featured indigenous Philippine fabrics. Written by: Anika Ventura

October 31, 2018

(SPOT.ph) It is fall in New York. But instead of typical autumnal outfits making an appearance, the audience in front of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall is greeted with the sight of a modern Maria Clara. She wears a straw hat just like her male contemporaries would, except hers is etched with roses and angled with attitude. She dons the traditional black-and-white stripes, but this time they are tailored into lightweight pants in lieu of a floor-length skirt. This outfit was part of “Pinoy Pop Life,” a collection by Filipina designer Tracy Dizon, launched on October 13 at Fashion Week Brooklyn: Spring/Summer Collections 2019 in New York.

A pop culture take on Philippine fashion doesn’t sound like something that hasn’t been done before. Local brands have plastered aviators on Jose Rizal, ikat fabrics on jumpers, and jeepneys on just about everything. But what makes Tracy Dizon’s show stand out? It starts with the designer herself.

An intersection of history and design

Dizon specializes in fashion and hat design, but her background includes a multi-disciplinary exposure to the industry, having taken on roles ranging from a costume designer, stylist, illustrator, and even teacher. “Pinoy Pop Life” is an expression of all of these. While she was studying Clothing Technology at the University of the Philippines - Diliman, Dizon was fascinated by textiles from different regions of the Philippines. Eventually, she created a baby doll dress in Cordillera fabrics, a sarimanok-inspired dress featuring materials from the Tausug and Yakan peoples, and a maxi skirt made from Ilocos’ inabel.

With cultural appropriation being risky territory among designers, Dizon acknowledges that "there will be more authoritative figures who can give more expert advice on cultural and Filipiniana matters,” she humbly tells SPOT.ph. She emphasized that product development and research was the “longest, time-consuming” part of making her collection. When asked about tips for other designers, she advises: "Be immersed, study and research. Not just Google-pegging-research. Learn the sociology. Learn the history.”

She also expounds on the value of fabric use, which are mostly handwoven manually by local artisans.

"Imagine: The Yakan weaver will take three months to finish such fabrics? It’s beautiful! Especially nowadays, [when] we are struggling to survive the fast-fashion trend, I want to put something out there that will remind consumers [of] the value of fashion and clothing,” Dizon narrates.

Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

"I am so touched that after my show, I have been seeing local tribe Facebook Pages sharing my collection and that I made them proud. There’s nothing more rewarding than that,” she beams with pride.

Imbibing the Filipino spirit

Dizon’s drive is what got her a slot in Fashion Week Brooklyn. For the past 12 years, she has regularly joined fashion competitions. You might recall her as a contestant for the show Project Runway Philippines in 2009, but it was her stint in Solis Magazine’s “Fashion Designer Competition” in September—where she ended up placing third—that paved the way for her New York show—and it wasn’t easy. “[My team and I were] working during the height of typhoon season in Manila. I commend my staff [for] pulling [through] floods just to finish one look. The editor-in-chief of Solis Magazine even told me that the first and second placers weren’t able to do the show this season, because of the short production time, which I totally understand,” Dizon recalls.

Dizon and her team's resourcefulness is perhaps what makes “Pinoy Pop Life” so Filipino. In an online post, Dizon laments how she wanted to buy “top class—fabrics,” but it was too expensive. As an alternative, they created a collection that combined indigenous Philippine fabrics with ready-made and familiar materials.

This familiarity is what you'd see in a terno made with denim, embroidery inspired by jeepney stickers, and a sinamay hat shaped like sapin-sapin. The designs are reflections of Dizon’s life in Manila. She recalls how the traditional rice cake was a childhood favorite, especially since her mother would often bring it home from work. One of her floral hats call to mind fallen bougainvillea in summer.

The jeepney references aren’t just standard Philippine pop symbols, but mementos of when Dizon had to set aside P20 fare to get home from school. She was a part-time student in college, then a working single mother, and—finally—a fundraiser for her own collection.

Self-doubt was only one of the many challenges that Dizon has had to hurdle in her journey as a designer, who never gave up in the face of failure back home. "I [could] never even book a show in Manila," Dizon wrote in a Facebook post. Now, she is participating for the second time in Fashion Week Brooklyn. 

When Dizon is asked, what's it like to be living your dreams? She muses, "I think the key is not to think that this is the end game. I constantly remind myself where I came from. I want to remember those days when I was at the bottom so now that I have elevated a little, I will keep in mind how difficult it is for those who are starting up."

Looking back on the time when she was just starting out, she can't help thinking about what she would say to herself back then: "Just work. " For Dizon, "it is a true test of passion to continue pushing on despite unpopular remarks and feedback."

Staying in the present

Naturally, people are always curious about what’s next. But Dizon asserts, "I actually want to focus on the now. Fashion is so fast, everyone would want to ask what’s next, but I believe that my designs are made so well [that] it would not be just some fad that will fade away quickly. I owe it to the tribes, the craftsmen, and artisans I’ve worked with to give this collection the best recognition commercially and artistically. The bigger cause I’ve wanted to offer for this collection is making a younger and wearable Filipiniana [that] surpasses fashion trends.”

Perhaps today’s Maria Clara is more forward-thinking than ever.

PH Department of Foreign Affairs Philippine: Consulate General in New York Welcomes Filipino Fashion Designer

October 29, 2018

NEW YORK 29 October 2018 – A Filipino fashion designer and milliner who won a fashion design competition in New York was warmly welcomed at the Philippine Center on 10 October 2018. 

The Philippine Consulate General in New York welcomed to the Center fashion designer and milliner Tracy Dizon, who will be showing her Pinoy Pop Life Fashion collection for Spring Summer 2019 at the prestigious New York Fashion Week.

As the grand prize winner of the Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition in Fashion Week Brooklyn last Fall, Ms. Dizon featured a collection inspired by her trip to Vietnam. This time around, she will be putting Filipino-inspired couture at the forefront by featuring Filipiniana-inspired designs and indigenous fabrics.

The Consulate General is very proud to see young Filipinos succeeding in the globally competitive fashion industry. END

 For more information, visit www.newyorkpcg.dfa.gov.ph / www.newyorkpcg.org or https://www.facebook.com/PHLinNY/.

The Philippine Star: Quirky Show-Stopper Written by: Domini Torrevillas

October 25, 2018

Filipina streetwear and milliner Tracy Dizon made a big hit as she made the Fashion Week Brooklyn Spring Summer 2019 Closing Finale for the Season on October 6  at the Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York. The Spring Summer 2019 collection featured complete looks from her clothing designs  and millinery brand Tiara by Tracy Dizon.

Her collection, titled “Pinoy Pop Life: The Nostalgia of Growing Up as a Filipino”  was an autobiographical statement of her life growing up in the capital of the Philippines.

The collection included 12 looks, each taking inspiration from a variety of Philippine cultural references: from dirty ice cream to the signboard of the jeepney to  the paper mache Taka Horse – all of which  integrated modern designs and vibrant colors.

It was a pure emotional moment, being the closing finale for S/S 2019 Season of the FWBK and to have son, Travis Atreyyu Dizon, join the Final Walk as the mother and son duo have always been inseparable.

 This wasn’t the first time Tracy won an international design contest. Last year, she won the Rise Sport’s Rise Art&Design Fashion Design Competition, which opened the opportunity for her to launch her Miss Hanoi collection in Fashion Week Brooklyn Spring/Summer 2018 at the Borough Hall in   Brooklyn. As part of her winning, she also launched a limited edition of sunglasses with Rise Sport that matched her Collection’s aesthetics last Spring /Summer 2018.

I did not see Tracy Dizon’s 12-piece finale presentation on October 6,  but the photographs sent me shows, in my own words, crazy and wild pop costumes that are eye-stoppers.  The pieces are made from different Philippine traditional fabrics like Ifugao textiles, Cordillera fabrics, Yakan, and Abel Iloco, which are incorporated with modern aesthetics to create a modern “Maria Clara.”

One of her key pieces is a doll dress made out of traditional Ifugao printed textiles. The collared doll dress, with butterfly sleeves, its skirt above the knees, can be worn either for both formal and casual occasions. Another piece is a hat inspired by the Philippine rice cake, sapin sapin, where Tracy experimented with shape and colors that are very Filipino and festive. She says,  ”More often than not, Filipiniana clothing would often feel too traditional and old that the younger generation may feel disjointed with the culture. I would like to exhibit a fresh creative perspective to Filipiniana clothing that hopefully, someday soon wearing Filipiniana would not be just limited to formal occasions and national holidays.”

Tracy wrote me that she made the collection “with a big heart of sharing my beautiful culture in the form of fashion. I want to share the undeniably show-stopping beauty of the Philippines. I wanted to present both the nostalgic essence of growing up in the Philippines and at the same time moving forward towards promoting the unique hodgepodge of Filipino pop culture.”  

Walking for Tracy’s runway were a mix of New York runway models,  and was notably opened by Miss New York US Nation 2018 Jackie Paras; Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 first runner up Julee Bourgoin,  and closed by Miss World Elite 2018 Jeannette Josue, and Filipina beauties.

Attending the show were noted guests such as Kerwin Orville C., Tate Deputy Consul General of PCG NY; Club Kid Richie Rich (seasoned designer and founder of Heatherette), and Filipino artists Sarah Gaugler and Paolo Peralta (the power couple behind TuboGoth).  Tracy was thrilled that these icons attended her show. Philippine Consul General  Claro S. Cristobal of New York welcomed the designer’s  pre-show.

Tracy was born in Manila, the eldest of five children. Her fashion designing career may have begun when at age 5 she was playing with Barbie dolls, made her “fashion magazine”,  and drew clothes she would put prices on. At the Miriam College Pep Squad, she drew uniforms and jackets, made classmates’  prom dresses, and was pleased beyond words when at the high school baccalaureate mass and graduation, the school “prophet” predicted that Tracy Dizon would become a top couturier.

For college, she enrolled at the UP Diliman for a BS in clothing technology. She said she is a fashion “kontesera” starting  in college “not because I was super galing, back then. I entered fashion contests to save my grades for extra points.” But she did not finish her college course as she could not stay long hours in the lab that took half or even whole days in school. “That is still one of the loose ends I would like to finish eventually.”

Luckily she was hired  by ABS-CBN as a head stylist turned costume designer with a local fantasy TV-series,  “Plastikman,” “Imortal” and “PHR: Pintada.” She also designed costumes for “Corazon,  Ang Unang Aswang.”  But, she said, “Styling and TV film were  something I did for my bread and butter for my son.  I really yearned to create something of my own, of my own brand.” Her son  Travis survived a rare brain tumor called Extraventricular Neurocytoma.

Still, she went on doing fashion-related jobs like being a merchandizer for a retail company, and as a  magazine contributor and fashion stylist for music videos and commercial stints. She also made accessories, even worked as a  kids’ wear designer,  and had “a super cool and amazing collaboration” with a local retail company – BoardwalkPH that had her designs, her name and face in a national billboard ad campaign in 2013. “That’s one cool gig, not all designers will get to have a billboard on a national highway. On the side, I was still joining fashion contests that eventually led me to finally designing on my own, from doing odd hat samples made out of bra pads, eventually developing my millinery brand, Tiara by Tracy Dizon.’’  Her most famous client is Tessa Prieto-Valdes, who ordered her hats in bulk because, she told Tracy, “Mas baliw ka pa sa akin.”  Another one of her regulars is Maxene Magalona for whom she makes Kitty Ears.  “I guess my designs  are not for everyone, but I take comfort with my regular clientele who just want to find something unique, quirky and cute which is limited out in the fashion market.”

Her quirky designs made her get selected as a finalist at prestigious fashion contests here  and abroad. As a finalist in the Fashion Design Council of the Philippines’ design competition in 2006/2007, she was like a “lost lamb,” contending with super big time-designers like Eric Delos Santos, John Herrera, Aztec Barba, Pablo Mendez, Gershwin Cua, and  Ziggy Savella.  Shortly thereafter, she was selected as a Philippine representative to the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest in 2009 with Veejay Floresca and Nicole  Mori. “Japan opened a whole world of love and appreciation for my weird child-like aesthetic. That’s when I realized maybe I should try penetrating the international market where options are wider and more open  to my different bold and playful designs.” It was all good.  Every contest and misadventure was like a journey of honing my skills, enjoying the game and meeting fellow dreamers and now friends in the industry.”

 She has been a member of Manila FAME’s Manila Wear brand since 2016 and was mentored by Josie Natori, who urged her to expand her product segments to include clothing other than hats and head pieces, gearing toward developing a lifestyle brand.

 She has persistently joined numerous fashion contests for the past 12 years, including  the Japan Fashion Design Contest in Tokyo, Air Asia Runway Ready Designer Search in Malaysia, Emerging Designer in Vietnam,the  Philippine Fashion Design Competition and Project Runway Philippines before she bagged the Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition in New York in 2017 and was3rd runner-up in Solis Magazine X FWBK Fashion Design  Competition in September 2018.


Read more at https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2018/10/25/1862931/quirky-and-show-stopper?fbclid=IwAR1HNO5KoE-oNx-tZVoZu8FwaQWSgF7nL6uuU9gXbmCGlaILzZxZ--2YDng#vZ1HI2lURAK3ZZtr.99

The Philippine Consulate General in New York Welcomes Filipino Fashion Designer, Tracy Dizon Bringing Pinoy Pop Fashion to New York Fashion Week

October 11, 2018

11 October 2018, New York – The Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY) welcomed to the Philippine Center yesterday Filipino Fashion Designer and milliner Tracy Dizon, who will be showing her Pinoy Pop Life Fashion collection for Spring Summer 2019 at no less than the prestigious New York Fashion Week. As the grand prize winner of the Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition in Fashion Week Brooklyn last Fall, Ms. Dizon featured a collection inspired by her trip to Vietnam. This time around, Ms. Dizon will be putting Filipino-inspired couture at the forefrontby featuring Filipiniana-inspired designs and indigenous fabrics.

Lifestyle Network: Tracy Dizon is Taking Over the Fashion World

Written by: Carla De Guzman

Monday, Oct 15, 2018 04:16 AM

Tracy Dizon is the designer that could. With her funky glasses and huge infectious smile, we first came in contact with her after her first NYFW show, where she was brimming with pride and possibility after her amazing show, where she proudly announced that, "if you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere!" (See our article here!). 

Now, less than a year later, we find the time to catch up with her, jet-lagged but still bright, fresh off the runway at Brookyln Fashion Week. Aside from getting an exclusive, behind the scenes look at the runway and her gorgeous, Filipino-inspired collection, we chat about her decision to move to the US permanently, her new vision, how she sourced her materials, and the advice she would give a new designer about to embark on the crazy journey to being a designer. 

Fashion week the second time around, how is it different from the first? Do you feel more confident, or does it feel like the first time?
I am super anal and super OCD about everything! But surprisingly it’s quite smooth this time! Last year being a first timer… debuting a fashion week is so huge! I didn’t know what to expect but just grasping my vision of the whole show. One of the best things this time is finding the right models, since I was so happy with my models last year I got most of them again, I need someone who wears my clothes and would not be swallowed by the funk of my designs. I am more confident this time just because I’m so happy to get to do this again… You know the feeling “I wish I did this, I wish I did that!” And now this time I can finally do it again!

The more challenging part making this collection is actually the production of the designs… mainly because I mixed the Indigenous Philippine Fabrics with Pret-a-Porter materials the research and sourcing was intesive and bled my finances hard! But that’s when I know something is gonna be great from the blood sweat and tears making it! 

We saw from your collection that you went back to using local fabrics and creating more Filipino-centric designs. What was the thought process for that, and how did you source the materials?
To be quite honest, it was more challenging for me to make something Filipino inspired because I want to dig deep with how it relates to me. I don’t want to make something “Filipiniana” just for the sake that I am Filipino. I felt insincere if I suddenly try to make a collection from different regions of the Philippines without deep reflections.

But it came around. I made once again a semi-autobiographical collection. This collection is all about how it is to grow up in Manila, how it is to grow up in the Philippines, the nostalgia and pop culture mixed with the traditional culture was my revolving theme with this collection. It is my personal memories of growing up in Manila and having that Pop Life Experience from my day to day life. 

As for the sourcing of materials, it was the most challenging part! I have been working on this collection since early 2018. Indigenous materials are so scarce and very pricey! I was lucky that my Manila Fame affiliation helped me familiarized the best among the country’s artisans! So as early as 1st quarter of 2018, I was already setting my orders of handmade weaves! I even met the supplier of Christian Loubotin’s Manilacaba who also graciously supplied me the best materials available in the scarce market.

You mentioned to me that you were rushing all of this and filing your documents to move to the USA with your son! Was this something you always planned on doing? How were you able manage your time?
Whaaaa it was crazy! Super! But I actually got all my requirements completed but I decided to move it after my show and then comeback to Manila for my interview. I couldn’t risk not getting my passport in time for my show. Yes I’ve waited for this for 11 years, the same reason I didn’t make long term binding plans in Manila (like opening my own shop etc) because this had been at the back of my mind always.

What’s the best designing advice you’ve ever heard? What would you say to a young designer starting out?
Always remember to be humble… Be Humble… Someone or something else will always be better than you, but it should not stop you from improving your craft and hone your ideas. Always be kind because you’ll never know someone below you could be your next boss in the future. Listen to mentors and teachers as they will be always be your guiding light every step of the way. I kept in my heart and mind some of the best advise of my mentors over the years:

1)     I remember 2007, Joey Samson was one of the first mentors I’ve had from PFDC, I was so intimidated by him but I’ve learned so much from him by “trusting my instincts”.

2)     Then reassured again by Sir Jojie Lloren during my Project Runway Philippines Days, “to trust my vision and commit into making your sketches to reality.” It all the grandiosity of ideas would be such a waste if you can’t commit to making it.

3)     Then moreover, with Miss Josie Natori, I’ve always kept in mind her own success story she shared with us… I was so moved that even fashion empires like hers also struggled at the beginning and only got her capital returns a decade after or so. It got me so inspired that it is not impossible to reach for success… because actual Fashion Icons also had their own bumps and struggles. She was the one who (roughly) said, “No Fashion Designer would be in their right mind to do this job if they do not love what they’re doing.” It validated in me that commitment you need to stay in the business even more so. To be honest there are more days that I am working on a loss more than earning and makes me question if I chose the right path, but it’s a forgiving relief to know that successful brands and designers also had that same strife in developing their business.

There’s no better feeling seeing my teachers and mentors be proud of what I’ve accomplished in every design, collection or project I’ve made over the years. I guess because for me they’re like my fashion fairy godparents that helped me find my way towards my own fairytale.

Moving forward, despite the struggles and long road I’ve taken towards my career, I am beyond thankful for the kind people who was brought to me that I want to pay-it-forward as well. As I had great mentors and teachers guide me, I also want to  help aspiring fashion students out there as well. Whenever I am invited on school talks and engagements, I always share this  lesson I’ve learned over the years thriving in the business. 

"There's no short cut to becoming a one-of-a-kind-designer, there will always be someone better, someone new, some new trend, some new sensation. All you can do is never stop reinventing your craft and never stop learning. In the end, what I can personally advise is: Make the creations that you, yourself, would like to buy and splurge on... Just like LOVE, be the person you, yourself, would want to love.”

What’s the one thing you wished Filipinas knew about fashion?
I wish more Filipinas think of fashion as an extension of oneself, a self expression and be less band-wagon kind of peeps. We tend to always just play it safe and always too mindful of “the color is not bagay with me” one thing I am thankful now with social media and more global stores opening in the Philippines, more Pinays are opening their clothing options. Fashion is not that complicated once you think of it as an extension of yourself and your personality. There are so many fun things fashion can do for us it had for me made new friends, made a conversation and boosted my self confidence when I started to realize I dress up for no one but myself. 

The Philippine Daily Inquirer: Designer Tracy Dizon to show collection at NY Fashion Week

October 18, 2018

NEW YORK – Filipino fashion designer and milliner Tracy Dizon, who will be showing her Pinoy Pop LifeFashion collection for Spring Summer 2019 at the prestigious New York Fashion Week.

As the grand prize winner of the Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition in Fashion Week Brooklynlast fall, Dizon featured a collection inspired by her trip to Vietnam.

This time around, Dizon will be putting Filipino-inspired couture at the forefront with Filipiniana-inspired designs and indigenous fabrics.

Manila Insider: Filipina Milliner Designer Tracy Dizon to Bring Philippine Pop Culture to NYFW Runways by: Tiffany Tolones

October 1, 2018

After the success of her “Miss Hanoi” Collection in Fashion Week Brooklyn (FWBK) last year, Filipina streetwear designer and milliner Tracy Dizon is set to make her FWBK comeback this October 13, with a new collection inspired by her country’s very own pop culture.

“Pinoy Pop Life (The Nostalgia of Growing Up as a Filipino)” does not simply play an ode to the nostalgia of a childhood in the Philippines, but rather a culmination of Dizon’s long desire to showcase her heritage and her love for it to the world.  It is an autobiographical exert of Dizon’s life growing up in the capital of the Philippines.

The collection includes at least 10 looks, each taking inspiration from a variety of Philippine cultural references. From dirty ice cream to the signboard of the quintessential Philippine vehicle, the jeepneys, and the papier-mâché Taka Horse, the designs integrate modern designs and vibrant colors to create a look that each tells a different story.

The pieces are made from different Philippine traditional fabrics like Ifugao textiles, Cordillera fabrics, Yakan, and Abel Iloco, and incorporates them with modern aesthetics to create a modern “Maria Clara”.

“I am making this collection with a big desire in my heart to be able to share my beautiful culture in the form of fashion. I want to share the undeniably show-stopping beauty of the Philippines. This time around, I want to present both the nostalgic essence of growing up in the Philippines and at the same time moving forward towards promoting the unique hodgepodge of Filipino Pop Culture that has yet to be discovered,” Dizon said.

One of her pieces is a Crop Top and Shorts pair made out of traditional Ifugao textiles. The collared crop top has butterfly sleeves that can be worn either for both formal and casual occasions. Another of her pieces is a hat inspired by the Philippine rice cake, sapin-sapin, where Dizon experimented with shape and colors that are very Filipino and festive.

“More often than not, Filipiniana clothing would often feel too traditional and old that the younger generation may feel disjointed with the culture. I would like to exhibit a fresh creative perspective to the Filipiniana clothing that hopefully, will pave the way for a future where the Filipiniana will not be just limited to formal occasions and national holidays.”

“I take pride in this upcoming collection very much. My wish is to be that these designs will be something my fellow Kababayans would be so proud of—the collection is all about 100% PINOY PRIDE and relatable to many Filipinos all over the world,” Dizon added.

Dizon’s participation comes at the heels of her winning Third Place in the US-based Solis Magazine: Art & Entertainment’s Fashion Designer Contest, winning a sponsorship for 60% of her FWBK registration fee.

But this isn’t the first time she’s won an international design contest. Last year, Dizon won the Rise Sport’s Rise Art&Design Fashion Design Competition, which opened the opportunity for her to launch her Miss Hanoi collection in Fashion

As part of her prize for winning, she also launched her limited edition sunglasses with Rise Sport that matched her collection’s aesthetics.

Tracy Dizon has been a member of Manila FAME’s Manila Wear brand since 2016 and was mentored by Natori, who urged her to expand her product segments to include clothing and other pieces other than hats and headpieces, geared towards developing a lifestyle brand.

Dizon has persistently joined numerous fashion content for the past 12 years, including internationally in Japan Fashion Design Contest (Tokyo), AirAsia Runway ReadyDesigner Search (Malaysia) and Vietnam Emerging Designer (Vietnam), Philippine Fashion Design Competition and Project Runway Philippines before she bagged the Rise Art&Design Fashion Design Competition in New York.


Let’s cheer on our kababayan Tracy Dizon! Good luck and hustle, Ms. Tracy!

MC News: Young designer presents second collection at New York Fashion Week by Glenna Aquino | Philippine Daily Inquirer

September 28, 2018

The nice thing about being an independent brand is that it allows you to be true to your beliefs.

Streetwear designer and milliner Tracy Dizon recently bagged the inaugural Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition Award, launched by the label Rise Sport, a New York company specializing in sports apparel and accessories, in collaboration with Fashion Week Brooklyn.

Her winning collection, “Miss Hanoi: La Douleur Exquise,” consisted of an eclectic ensemble inspired by the Vietnamese áo dài, military uniforms and icons of Vietnamese history for an “imaginary local girl.”

Based in Manila, Dizon currently owns and directs the brand Tiara by Tracy Dizon, which makes hats and fascinators for the local and international markets. Her list of clients includes Filipino celebs Maxene Magalona, Sanya Smith, Tessa Prieto Valdes, Tokyo-based fashion editor Misha Janette and “Sex and the City” costume designer Patricia Field.

Often described as quirky, Dizon has a childlike sense of adventure in her use of bold prints and exaggerated silhouettes.

I recently interviewed this young designer on her beginnings and her views on cultural appropriation in design. I found truth, energy and freshness in her opinions.

What were the first steps you took in the world of fashion?

Subconsciously, I think I wanted to become a fashion designer since I was 5. I was the only child before my five other siblings were born. I was fascinated with different aspects of fashion like dressing up, fabric types, clothing, colors and costumes. I used to design our (Miriam College Pep Squad) uniforms and jackets. But back then, I didn’t think about fashion design as a possible career. It was just my hobby. It allowed me to express myself creatively.

Past the hobby phase, where and how did you learn to design clothes?

At University of the Philippines I took up BS Clothing Technology, much to my parents’ dismay.

Getting in was not easy, staying and completing the course was even harder. I had to take part-time jobs to fund some of my early projects. But I stuck it out, and the many hurdles became a constant motivating force.

What were your early experiences and forays into the fashion industry like?

Tough. I joined fashion design contests for about 13 years, just a year short of my son’s age. Some days we would go home empty-handed, and on some good days when I would win, I’d have extra money for my son’s diapers and other needs.

My first nationwide fashion competition was with the Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines in 2006.

I was also selected to be a Philippine representative to the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest in 2009 with Veejay Floresca and Nicole Mori.

Japan opened up a whole world of possibilities and options for penetrating the international market.
 
My first real job was as a head stylist/costume designer for a local fantasy television series, “Lastikman.” I continued getting fashion-related jobs as fashion merchandiser for a retail company, stylist for music videos and fashion illustrator. I also made accessories.

What design concepts interest you?

I think my signature style is my print-on-print-on-print-play. I love prints and patterns from florals to ethnic motifs.

I am and will always be young at heart and playful with my designs. In every collection I make, whether it’s a tea party collection or a minimalist collection, there will always be  room for a cute baby doll dress.

What is your take on cultural appropriation?

I think my brand has always been grounded on intensive research. I respect my material, learn about it before I actually work on any design.

Making such a culturally charged collection is my way of sharing my Hanoi immersion. I love how I got to know the women of Hanoi by listening to their ideas and life experiences.

On appropriation, I find it sad that anyone or any brand would carelessly use a culture for the sake of trying to make a profit.

How would you describe your personal style?

It is a joyful combination of Gwen Stefani, Patricia Field and Betsey Johnson. I love having fun with clothes and embrace being feminine. I own more dresses and skirts than pants.

I still love being playful, but I find that in my 30s, I’ve developed a colorful bohemian vibe influenced by my travels and my passion for learning different cultures and subcultures.

You have a Pinoy Pop Collection for New York Fashion Week (The Society Fashion Week). What can viewers expect to see?

I want to show the world how colorful, happy and simply wonderful the Philippines is.

The colorful and vibrant Pahiyas harvest festival is the start-off point and inspiration. This includes delicacies like rice cakes, edible wafers, sapin-sapin and halo-halo. I want to create a wearable Filipiniana collection that can be flexible and worn for all occasions.

What have you learned in your years designing?

I’ve learned humility. Someone or something else will always be better than you, but it should not stop you from improving your craft and honing your skill sets.

Always be kind because you’ll never know someone below you could be your next boss in the future.

Listen to your mentors and teachers as they will always guide you. Joey Samson, Jojie Lloren, Josie Natori are my mentors and I have kept their words of wisdom close to my heart.

My dream is to someday invest in agricultural land that can be planted to crops like banana palm whose byproduct is abaca, a beautiful and strong natural fiber that is woven to become sinamay. There’s so much talent, craftsmanship and organic materials here that’s not being  put to good use. —CONTRIBUTED

The Philippine Daily Inquirer: Young designer presents second collection at New York Fashion Week

September 28, 2018

The nice thing about being an independent brand is that it allows you to be true to your beliefs.

Streetwear designer and milliner Tracy Dizon recently bagged the inaugural Rise Art & Design Fashion Design Competition Award, launched by the label Rise Sport, a New York company specializing in sports apparel and accessories, in collaboration with Fashion Week Brooklyn.

Her winning collection, “Miss Hanoi: La Douleur Exquise,” consisted of an eclectic ensemble inspired by the Vietnamese áo dài, military uniforms and icons of Vietnamese history for an “imaginary local girl.”

Based in Manila, Dizon currently owns and directs the brand Tiara by Tracy Dizon, which makes hats and fascinators for the local and international markets. Her list of clients includes Filipino celebs Maxene Magalona, Sanya Smith, Tessa Prieto Valdes, Tokyo-based fashion editor Misha Janette and “Sex and the City” costume designer Patricia Field.

Often described as quirky, Dizon has a childlike sense of adventure in her use of bold prints and exaggerated silhouettes.

I recently interviewed this young designer on her beginnings and her views on cultural appropriation in design. I found truth, energy and freshness in her opinions.

What were the first steps you took in the world of fashion?

Subconsciously, I think I wanted to become a fashion designer since I was 5. I was the only child before my five other siblings were born. I was fascinated with different aspects of fashion like dressing up, fabric types, clothing, colors and costumes. I used to design our (Miriam College Pep Squad) uniforms and jackets. But back then, I didn’t think about fashion design as a possible career. It was just my hobby. It allowed me to express myself creatively.

Past the hobby phase, where and how did you learn to design clothes?

At University of the Philippines I took up BS Clothing Technology, much to my parents’ dismay.

Getting in was not easy,   staying and completing the course was even harder. I had to take part-time jobs to fund some of my early projects. But I stuck it out, and the many hurdles became a constant motivating force.

What were your early experiences and forays into the fashion industry like?

Tough. I joined fashion design contests for about 13 years, just a year short of my son’s age. Some days we would go home empty-handed, and on some good days when I would win, I’d have extra money for my son’s diapers and other needs.

My first nationwide fashion competition was with the Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines in 2006.

I was also selected to be a Philippine representative to the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest in 2009 with Veejay Floresca and Nicole Mori.

Japan opened up a whole world of possibilities and options for penetrating the international market.

My first real job was as a head stylist/costume designer for a local fantasy television series, “Lastikman.” I continued getting fashion-related jobs as fashion merchandiser for a retail company, stylist for music videos and fashion illustrator. I also made accessories.

What design concepts interest you?

I think my signature style is my print-on-print-on-print-play. I love prints and patterns from florals to ethnic motifs.

I am and will always be young at heart and playful with my designs. In every collection I make, whether it’s a tea party collection or a minimalist collection, there will always be  room for a cute baby doll dress.

What is your take on cultural appropriation?

What have you learned in your years designing? 

I’ve learned humility. Someone or something else will always be better than you, but it should not stop you from improving your craft and honing your skill sets.

Always be kind because you’ll never know someone below you could be your next boss in the future.

Listen to your mentors and teachers as they will always guide you. Joey Samson, Jojie Lloren, Josie Natori are my mentors and I have kept their words of wisdom close to my heart.

My dream is to someday invest in agricultural land that can be planted to crops like banana palm whose byproduct is abaca, a beautiful and strong natural fiber that is woven to become sinamay. There’s so much talent, craftsmanship and organic materials here that’s not being  put to good use. —CONTRIBUTE

Metro.Style: Fashion Designer Tracy Dizon On How Being At Rock Bottom Saved Her Son’s Life—And Her Own!

June 27, 2018

Written by: Chris Clemente

Some may call it unfortunate, but Tracy Dizon counts herself lucky to have seen the world through Xanax-tinted glasses and a view from rock bottom.

Tracy easily looks like the type of person who is often, well, misunderstood. While she may not dress in the usual fashion, she has that quirkiness about her that’s reminiscent of artists like Yayoi Kusama and Andy Warhol, who people celebrate for being brilliantly flawed. She’s a designer by profession, who makes intricate headpieces fit for royal weddings.

She arrives fashionably late with her son Atreyu in tow to our cozy meeting place in Ortigas. She apologizes profusely for not being able to procure a Grab to make it on time. I assure her it was quite alright. After all, it wasn’t my place to get ruffled over something so trivial when this woman has gone through such an ordeal to get here—and I’m not just talking about the traffic.

As interviews go, basic questions are asked first as an icebreaker, but asking Tracy something as simple as "How are you?" works akin to Harry Potter’s "Alohomora," opening the locks to chapters of her life that have been wildly difficult but rewarding.


Where to begin

Hindsight always gives a person 20/20 vision, and Tracy is no exception. She tilts her head to the side before she begins to tell her story starting from the year her mother died.

Her relationship with her family was a tumultuous one. To start, her father was controlling, conservative, and strict. From not allowing her to go to prom—to him it was unnecessary—to letting their troubled daughter stay in a shelter instead of offering their home. In Tracy’s own words, “How could a parent let that happen?” But what really soured her relationship with her family was the manner in which she chose to raise her son.


“One of the things they couldn’t understand was that I chose to give him my surname, as opposed to [Atreyu] taking his dad’s name,” says Tracy. “My dad got mad about that. He blamed me for choosing a man who wouldn’t even give my son a proper name, but for me that was my choice. I decided that whoever he is, he is mine. We are a package deal. He is more than just a boy who needs a man to give him a name. He is my son.”

  

Prodded to talk more about his dad, Atreyu quickly interjects and says, “I think my mom is enough for me to complete our family despite the challenges we had to face.”

As for her late mother, she was more a loyal wife who stood by her husband. But nearing the end of her life, Tracy’s mom reached out to her and made amends. “Six months before she died, she apologized, for herself, her inactions, and whatever happened between us, so I was okay with that."

After her mom died, Tracy felt abandoned when she was left here in the Philippines while their whole brood was already settling in the States, leaving behind obligations for her to carry such as estate tax, insurance claims, etc. As she mourned her mother’s death, she was also unknowingly mourning the death of her life as she knew it.

“My family would always threaten me, telling me they would leave me, they would all migrate to the States and all that. And because of those words, I realized I had to fend for myself,” Tracy recalls. “I needed to be independent from my family because as they would tell me, I was no longer part of the ‘immediate family’ but rather just an extension. I was minding my own business, building my career, my name, then all of a sudden when they left, I was forced to deal with matters that I was not considered part of for a very long time.”

She was so angry she stopped working. She appeared in a billboard ad at that time but she wasn’t even able to relish that small moment of success. “Because I had to stop everything. I was so anxious that the name I carved out would be muddied because of things beyond my control. That’s where I really started spiraling down.”

She had to leave the career she carefully built to take up a job selling her dad’s properties—for which she got no commission, save for an allowance equal to that of a household help’s salary.


When it rains…

Apart from the family drama draining her, Tracy also had to deal with another challenge, this time concerning her relationship with her then boyfriend, a Japanese. He was diagnosed with cancer.

She remembers running errands, lining up to fix her late mother’s Social Security, while exchanging messages with her boyfriend in Japan. He was in the hospital lining up to get tests done and complaining about the queue. A few text messages after, he sent this: “They say I have cancer.”

The next day, she flew to Japan but being there made her feel even more helpless. Apart from the language barrier, since they weren’t married and she wasn’t a part of his life in an official capacity, every time there would be visitors, she had to step out. It was then that they both realized the many differences between them that would eventually pull them apart.

One of the biggest things that drove a wedge between them was her family entanglements. “He said he didn’t want to get caught up in whatever was happening with my family. If we were to get married, he would be legally bound to me [and them] and it wasn’t something he wanted for himself. He said it wasn’t fair to him. He was only 28. I understood where he was coming from.” She admits that part of the reasons she wanted to get married was it would free her from obligations from her own family.

But the boyfriend would leave for Europe to study. They agreed to iron out their plans before he moved. But for one reason or another, the one-month timeline turned to one week, and Tracy felt short-changed. One thing led to another and they broke up.

The funny thing was, he was secretly talking to Tracy’s friends months before their big blowout and he was planning to propose. This broke Tracy.

She was soon diagnosed with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and MDD (Major Depressive Disorder).

“I would just literally stare at the wall. I was prescribed Lexapro, and when you’re on anti-depressants you’ll need to find an activity you can do on loop. Like playing Plants vs. Zombies, or in my case, drawing circles,” Tracy relates.

After Lexapro, she was prescribed Xanax. “And that drug made me feel crazier. I would tell my son, ‘you know I had the craziest dream…’ then he would tell me ‘mom that wasn’t a dream. That happened this morning.’ I lost touch with reality.

“What snapped me out of it was when I became paralyzed. I went to the doctor and he told me to drop all my medications because it was affecting my heart. He also said I needed a drastic change in environment or else. That was one of the rare times that my dad went out of his way to bring us to the States for a break. It was on that trip that I met Patricia Field (costume designer for Sex and the City).”

Tracy walked into the famed stylist’s boutique and luckily saw her idol in the flesh manning the store. Needless to say, she fangirled like crazy. They got to talking, and the next day, Patricia sent an email to Tracy with a photo of herself wearing Tracy’s creation.


The encounter with Pat Field was enough to spark new inspiration. “That’s when I realized that in life you have to lose in some aspects to win bigger in others. There’s always balance. So in 2016 I promised myself that I would do something different every month. I would do small things to remind myself that I can be brave again.”


She started rebuilding her life, traveling to new places, making new friends, and eventually dating again. Then just as she was finishing a new collection she was working on, Manila FAME came a-calling. It was right on time for her to debut her new self and announce to the world that she was back.


…it pours

Less than a month from her success at the show, she was managing orders and thinking up new ideas. But Tracy’s struggles weren’t over, it turns out. One Sunday, Atreyu collapsed on the floor and started having a seizure.


“There was no question about it. You drop everything”, she says, recalling the moment.

Mother and son went through procedures, hospitals, doctors. Finally, they met Dr. Gap Legaspi—Director of the Philippine General Hospital, who was able to shed light on what her son’s condition was. It was a rare brain tumor with only a few recorded cases worldwide.


With the help of many people—friends, family, and even strangers—Tracy was able to raise the funds to get Atreyu the medical attention he needed. He underwent a craniotomy on December 11, 2016, and they were able to remove the tumor completely. The first diagnosis was a stage 1 brain cancer low-grade Glioma and was later reversed to a rare benign tumor—Extraventicular  Neurocytoma.


The rainbow after the rain

After that whole ordeal with Atreyu, Tracy understood her life better.

“It all had to happen that way. If I had been engaged, living in Japan, I don’t think we would have raised that money to help him. That time when my ex had cancer, I learned how it felt to take care of a loved one, a patient. The depression I had to go through, the rock bottom I reached, it made me vulnerable, but it prepared me,” says Tracy now.


“In my travels, I met some backpackers from Vietnam, they were the ones sharing the Go Fund Me page. They would personally tell my story. For a time, I resented my ex that he made me transfer Atreyu to Ateneo, a very expensive school, only to leave me paying for it later on on my own when we broke up. But if he wasn’t in that school, then we wouldn’t have met the people there who helped direct us to the right doctors.”

Tracy took in some teaching jobs pro-bono. “But what came back to me was a hundred-fold. And that made me realize I met the right people during the right time.”

When asked what lesson she learned after all the struggle, Tracy answers, “Kindness. Kindness chooses no one. Even the people who think they have nothing left to give, has something to offer. And it’s that.”

Now 14, Atreyu just won an Award of Excellence for his entry in the World Youth Essay Competition titled “How I Survived Brain Cancer,” and he ends his essay as if echoing the lessons his mother learned:


“People are kinder than you think. Have faith in mankind. Take it from a guy who lives with his single mother and has experienced what happens when your life is on the line. Believe in the little miracles. And if you think you’ve lost this battle, I’ll be the first to stand up and say that you are not alone.”

Preview.PH: 

This Local Designer Specializes in Creating Clothes for Quirky Girls

"I am a mixture of Betsey Johnson, Jeremy Scott, and Tsumori Chisato."

September 21, 2017

In a crowd, Tracy Dizon is hard to miss. With her colorful hat and big red cat eye prescription glasses, you can spot her easily. But that wasn't always the case for her work as a milliner and a fashion designer. She joined numerous fashion contests like Project Runway (she was on season two), Philippine Fashion Design Council Contest back in 2006, and Japan Fashion Design Contest in 2009 to beef up her credentials, but for some reason, it seems that her efforts weren't enough. She recalls, "I still tried to look around asking people in the company 'how can I apply?' I would always get a cold shrug. It is really disheartening. I told myself jokingly, I think I will have to debut my first show elsewhere! It is very funny that after many years it is indeed coming true!"

And indeed, she has started making her mark in different countries. Recently, she won a spot that will allow her to showcase her work in New York. From her humble beginnings as a Clothing Technology student from UP Diliman to her small stints as "a stylist costume designer for ABS-CBN," she's now a step closer to her ultimate dream, which is to have small networks in every fashion city that will give her an excuse to travel the world.

Below, get to know more about this quirky young designer who's on a quest to make the the world brighter and more whimsical, one dress (or hat) at a time.

How would you describe your design aesthetic and philosophy?

"My design aesthetic is quirky. Before, I used to be branded as 'kawaii designer,' which in the long run had two polar effects. I found myself being rejected, prejudged, branded as a costume play and I was not taken seriously. It is disheartening, especially with the intense training and education background I had. But at the same time, it is with the kawaii culture that I widened my international reach and network.

"When I was in NYC in 2015, it was really a badge of honor that I was able to penetrate Tokyo... I would say I am a mixture of Betsey Johnson, JeremyScott and Tsumori Chisato."

Do you have a signature design or key element evident through your collections?

"I think my signature style is my print on print on print play. I love prints and patterns, from florals, ethnic, to doodles. These give a very interesting play on visuals that keeps me interested in making clothes. I also always try to infuse a baby doll dress in every collection. Whether it’s a tea party collection or a minimalist collection, there will always be room for a cute baby doll dress."

Where do you usually draw inspiration from? How about for your recent collection?

"What I always advise my students and interns is always get inspiration from non-fashion things. It makes designing more memorable and more intelligent. I get inspirations from many inanimate things, from food, to wall textures, to teacups. I also draw inspiration from a story, a novel, or an iconic person. Of course, being a wanderlust, I can never get enough inspiration from the places I’ve been."

"For this collection, Miss Hanoi: La Douleur Exquise, I can say that it’s a semi-autobiographical endeavor I had after battling a clinical depression in 2015. I literally ate, prayed, and loved. Going to Hanoi was like chasing a fantasy. It was a great love that didn’t come true. Instead, I fell into a heart break. Obsessing about this 'fantasy girl' whom I was chosen over by, I started drawing how I imagine her to look like, to dress like. It was merely a personal reflection in my diary. [As I wandered] the streets of Hanoi alone, I walked towards the fabric market and that’s when it all started. I literally got inspired from small pieces of toys, mosaic walls, Ao Dai dresses, the stamp store, and even the Pho Noodle soup!"

Can you walk us through your creative process as you design clothes?

"I am very old school with my designing. I would really intensely draw for weeks, not leaving my table until I get everything done... My background in UP gave me that training of intense research. I want to present clothes with a history and a story. It makes it more valuable, I believe."

Is there a specific person you have in mind when you create your collections? What makes a Tracy Dizon muse?

"I guess I am a little selfish when I design. I would always think if I would feel comfortable with my clothes, if I would feel beautiful with my clothes. I am my own guinea pig in terms of that. But I always imagine the girl who would wear my designs to have a happy smile on her face. As simple as that."

Could you describe the lifestyle that fits your design philosophy?

"I don’t know if there is any specific difference in lifestyle. I am just a very pedestrian person; I commute, I still do my Divisoria errands, but I will always put my Barbie mode on. Nothing wrong with that! I don’t think dressing up everyday is such an oddity. In Tokyo, in Paris, in New York, people are more open minded [than in Manila]… But as I said, fashion and clothes are the extension of oneself. I guess anyone who has that philosophy and love for colors can embrace and enjoy my designs."

Who do you dream of wearing your designs?

"I already accepted the fact that I am not a mainstream designer. But I think Tessa Prieto Valdez, Katy Perry, Patricia Field, Anna Dello Russo, Misha Janette, Bjork, and all those fun people who really plays with and enjoy clothing. Fashion influencers like Tavy Gevinson would probably carry some of my pieces quite well."

How has your brand evolved since you started?

"Well I’ve been here quite a little while, joining contests for 12 years. So it’s inevitable to grow as well, as a person and a woman and a mother and all that. When I was a fashion student, I was more into punk rock fashion. I adored Gwen Stefani, but when I became a mother at an early age of 21, my lifestyle and interest changed as well. I saw myself getting softer with tea party kind of dresses. And now I'm in my 30s; I am happy and satisfied that I get to infuse my two-passions, fashion and travel, in my designs. All of them are Tracy Dizon one way or another. I believe it is essential to grow and evolve."

BusinessWorld: "30 and Under Rad Hatter"

December 04, 2012

Headpieces are usually subtle accessories for the bridal gown, but Tracy Dizon's fun, memorable creations have been grabbing plenty of attention down the aisle and in the wedding industry.


"I can go low-key too," said Ms. Dizon, owner of Tiara, a headpiece design business, mostly for brides and debutantes. "Perhaps because of my stylist background, I know how to make my pieces complement [the gowns]. I have learned that art."


A fashion designer by training, Ms. Dizon earned her degree in clothing technology from the University of the Philippines - Diliman. She also competed in the second season of Project Runway Philippines and the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest in Tokyo, in 2009.


Exposed to the different aspects of the fashion industry, while working as a TV stylist and as an accessories merchandiser-designer for a local retail clothing chain, Ms. Dizon has a pretty good idea of what people want. And though her clients are mostly wedding belles and cotillion queens, she can create pieces for any occasion.


Ms. Dizon described her aesthetic as "girly, quirky, and fun" and cited whimsical American designer Betsey Johnson as her ultimate influence. Yet her portfolio also shows that she is capable of creations on the more classic end of the style spectrum.


The designer's foray into fascinators began when she was chosen as a finalist for the Japan Fashion Design Contest. "Surprisingly, the entry they chose was my simplest one," she said in an interview. "And because it was so simple, I decided to add a little hat or headpiece."


Ms. Dizon shared that after the contest, friends and acquaintances began asking her to make them different kinds of headpieces, compelling her to hone her skill and technique. "The demand came before the supply," she said. But eventually, Tiara by Tracy Dizon was born.


After reading about Tiara in a local newspaper's prom feature, AC+362, a store in Greenbelt 5, invited Ms. Dizon to sell her products at their shop. "I heard that [the store] doesn't even accept walk-ins. They're invite-only, so it was really such a great honor," she said.


However, it was through Veejay Floresca, a fellow designer and a friend of Ms. Dizon, that the latter broke into the world of bridal fashion. Mr. Floresca asked her to design headpieces for a client's entourage. At the time, Ms. Dizon had never even seen the bride or any of the gown sketches. All she had to work with were a few small swatches.


"Amazingly, when it was all finished, the entourage looked very polished. Everybody liked it," she said.


Tiara picked up from there, with August to March considered its peak season. According to Ms. Dizon, the rise of the vintage trend, the popularity of Lady Gaga, and the 2011 royal wedding of England's Prince William to Kate Middleton all helped boost her budding business.


Tiara has also started to go global, with Ms. Dizon designing headpieces for a few Japanese clients.


Although her pieces are a bit pricy, Ms. Dizon explained that her topnotch supplies and materials, as well as her highly personalized service, ensure that her clients get only the best. "Above all, my priority is quality. I treat my headpieces as designer clothes, because I am a designer," she said. "It is an honor for a bride to choose you for her special day, so you have to make sure your services are prime."


For more information, e-mail march30girls@gmail.com or tsureishi@yahoo.com, or visit www.facebook.com/Tiara.by.Tracy.Dizon.



- Liana Carine G. Barcia

Philippine Star:"Perfect Prom Topping"

March 5, 2010

The Philippine Star feature "Perfect Prom Topping"

Written by: Rebecca C. Rodriguez

Tiara by Tracy Dizon Y-Style feature... thanks Roma Regala of Ananda Kanani Accessories for lending us the accessories to match our Tiara by Tracy Dizon! And to Miss Becca Claparols Rodriguez for the great article!

The Philippine Star feature "Perfect Prom Topping"

Written by: Rebecca C. Rodriguez


Tiara by Tracy Dizon Y-Style feature... thanks Roma Regala of Ananda Kanani Accessories for lending us the accessories to match our Tiara by Tracy Dizon! And to Miss Becca Claparols Rodriguez for the great article! (March 5, 2010)

"The Perfect Topping for Prom" Written by: Rebecca C. Rodriguez

March 5, 2010 The Philippines Start Y-Style Section

Model: Linn Oeyemo 


MANILA, Philippines - Ooh, the prom fever is here. And your memory lane of this coming-of-age high school event reeks of a fashion faux pas, too-orangey lipstick and a painful foot crunch from your date’s dancing mishap.


But then, don’t we chicks all dream of that Pretty in Pink moment when Molly Ringwald makes Andrew McCarthy’s jaw drop? Or even better, have Edward Cullen make walls tumble down à la Twilight just to make Bella Swan happy?



Victorian romance: Play with a bright pink gloss  

and a flawless complexion  and top it off  with 

a Cherry Blossom tiara from 

Oriental Overtures

 by Tracy Dizon

To stand out in the prom, dig the tiaras by Tracy Dizon. This Project Runway Philippines 2 contestant and representative for the 47th Japan Fashion Design Contest describes herself as eclectic, quirky, playful, bubbly and kawaii (the Japanese term for cuteness) and lives by the mantra that fashion is an art, a form of expression by making something beautiful; a masterpiece of sorts. 


“Ever since I played with Barbie dolls and paper dolls, I have been fascinated with dressing up, fashion and clothing. I grew up having a fascination for era clothing, says Dizon. “I truly believe I have this vow of commitment to remain true to my playful and quirky vision in spite of being part of an industry known for its fickleness.”


So here are four looks to suit your ever-changing prom needs: imagine channeling the classic vibe of Audrey Hepburn with a flawless face and toned-down hues that are almost muted with a soft matte pink lipstick. Like a character from Jane Austen’s novels, go for darker eye shadows and a very sweet pink gloss. To be the center of attention in a J-Pop Gothic Lolita way, opt for bold lipstick with dark lip liner like Dita Von Teese or Katy Perry. For a funkier and more playful look, pair smoky eyes with a pale lip and you’re ready to go.


For sure, you won’t have that Drew Barrymore Never Been Kissed moment but surely a star-bright one.


* * *

For more information on Tiara by Tracy Dizon or the headpiece fascinators and hats, e-mail march30girls@gmail.com or visit www.march30store.com and http://tsureishi.tumblr.com.


http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=554985&publicationSubCategoryId=451

 

©2019 by Tracy Dizon. Personally created by Tracy Dizon