Why Jerome Lorico won’t be bound to being called a fashion designer and why space, soul, and story matter in his work
Jerome Lorico’s heart belongs to the province, having nurtured his curiosity in design and art through his family’s small handicraft business in Bicol. Still, the has city always fascinated him—the busy streets, the buildings and structures, and the concrete roads. This is why he believes his design direction is influenced by the merging of the urban and the rustic, the synthetic and the organic, and the symmetric and the amorphous.
“I’ve always been interested in polarities and the struggle of opposing elements,” says Lorico. “This is inspiring for me because I believe that through constant fusion of different ideas, something new will definitely emerge. Part of my design manifesto is to keep scratching surfaces of preconceived notions in order to arrive with an original idea.”
This is Lorico’s definition of good design: instinctive, spontaneous, and rooted to a certain concept, story, or purpose. Without these elements, as he sees it, an object would be devoid of soul and language, resulting in a product that has no real presence. Space for him is sacred, so as someone who creates things, he tries his best to avoid making objects that have no contribution to the industry, the world around him, or the people—he’d rather prefer idleness.
“One of my objectives is to always challenge the understanding and the emotions of my audience,” Lorico explains. “A hat has the potential to be done in thousands, even millions of ways, so why make it the way it’s been done before? Right now, I am revisiting my old works, getting inspiration from old materials, and planning to merge them with new ones.”
It could be frustrating for a designer to be in an industry that is, more often than not, misunderstood and underappreciated. This is one of the reasons why Lorico didn’t want to be limited by the title of fashion designer. He still makes clothes for a small group of clients, but he is also slowly transitioning into arts, experimenting with home accessories, and looking to venture into furniture design. For him, exploring fields outside the industry can give new perspectives and inspiration in the event of creative fatigue.
Creative Direction NICOLE ALMERO. Fashion Direction KAT CRUZ-VILLANUEVA and RYUJI SHIOMITSU. Beauty Direction MIA CASTRO. Photography KEVIN PINEDA. Styling BEA GUERRERO and MIGUEL QUILANG of NEW COLLECTIVE STYLE. Makeup ANNE REBUCAS. Hair GERALD PASCUA. Model LEILA and VINCE of MERCATOR. Shot on location RE NOU SPACE. Fashion Writer MARIAN SAN PEDRO. Fashion Associate and Shoot Coordination BITHIA REYES. Special thanks to LARISSA NUBLA of RE NOU SPACE, and MIKI MICLAT of MERCATOR.