Tatak Indio: Gweys Soriano on Fashion and Empowerment

Named as one of the most influential stylists in the Gulf, there’s no denying that Gweys Soriano is a Filipino fashion icon. With an impeccable taste in style and a captivating aura of confidence, she can get anyone’s attention. Her work says what she can do and offer, from styling international celebrities, such as Mariah Carey and British socialite Lady Victoria Hervey, to working with brands like Nivea, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany & Co., and among others.

With her fashion influence, everyone will think that Gweys Soriano was an instant success. But her story is more than glam and glitz; it’s a story of hard work and persistence.

Coming to Dubai

Six years ago, Gweys Soriano went to Dubai without a job, unsure about her purpose, and only hoped to land a high-paying job. On the search for a job, she decided to attend Fashion Forward Dubai with a curiosity to witness the fashion scene of the city. And at last, it was an opportunity she didn’t expect.

Donned with her effortless glam, fashion street photographers took photos of her outfit. And they asked, “Are you a blogger?” With she replied, “Fashion stylist.” For Gweys, that very moment was a wake-up call, suddenly she found her calling: “I know what I wanted but hindi pa ako yun.”

After that, she put all her energy to make it a reality, to manifest what she meant to be—a fashion stylist. She landed a job and saved money to study Personal Shopping and Styling at FAD Institute Luxury Fashion & Style. She did a series of unpaid internships that she took as a learning experience. The whole experience was her process of loving fashion deeply, more than for its glam. She didn’t stop there and enrolled at Central Saint Martins, a world-renowned place for arts and design, where fashion icons and designers came from.

And like Fashion Forward Dubai, it was on an event that she got discovered and led her to be one of the coveted stylists of Fashion Avenue. Fashion projects poured, and now, we have the Gweys Soriano that we know.

On twisting discrimination

Gweys Soriano acknowledged that discrimination exists in her industry, for being a Filipino. They would approve of her fashion work but disregarded it simply because she’s a Filipino:

“I don’t accept and entertain it. As a Filipino, we have so many things we can do. The gowns and the luxury windows on malls, behind it, was a Pinoy. I have to emphasize it because they don’t know it.”

She faced it with determination and being proud of her heritage: “I am a Filipino and this is what I can do. If you can do it, I can do it better.” Without competition in mind, for her, it’s about setting Filipino creativity on a global level. It’s about claiming what Filipinos can do and offer.

As she said, “Yes, there’s it. But it’s up to you how you will twist their thinking.”

Empowering others through fashion

Some may see fashion as shallow Some simply see it about looking good. But most are not aware of the profound feeling that fashion brings out from one is empowerment. Gweys knows this; she uses her talents to place that seed of empowerment to people she styled:

“I feel empowered because I want people to feel good with themselves.”

They are empowered; she is empowered.