Dressed in a white crop top and a printed pencil skirt with matching red lipstick and red nails, Sassa Jimenez is truly a woman-on-the go. As a bridal and ready-to-wear designer, she’s constantly en route to another meeting or engagement. “This Saturday is pretty rare,” she tells us when we catch up with her at the Asus Zen Festival at Green Sun, “I will finally have time to rest [after this event.]”
Still, she keeps a huge smile on her face and a bubbly demeanor. Sassa, 27, is the rare type of creative that has been in the business long enough to make a name for herself but is still at an age young enough to spark a new movement. “I started seven years ago and much of the business has changed. People love to go for instant fashion so it’s really about keeping to your ideals as a bespoke designer but also changing with the trends.”
Taking a small break with #TeamPreenPH, Sassa tells us about what keeps her in the business of fashion. (Surprisingly, it has to do with the new Dr. Dre album and video games!)
How do you find balance between creativity and business?
First and foremost, when I went to fashion school, the number one lesson that they really ingrained in us was that fashion is a business. Some people think it is a hobby, or some people think it’s an art that’s dying [when] it’s a million-dollar industry that supports a lot of smaller industries. If you think about it that way, you will deem fashion as something more business-related than [as a creative endeavor].
What’s the biggest struggle most designers encounter in the fashion business?
Finding good people. [It’s hard to form] a great team that can support your ideals. You’re only as strong as your team. Your work will also be as beautiful or as clean as your team. You really need people [who] know the work and love the work.
What are three things you have to remember before pursuing fashion?
Fashion is a business, fashion is [about] relationships, and at the end of the day, they’re just clothes. So have fun with it. It’s serious because it’s work, but life is too short to kill yourself over a dress.
Who do you think are the designers or labels that have been changing the local fashion landscape?
I think a lot of the younger people have been changing the landscape business-wise. My personal favorite is Rosenthal Tee. I love her as a person and I love her work. Basic Movement is also a favorite.
What are your top apps that get you through the day?
Period Tracker, for obvious reasons. I still love Twitter for the comedy. I love how these people write these one-liners. I love Judd Apatow’s [account and also that of his] daughter Maud’s. You should read her tweets. There’s also Waze. I’m a gamer, so I recommend for people get Monument Valley and Final Fantasy for iPhone.
What will you wear to work if you had just five minutes to prepare?
Anything black, red lipstick, and I’ll put my hair in a bun.
What is your work soundtrack?
Oh, it’s very eclectic because I love music. I collect records. It could range from hip-hop to rock, to indie to very underground European electronica. In the past months, I have been listening to one playlist by Peanut Butter Wolf, who is a catalyst for a lot of hip-hop beats that you can dance to, and singers I love Kendrick Lamar love the new album of Dr. Dre so I am also excited for the new N.W.A. film.
Who are the bridal designers you will always love?
I love Jenny Packham. Her designs are very sweet and very classic. I still [like] Marchesa for brides. [The gowns are] so gorgeous, it would be a sin not to work out and look your best when you’re in them. They are so simple and not even complicated. Just really simple designs that are feminine.
If you could design for one international label, which would it be, and why?
That’s really a hard question. I think Chanel is a brand that [has recently] mixed modern elements with traditional elements. The tweed and the pearls are still there, but it’s mixed with sneakers.
How do you have your coffee?
Black. Like my music.
Photo by Acushla Obusan