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As an essay project we ask our students to describe why they want to be an image consultant. Often these essays are inspiring and on occasion they are extraordinary in their inspiration - take a read.

Reproduced with permission from Paulo (Certified Men’s Image Consultant, Philippines)

“During the formative years of Felipe and Sons (www.felipeandsons.com), I looked for an anchor and an inspiration on which to build the identity of our brand. I knew that for my company to resonate with its’ customers, it had to evoke a personality and an image that was grounded on an exemplary human being that was both relatable and respectable. I didn’t have to look far.

When I was young, my father took an expatriate role in Indonesia as an International Banker. Because I had already started schooling at that time, my parents decided that I should stay behind here in the Philippines and continue my schooling away from them. My parents left me in the capable hands of my grandfather, Eduardo or Didi as we fondly call him.

My grandfather was always an impeccably dressed man. He had a certain kind of sartorial flair that was evident in everything he did. He was the quintessential gentleman. He always wore clothes that fit well, loved wearing hats, owned a collection of canes and always color coordinated his clothes well. But what he wore best was his demeanor. He was gentle and kind, but wise and knowing. My grandfather became my model and my mentor. He taught me how to shine my shoes, he took me to the tailor, he helped my get my first suit, and he always, always taught me how to conduct myself in a manner befitting a respectable gentleman. I know all of this sounds immensely idyllic, and indeed, as I grew older, I realized that my grandfather belonged to a dying breed. Where once the Philippines was hailed as the most cosmopolitan city in Asia, where individuals like him were aplenty, I quickly realized that my grandfather, a survivor of the war, was a hold out from a long-gone era. So when I founded Felipe & Sons, I took inspiration from the man that raised me. His values, his charisma and his charm are the foundations on which my business is built.

Futhermore, during my youth, my Didi ran a garments factory making various kinds of clothing for clients both local and abroad. It was here where I was first exposed to the world of the tailoring. I recall spending my afternoons after school in the factory, doing my homework in the middle of the cutting room floor, surrounded by fabrics, sewers, cutters and mannequins. 30 years later, I realized that it was this exposure to my grandfather and his business that developed my deep fascination for the science and art of clothes making. It was here that the first seeds of my desire to pursue this career were planted.

 Already an established brand in the Philippines, Felipe & Sons is known for having pioneered the resurgence of the Filipino gentleman. We have been at the forefront of inspiring a new generation of Filipinos who to want to emulate and revive the history of our nation, where men like my grandfather were common place. Hence our now popular slogan #revivemanilaswagger

5 years since the founding of Felipe & Sons, I am now looking to further deepen and develop the practice of my craft. As country’s first barberdashery (a term we coined which is an amalgamation of barbershop & haberdashery), we are in a unique position of authority on the matter of men’s grooming. Gaining a full mastery of the science and the techniques I am learning in this course are the next level to which I aspire to. Indeed, I believe that becoming a Certified Men’s Image Consultant, and a member of the AICI, will not only serve to open more doors for me, as an added notch to my professional credentials, but also bring new value to my beloved customers. Image consulting is an industry that is still very much in its’ infancy in the country and I believe that having paved the way with the Felipe & Sons brand, I am ready to introduce these much needed services to the Filipino man.

It’s an exciting time for me right now and I can’t wait to get started putting everything I’ve learned so far to good use. I’m also looking forward to being an active member of the AICI Philippine chapter, whose meetings I have been sitting in on already, so that I can contribute towards the proliferation of this profession in the country. I hope that my membership there can help bring a different perspective and expand the profession to more men in the field, and I hope that this thorn among the roses can add a little spice into the mix. All of this towards achieving the my ultimate vision of moving my country back towards the grandeur of the Manila of old.”