By JOHN LEGASPI
Immortalized through the lyrics of the song “Magasin” by Filipino band Eraserheads, famed fashion designer Inno Sotto wants to get something straight—he’s no legend. “Legendary? Give me a break. I don’t see myself as a legend,” the designer says to Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “A legend is someone whom none of us living has actual access to. I just make clothes. How my labors are perceived by people, wala na ako dun. I don’t do things to intentionally create an impression or an image of me.”
Now with long white hair and aged between now and forever, Inno first started his journey in the industry under the wings of fashion designer Christian Espiritu.
Inno says meeting Espiritu was purely accidental. “My mother and my aunt would go to Christian Espiritu and other designers to have things made. During that time, I was studying Liberal Arts and Humanities abroad,” he says. “When I came back to the Philippines, my sister had fabrics from Rustan’s, and had asked Christian for a design. Christian needed an assistant to execute it. He needed someone who could draw it. So my sister said I was in town, and that I could go.” That was how Inno got interested in the idea of a fashion designer. He went back to the US, withdrew from his course, and took up fashion design in San Francisco and New York.
“When you are in fashion, you have to be resilient and open-minded,”
Inno says, pondering on his four-decade experience in the industry. “I did this at first because it was a learning experience for me. I learned so much from my clients and the people I work with. I also learn a lot from the people I mentor. I doubt I will ever give up designing. Not now, not ever.”