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November 4, 2021

#WEFashion: Designer Profile — The Casa Moda Dream

Words ANGELO DIONORA | Photography KEVIN DAVIS | Creative Direction ERICK DIZON | Styling JANNO NOVENARIO | Hair (for Angela) NHER CORDERO and (for Silvana) PAULINE SALONGGA (for Mich Viray) MJ SANCHEZ BELL  | Makeup AL VITUG and (For Mich Viray) MALONNE URSAL-PANGAN | Models ANGELA MARIA ROBSON and SILVANA RAUCH | Bouquet BLOOMS EVENT STYLING by ALLEN UY and JP DE JESUS | Shot on location at CLARK MARRIOTT HOTEL | Special thanks to JAYVIE DIZON of Clark Marriott Hotel and VOLTAIRE ZALAMEA of Events and Concepts

Eleven years ago, Casa Moda’s Mich Viray decided to pick up her pens and sketch her first designs for her homegrown brand. However, her knack and passion for fashion goes way back to her teenage years, as she grew up in a province that glorifies a good sense of grooming and dressing up—Pampanga. “Our humble city’s culture and traditions have made a huge impact in my life. They influenced me to pursue a career in fashion design,” she says.

Mich’s journey was anything but straightforward, however. Even with design as one of her first loves, she tried other kinds of work first before getting into fashion. “To tell you the truth, it was not my plan to become a fashion designer. I was an accounting graduate who worked for big companies back then. I believe that God has been guiding me to pursue this path to fulfill a mission. I may still be in the journey of knowing what that mission is, but in every piece that I design, I know in my heart that it brings me a great sense of fulfillment and purpose.”

A Casa Moda piece abides by minimalist and simplistic aesthetics, preferring clean lines and distinctive looks. “I would say my designs tend to be timeless, classic, and elegant,” she adds.

Mich counts beauty queens like Pia Wurtzbach, Gazini Ganados, Emma Tiglao, Leren Mae Bautista, Samantha Mae Bernardo, Aya Abesamis, Bea Patricia Magtanong, and Samantha Ashley Lo among her roster of clients. While she is honored to design for them, she notes that designing for the everyday person has taught her valuable lessons as well. “More than these iconic personalities, I also learned a lot in the process of dressing common people who trusted me wholeheartedly. They are the ones who taught me to be versatile and highly adaptable in the field of fashion. This is the reason why despite being in the industry for more than a decade now, I am still eager to innovate, unlearn traditions that are no longer applicable, and relearn modern contemporary designs that resonate with the Casa Moda brand.”

More than growing her business, Mich hopes that Casa Moda will be able to educate and help more people in the future, especially those who need livelihoods or are eager to learn more about the industry. As someone who started her own brand from the ground up, she understands how difficult it can get without much support; hence, her helping heart goes out to those who work hard in learning and growing within their industry.

“I started this venture without any support system, apart from my immediate family and a few friends. I didn’t gain as much trust at the onset. This is why I wanted to help those who aspire to be a fashion designer as well, regardless of their age, educational background or experience, or where they come from. I want to give these artists an equal fighting chance in the field of fashion until they are able to find their voice. That is the Casa Moda dream.”

As seen in Wedding Essentials Magazine Volume 17 Issue 2

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