A career in fashion was not an easy choice for Aoui Regala.
“My dad wasn’t supportive because he wanted me to work for his company,” she recalls.
But Aoui was persistent in pursuit of her dream. Her father’s disapproval kept her from studying fashion design so she opted to take up Advertising Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas instead.
It was the closest to a course in fashion she could get because the curriculum offered a class in Fashion Design and Marketing for one year. Undeterred by their differences, Aoui still looked up to her dad as a parent while staying true to herself and her passion.
After graduating, Aoui finally got her chance at a local fashion school with the help of her mom. Even as a student, she started her own RTW line and online shop through the support of her mom, husband Oliver and her in-laws.
True to form, Aoui was relentless about the business and art of her craft. “I felt I needed to learn more about the technical side of fashion,” she says of continuing her education at the pioneering Slim’s Fashion and Design School. After passing the National Certificate II Exam issued by TESDA, Aoui joined its distinguished list of graduates that includes Oliver Tolentino, Michael Cinco, and Joey Samson.
“Slim’s has been a big influence on my discipline for the art and honing my skills as a designer,” she says.
Her creative progression continues. Since becoming a mother, Aoui shut down her online store to focus on her made-to-order line. “It’s where I can showcase my talent and innovation in this field,” she adds.
With her family behind her, Aoui’s journey from selling RTW clothes online and at bazaars to creating custom formal wear for clients seems boundless.
Her design style is as dynamic, ranging from simple to fully embroidered and beaded gowns but each piece has her brand’s signature class, elegance and quality.
“For me, fit is the most important thing because a simple gown that is well made can be outstanding,” she says. Aoui’s works are classically inspired with modern and romantic elements.
“No matter how much embellishment I use, I always look at a piece as a whole,” she says. “It always has to be classy and wearable, without overpowering a woman’s natural beauty.”