Monday, October 20, 2008

Josie Natori, A Worldclass Filipina

As a little girl I dreamt of being a fashion designer, my influence is my fashion designer mom. I took up a course in Fine Arts, even participated in our University fashion show yet I graduated and discovered another passion for marketing and advertising.

I never became a full-fledged fashion designer but I still retained my love and fascination for fashion. I keep myself informed about fashion and I do enjoy watching shows like Project Runway, The next Top Model etc. To my glee I got to read updates on a Filipina and world class fashion designer/entrepreneur worthy of admiration, Ms. Josie Cruz - Natori.

She was born in the Philippines in 1947, she moved to the US in 1964 to study and then worked her way up the corporate ladder to become the Merrill Lynch's first female Vice President in Investment Banking. Having found success in banking she found herself looking for a new challenge which brought her to fashion. She now is the CEO and founder of the Natori company that also provides jobs for her fellowmen.

She has been awarded in 2007 the Philippines' highest civilian honor, The Lakandula award. More recently she also awarded with the 2008 BPInoy Award in Makati Shangril-Hotel.

She held a fashion show last Februay, 2008 in Manila and in one of her interviews with the Inquirer she said, "It is not in mass production but in fine craftsmanship where Filipinos can excel. And what makes our craftsmanship special, what gives it the edge, is the sophistication, the touch of modernity."

From what I've seen, read and heard about her, what strikes me most is her passion to excel and make a difference. She is very talented, her love for challenge and search for meaning has brought her fame in banking, fashion and music. More importantly, her heart is good.

In one of her awarding moments she was quoted saying, "I love my work, but success in fashion is not enough, I want to be able to give something back, to make a difference in people’s lives. Only then will I feel as if I’ve accomplished something.”

Makes a lot of sense! Truly inspiring!

Read more about her in her site www.natori.com.

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Photos:
*The Header photos are by the blog author.
*The photos feature two beaches of the Philippines, Puerto Galera and Boracay.
*The children in the picture are locals of Boracay, Philippines.


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