Today we’d like to introduce you to Joean Iman Montayre.
Hi Iman, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started as a fashion illustrator for a New York-based haute couture brand in 2000 (I was 18 at that time) and two months later, the company trained me to become their fashion designer. I worked for them for some years. I wanted to explore the designing so I worked from one field to another so I moved to another field which was in furniture and home decor for a year, and then I joined the luxury jewelry, then handbags and shoes, then I moved back to clothing again before I decided that I wanted to run my own business. So I started making my own collection of RTW line in 2006, I was 24. I was able to attract contracts from the international market and put up a medium-sized factory. But then the global recession came and I was forced to close the factory. So I decided to re-strategize my business and focused on the local market, from scratch. I had a wedding gown order at that time and that’s where it all started; I discovered the niche market of bridal wear. The year was 2012. Then I started getting referrals from clients and eventually got orders from America through my Facebook page and Instagram. Last year, 2021, I officially launched my signature Convertible Modest Bridal Wear.
I am also the Founder of www.modestfashiondesigners.com. Its a platform for modest fashion meant to support aspiring modest fashion designers especially the underprivileged; those who do not have a network and who felt out of place, all over the world. We give them highlights on our social media pages and website, to boost their confidence. It is also meant to educate our own people about the essence of modesty and to bridge peace among people who are divided because of our choices.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It was an easy road as a fashion designer who did not come from a privileged family and support system from my rich and influential kins, given that this industry requires a social network. It plays an advantage if your own people back you up, introduce you to their circle of friends and get referrals from but it doesn’t happen to me. So I did it all away from them. I managed to establish myself without their support. My clients were very supportive and I really thank them for bringing me where I am right now.
When the factory I started in 2007 had to close down eventually due to the global recession, and shifted my focus in the local market, I was a one-man soldier. The most exciting part was when I had an outstanding but I couldn’t find anyone to do it and it was time-sensitive. I did not have money to give back the down payment. I only have 2 weeks left before the scheduled delivery. So what I did, I studied how to run the machine through youtube and re-educate myself with patter-making. Overnight, I learned how to do it and I started making the order and I did it. To my satisfaction, the client loved what I did and I even got referrals through her.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an artist. I paint, sculpt and do well with pencil illustration and currently getting familiar with digital illustration too.
I am a fashion designer by profession. I am also a freelance investigative journalist and content writer.
I founded Modest Fashion Designers Production, a platform which aims to promote aspiring new talents especially underprivileged, designers and creatives from around the world.
I am known for all of the above.
I am nothing really. But I am proud of the platform that it became an instrument for people like me to start their career with and to find their spot in the industry. It boosts their self-esteem and self-worth.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
You can see some of my work here:
- Customized wedding gowns start from $5,000
- Ready-to-wear wedding gowns start from $1,500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.imanmontayre.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/imanmontayre_bridals
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Iman_Bridals
Alex Banaag III
Johnica Po Rivera