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Ask Trude Lizares about her namesake brand and she’ll gently correct you: to her, it’s not her brand; it’s her philosophy.
“Fashion is not just aesthetics—but rather a fusion of the soul of the modern woman and her spirit of yearning for what is eternally true and beautiful.”
Trude is an artist with a passion for excellence, not just in her work (which is, in fact, excellent) but in her commitment to the people who believe in her. Her aesthetic is timeless, staunchly unfussy, and universal. Her designs have a way of bringing out the best in the wearer, no matter their style, size, or spirit—it’s as if confidence is sown into every seam.
Trude is influenced by the elevated-casual aesthetic of Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani’s attention to detail, and the artistry of Filipino designer Patis Tesoro. She loves dance, yoga, and being immersed in nature.
Even in her teens, while studying at the Ateneo de Manila University, Trude was designing hand-painted pieces for the women at the House of Negros, a nonprofit organization founded to alleviate poverty caused by the downfall of the sugar industry in her home town of Negros Occidental, Philippines. Here, her atelier—where ready-to-wear and custom pieces were treated to her signature style-meets-sustainability touch—got its start.
In 1987 she relocated to Australia. However, Trude’s heart was in the Philippines with her art and her team of artisans. In 1990 she moved back to rebuild the atelier for herself—and for the artisans. Subcontracting overseas, where labor is considerably cheaper but business practices are exploitative, went against everything Trude believes in. Instead, she personally managed production (which she kept local) and her Bacolod City shops up until she decided to retire from the fashion industry.
In 2017, when her daughter, Katrina, came home from Sydney, Australia to get married, Trude came out of retirement to dress her. Katrina had initially asked for a modern bridal dress of imported silk, but her mom—as moms are known to do—insisted on an elaborate, traditionally handwoven, hand-embroidered, and hand-beaded gown. The resulting suite of jaw-dropping gowns was cut entirely from Piña, an indigenous handwoven fabric derived from Pineapple fibers and Silk Cocoons made by indigenous silk worms.
Empowered by a renewed commitment to the local artisan community and the indigenous fabrics of the Philippines, Trude returned to work, this time with a partner: her daughter, Katrina. So, here we are, present-day Trude Lizares: A mother-daughter operation bolstered by a rich legacy of social awareness, creativity, and sustainability—with our hearts forever in the right place.
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