Pam Quiñones wears many hats: she is a fashion entrepreneur, celebrity stylist, and style icon, among other things.
Pam Quiñones is a force to be reckoned with, and there's no stopping her. She is the founder and executive creative director of Qurator, a fashion styling studio that incubates up-and-coming stylists and represents them when they're ready to venture on their own. She has a vast clientele including celebrities such as Pia Wurtzbach, Bea Alonzo, Judy Ann Santos, and Anne Curtis. She is also the co-founder of Vestido, a curated fashion rental space that advocates circular fashion. With more than 15 years of experience (as a fashion editor and stylist) under her belt, she continues to champion fashion and influences the next generation of creatives.
Aside from putting her own spin to pieces from our pre-holiday collection, the stylist to the stars also gamely chats with us about her "new normal", practicing sustainability, favorite fashion memories, and more. Ahead, seek (major!) style inspiration and takeaway nuggets of wisdom from the one and only, Pam Q.
Pam shifts from one look to another in our Pylaia eyelet dress.
How are you and what’s a day in your life like since shifting to a WFH setup?
I cannot say that I have fully adjusted, but I’m doing great all things considered. A normal day would look like this:
The first thing I do upon waking up is cuddle and play with and feed Pacho, my adorable kitten. He gives me so much zen and joy, especially in the mornings.
I then work on emails or deadlines over coffee, and also answer messages which are usually divided between Qurator styling projects and Vestido operations.
I make myself a high-protein breakfast, then go to a shoot or fitting (physical), or prepare for Zoom calls. On breaks, I still play with Pacho or take a walk around BGC to stay active. If time permits, I also pop in the pool for some exercise.
It really depends, but I guess you can say that my schedule is pretty flexible. And spending more time at home has unlocked my home-shooting skills and has made me more comfortable with being photographed. I have also made more personal content since last year than ever.
Pam dresses up this linen Mandra frock with layered necklaces and strappy heels.
Many know you as a successful stylist, fashion editor, and entrepreneur. What made you jump into the business of clothing rental through Vestido?
While still working for a magazine in 2017, I’ve become more aware about the ecological impact of fashion. I’ve known about it for a while since discovering about the Rana Plaza disaster, but I chose to ignore the issue. I had an inner conflict between commerce for fashion ads (because we had to sell ad pages to fashion brands ergo urging our readers to keep buying) and educating readers about conscious consumption. I also didn't know how to to approach and communicate the issue, so I regrettably didn't get to do much about it back then. But the conflict was even greater between having something that’s hot and new vs. what’s a responsible purchase. After leaving the magazine, I had a bit of free time to explore and understand how to start being more mindful and responsible. I began with deliberately having a relationship with my clothes, and not see them as 'throw away' pieces.
I have always loved vintage so I also started going back to second-hand stores. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy new pieces. But before I do, I need to have a long self-talk. Will I be wearing this for the next 10 years? Does it reflect my personal style? Can it stand the test of time? This helps me keep a more curated wardrobe.
Next was finding a way to practice this philosophy in my career. Qurator’s closet is quite massive and because we purchase pieces regularly, we hold everything-must-go sales. I realized that those who buy from our sales are really only looking for special pieces to wear to special occasions. So I thought, why not put up a fashion rental service that gives people access to special pieces without the commitment and only for a fraction of the price? This way, we also promote upcycling and re-styling old pieces to make them look brand new.
With the help of my co-founder, Cindy Go-Bayot, we launched Vestido in 2018 and now have a third managing partner, Maica Salud Tady. We've also expanded the brand to Resale and introduced Things, our line of accessories (Burlô and Vestido totes) that are meant to complete the rental look and experience.
The stylist extraordinaire pumps up the volume (and color) in our Priego set.
Share with us three valuable lessons you’ve learned that helped you in building your career.
No job is too small. Try out everything, especially when you’re starting out. This is the time when you’re supposed to figure out what you want to specialize on. Even when you’re years into your career, you will still find yourself doing projects pro-bono or that pay very little, because they feed your creative soul. Try to always balance art with commerce. As a creative, I think that’s the recipe for longevity.
Be kind and easy to work with. It doesn’t cost anything. You just be. No one wants to work with a diva, no matter how talented he/she is. Also, learn how not to be a YES man. Again, it’s about that beautiful balance.
Understand deeply what you believe in, stand up for your philosophy, and have a voice—use it to influence others.
With everything that you’re juggling, how do you achieve a work-life balance? Any tips that you can share to those who are struggling with this?
Balance as a life concept is essentially a personal goal. I know I’m my optimum self when I get to balance work, family, and friends; nurture my personal interests; and give back or add value to others’ lives or my environment. I don’t think I get to strike this balance all the time, but I also try not to be too hard on myself because that would be counterproductive. I just try to be mindful to have a semblance of a routine, and be fully engaged with everything that I give importance to.
When I decide to give my energy to something, I make an effort to be very present. Also, understand that every day is a new day to start doing what you really love. So just hustle, and do it!
"When I decide to give my energy to something, I make an effort to be very present." Pam lounges in our Marousi dress.
How do you keep yourself motivated in these uncertain times?
By nurturing the most important relationships in my life and doing things that make me feel good. Growing Vestido is a project that brings a smile to my face.
You are such a style inspiration! Describe your personal style.
Balance of masculine and feminine.
Who are your fashion heroes?
Azzedine Alaïa for everything he stood for! Georgie Hyatt of Rotaro for creating one of the coolest fashion rental companies we aspire to one day be. And Orsola de Castro and her thoughts on mindfulness and the power of mending our own clothes.
You have five minutes to get ready. What’s your final look?
Men's trousers, tank top, oversized men’s blazer, and Ginza sandals. Accessorized with a Burlô by Vestido Lula necklace, a vintage gold chain necklace, and Bvlgari ring from my mom.
Top three fashion items you can’t live without?
Men’s blazer (oversized)—I usually just grab my husband’s suits! Vestido tote and mini tote because I’ve used them almost everyday since last year. Bvlgari ring from my mom.
Share a fashion memory you’ll never forget.
Meeting and interviewing Azzedine Alaïa in his famous kitchen in Paris. The interview was scheduled for one hour but we ended up talking for three hours. Our team was also able to go into his archives to pick out pieces to shoot. This was pretty major for me because I have been a fan since I started being a fashion-obsessed teen.
Styling Sarah Jessica Parker in Manila. This was unforgettable, too!
On my first trip to Europe when I was 16, I saw this woman in a red dress. She was effortlessly breezing through the small streets on her bike. I remember thinking, “Wow, how chic!” I realize now that that was probably the first time I saw what chic looks like. It’s effortless style.
Shop Pam's looks here.
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