Designer Focus: Ia Coca

Cebuano À La Mode
by Ian Vill

This March’s issue is about the strength of women to handle their emotions with bravery and grace. Our STAIL Icon Barbie Forteza wore the designs of a very talented designer who recently just won StyleFestPH for Zalora in 2019, Ia Coca. Ia is a Cebu-based fashion designer with a deep understanding on what complements the human figure. He designed both of Barbie’s clothes for this issue with the white pantsuit designed and custom-made for our STAIL Icon within a week.



Before fashion, Ia was a MedTech student. But right after he passed the board exam, he decided to take fashion design on a whim. A whim that would prove to be worth it.


Get to know this talented designer’s style, inspirations, and thoughts on emotions.

Fashion is a way of life.

It is how you tie your lace, button (or unbutton) your shirt, how high you want to wear your heels.

It reflects the you at that moment of your life.

-Ia Coca

Why is fashion important?

As a form of self-expression. Fashion is a great tool to present yourself to the world. Are you feeling happy? Lethargic? Or are you feeling extra today so you decided to wear your most sparkly dress to the grocery.


Describe your own personal style.

My style is always dependent on my mood. I like wearing neutral to dark hues and occasionally pair them with a statement piece to give my look that certain oomph.


Highlighting the human figure has always guided me when I design clothes. I play with proportions, line, texture and volume to create interesting details on my design.

-Ia Coca

What’s your biggest dream?

To present a collection in Paris.


Where do you get your fashion inspirations for your designs?

Personal experiences and nature.


What’s your biggest struggle in being a fashion designer?

Dealing with the constant pressure to outdo yourself every single time.


What emotion do you most identify with?

Inner Peace

I process my circumstances internally so it is in solitude that I feel the most emotional.

-Ia Coca

What is the most important thing to you?

Freedom of choice.

It [emotions] is no easy task and we only get better at it as we gain experience, but we can control our emotions. It is all about perspective.

-Ia Coca

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