The Lifestyle label from Crossings Department Store has launched itself as a distinct brand. At the recent Philippine Fashion Week, The Ramp amped up its clothes, exuding a slick, fluid but urban look. The clothes are subtly sexy but comfortable.
“Our market is women who are starting their careers but are confident about their fashion sense,” said Xandra Ramos-Padilla, The Ramp’s general manage.
There were capris, cigarette pants, glittery leggings paired with form-fitting sleeveless tops; soft dresses with uneven hemlines; and lots of snakeskin prints. Likewise, reptile platforms would be next season’s edict. The tuxedo look was reworked as pleated tops and sleeveless jackets. Mustard was the accent color for the dominant black-and-white palette.
The Ramp’s statement was about “mixology,” a variation of the time-worn mix-and-match ensemble. However, “mixology” was more about combining disparate styles. A dominant forecast was the “masculine-feminine” look or wearing mannish clothes with feminine touches, which was similar to Alexander Wang’s tough but sultry style.
“Mixology is about how you want to express and style yourself,” explained Ramos-Padilla. For instance, a tailored white blouse could be paired with a skirt, tucked in front with tails sticking out, or the same blouse could be teamed with textured leggings.
“The Ramp is about affordable fashion taking on from international trends. It encourages everyone to be creative. You can mix leather and lace or other unexpected ways to come up with your unique look,” she said. One such evening style was a draped, lurex top paired with jeans.
Padilla once worked at Walmart, Arkansas in international merchandising, specializing in fashion merchandising. She learned how to develop a line for a season, take key trends, and translate them to what consumers will buy. Her learning experience: “When consumers see a garment, they want more quality for less.”
When she came home to work for the family businesses such as National Book Store and Crossings Department Store, Padilla established The Ramp, which aimed to create the latest trends at modest prices. Moreover, its home line transposes fashion trends into soft furnishing.
Padilla takes pride that most of clothes are still locally handmade, not products of an assembly line, while the jackets, leggings, knitwear and accessories are imported. Still, The Ramp makes fashion accessible with its price range of P1,000-P2,300 for a gown.
For the coming season, the men’s line called Mondo will be coming out strong, as with The Ramp Kid. The childrenswear was inspired by Ramos-Padilla’s 4-year-old daughter. Both the men’s and kiddie lines, designed by young mother and fashion buyer Mikka Padua, will be coming out with color-blocked designs and layered styles.
The general manager said sales have been increased by 20 percent over last year.
“There’s more awareness for the brand. More people are willing to invest in our clothes because they are well-made. They like unique pieces such as the sheer skirt trend, the fitted maxi skirt, caped blouses or unique items that spice up their wardrobe. They look to The Ramp for these key trends.”
Plans are afoot to collaborate with young designers for accessories to work with graduates from fashion schools. On its image, Padilla credits its first signature model Teresa Herrera, who helped made it a fashion destination, and Andi Eigenmann to reach a wider market. In the future, the focus will be on the collections.