As you enter the studio of Boom Sason, one of the very first things you’ll notice is its bareness. Not the kind that feels isolating, but rather, the kind of bareness that eases you into a state of vulnerability. This same bareness is almost emulated in her creations as a fashion designer. Known for her risqué cut-outs and figure-hugging patterns, showing off a bit of skin describes the basic blueprint of a Boom Sason garment.
There is minimal clutter as you screen the room. Only her desk and a couch dominate its floor space. Against the studio’s white walls, you’ll find a framed poster of Rihanna’s Diamonds World Tour. Stacks of coffee table books on fashion sit next to it, almost tall enough to serve as a side table. Later we find another poster in her fitting room upstairs—it’s a collage of Rihanna and her various looks. If you haven’t caught on, Boom is a big fan of the Barbadian singer.
Above her corner in the studio, you’ll also find the many accolades she has collected over the years. There is no shortage of diplomas and certificates under Boom’s belt.
“Sandali lang po, patapos na po sila sa taas,” (Just a minute, they’re almost done upstairs) a member from her team tells us as we make our way through the room. In the background, we hear the faint rhythm of Harry Styles’ latest album resonate throughout the two-story studio.
A few minutes pass and we see Boom walk downstairs. She dons a black cut-out dress—one of her creations, of course. Smiling as she greets us, her vibrant energy is hard to miss.
Boom Sason, Photographed by JT Fernandez
If there is one term we can use to encapsulate Boom’s path to fashion, it’s probably “journey.” She reiterates this to me as we settle into her corner of the studio and begin our interview. Explaining how she had always been attracted to fashion magazines growing up, her story shares a common thread with many individuals who never really imagined working in the creative industry.
“In my family, it was just, you’re either going to be a lawyer or a doctor,” says Boom, who actually took up economics as her undergrad in the hopes of going to law school later on.
However, everything changed when she started to travel. Finding herself in Stockholm, Sweden, she tells LIFESTYLE.INQ how everything seemingly intertwined in her life during that period. Whether it be in love or career, things intersected as she began to build a life for herself outside the Philippines.
“I would sit in cafes and watch people walk. Stockholm was so good with street style, so I would admire them and be in awe,” Boom shares. “I was studying film in 2009, and that’s when I realized that I felt like I could study fashion next. So I graduated economics first, but that’s when it dawned on me.”
“I would sit in cafes and watch people walk. Stockholm was so good with street style, so I would admire them and be in awe,”
Following this realization, Boom moved to Milan in 2010 to study in two of the world’s most revered fashion institutions: Istituto Marangoni Milano and Istituto di Moda Burgo Milano. “I remember telling myself, ‘If I’m going to study fashion, it has to be either Milan, New York or Paris!’”
Boom in Milan, 2009 | Photo: Boom Sason
Some of the other schools that Boom studied in include First Media Design School in Singapore for Graphic Design, Photography and Advertising, (2009), Central Saint Martins in London for Fashion Marketing and Public Relations (2011), and Institut Français de la Mode in Paris for Fashion and Culture (2013).
As she delved further into the ropes of fashion, she constantly underlined the importance of getting proper training. It was a non-negotiable for Boom, and something that was integral to her process both as an individual and a professional.
Alluding to how she trained her eye over time, Boom credits it all to maturity. “When you mature, that’s when you develop your taste. That’s why my aesthetic was so clear to me. When someone sees one of my pieces or even something similar to mine and they think it’s one of my creations, that’s how I want it to be. I wanted my aesthetic to be strong.”
In life and fashion, there are no shortcuts
“I lived in Milan for almost four years and during those years, I experienced some of the coldest winters of my life. It’s very difficult when you don’t have the comforts of home. I really had to power through that time,” she tells LIFESTYLE.INQ.
Listening to the ardor in Boom’s voice as she recounted her experiences, it was clear how she embraced these difficulties and allowed them to shape her as an individual and a designer. Beaming with an unparalleled sense of independence and self-assurance, these lessons served as the building blocks for her label and shaped her dogma as a creative.
Istituto di Moda Burgo — school life in Milano, 2009 | Photo: Boom Sason
“My take from all of that is: There are no shortcuts when it comes to my work. There are no shortcuts in achieving the perfect silhouette. I don’t like the attitude that’s ‘pwede na yan.’”
“There are no shortcuts when it comes to my work. There are no shortcuts in achieving the perfect silhouette. I don’t like the attitude that’s ‘pwede na yan.’”
“That’s why I ask some of my clients to bear with me because I really don’t stop until I know I’m giving you something beautiful.”
Martine Cajucom, one of Boom Sason’s early muses, donning a bright yellow piece from her 2015 collection | Photo: Boom Sason
How motherhood helped her as a designer
If you were to look up Boom on Instagram, one of the very first things you will stumble upon is her bio: “A current of edge and sexy runs through all my collections that reflects my core understanding of what it means to be a woman. That will never change.”
Looking into how this quote is applied in her collections, a recurring theme each garment shares is actually how each piece is completely different from the last. Meticulously tailored and delicately envisioned, a dress isn’t merely a dress, but a layer of armor for the woman it protects.
“I always push my clients to be more adventurous,” she says when asked how being a mother affects her as a designer. Believe it or not, Boom is a mother to three children. However, this fact has never stopped her from pushing the envelope. Instead, it has given her a different level of confidence. “Not necessarily to show more skin but to try different things. As you mature, you have a firmer grasp of how you want to project yourself.”
“As you mature, you have a firmer grasp of how you want to project yourself.”
“I understand what a woman goes through. So when they come to me, for example, ‘Boom, can you help me out? I want to cover my stretch marks.’ Things like that. That’s why I love custom pieces because I can hide or highlight whatever my client wants.”
Boom and her youngest child during a trip to Boracay earlier this year | Photo: Boom Sason
Boom with her two eldest daughters at Harry Styles’ concert in Singapore | Photo: Boom Sason
Having had kids at a young age, it was important for Boom to set a good example for her daughters.
“[Having them] made me want to have my own career path so I could show them that it’s possible. I always tell them: You rely on yourself. You can be an independent woman. You can succeed. You don’t need a man.”
Authenticity and the value of letting go
Like any other designer, Boom is incredibly hands-on with her work. Before the pandemic, she hardly ever took days off. “I would work like there was no tomorrow. I’d say yes to every client, and my life felt like it was just work.”
It wasn’t until she found herself stuck in Boracay that she finally found the time to slow down and take things easy. “I was there for two months and had the time of my life. I noticed how my team continued to perform well despite me not being around physically and that’s when I realized that I didn’t need to put that much pressure on myself. Sometimes, you have to let go.”
“I realized that I didn’t need to put that much pressure on myself. Sometimes, you have to let go.”
Boom Sason, Photographed by JT Fernandez
“I learned to relax a bit more. If you want to perfect something, you have to be patient. If that’s what your goal is, then you have to enjoy the process. That’s why it leads you back to no shortcuts.”
When asked about what authenticity means to her, Boom’s answer is simple. “Not trying too hard. There is beauty in effortlessness.” This belief is carried through in all her collections. Whether it’s a sensual silhouette for one of her swimwear pieces or a tailored low-cut, high-slit gown for one of her wedding classics, Boom’s mastery of cool is grounded in her composure as a designer.
Regardless of whatever path you have in front of you, Boom proves that with the right amount of passion and determination, you might just find yourself savoring the success from that small risk you were initially afraid to take.
“It’s never too late.”
Photography by JT Fernandez
Make-up by Dave Quiambao
Hair by Nelly Tolentino
Sittings by Sophia Berbano Concordia