Designer Sofia Carmela captures the global market as Philippine Fashion's Bright Newcomer

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Imagination is the thread that strings together each curve, bead, and ruffle that make up the designs of Sofia Carmela Arante. Each of her creations—from pant suits to evening dresses, bridal wear—is as vibrant and one-of-a-kind as a daydream made real.

Sofia Carmela design

Sofia’s relationship with herself is key to understanding her pieces’ wearable maximalist energy that have left initial audiences wanting more from her. The fashion industry newcomer’s promise to stay true to her own sensibilities is why her brand feels personal and real. Even as she incorporates influences from fellow creatives, style icons like Heart Evangelista and Sarah Jessica Parker, beautiful cultures from around the world, and all things whimsical, she commits to always bringing a bit of herself to the table, never losing herself in the shuffle. 

Her childlike approach to style has earned her coveted nods of approval, beginning with that given by her alma mater, the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. The 23-year-old graduated summa cum laude in 2022, with her senior collection titled To Be Childlike making its way to the Vogue Runway’s Standout Class of 2022 Show and landing her a feature on the Women’s Wear Daily Magazine.

This year, she opened her atelier in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. She welcomes women from all walks of life to collaborate with her on creating pieces that not only stand out in a closet, but in a room full of people, too. 

Sofia Carmela fashion

New York-based McKenzie Miller, a client of Sofia Carmela’s, attests to the young designer’s budding talent. The pair were brought together when McKenzie chanced upon a feature of her works on Vogue while in search for a made-for-her wedding guest dress. 

“I reached out, envisioning a collaborative effort to craft something beautiful and uniquely tailored for me. This decision was driven by both the challenge of finding the perfect gown and my admiration for Sofia’s distinctive design perspective despite the remote collaboration that needed to take place,” she recalled. 

The experience was a true testament to Sofia’s adept skills and understanding of clients’ unique tastes and requirements. A romantic, dusty mint green dress was whipped up for McKenzie just a week before the event with everything fitting the way it should; the overall product exceeding expectations. 

“The craftsmanship was impeccable, showcasing Sofia’s attention to detail in every aspect. The dress felt like a personalized work of art, tailored to fit me perfectly after just one fitting. The combination of comfort and style made me feel exceptionally confident and unique at the wedding. Sofia successfully captured the essence of what I was looking for,” McKenzie added.

Sofia Carmela fashion design

Lovers of fashion and the Philippine style scene anticipate Sofia’s next steps. Her first bridal collection is slated to debut in 2024 and it is poised to feature the best of her yet. 

“I have a love for life’s greatest moments that I like to channel in my collections, and I feel that wedding dresses are a perfect canvas to work with when it comes to this. Weddings, which are celebrations of love and joy, are in line with the kind of enthusiasm I have in my work. I look forward to working with brides that embrace unconventionality like I do, and want to look and feel exactly like themselves on their special day,” Sofia says. 

The talented couturier has yet to clue in her followers on what to expect from her latest offerings. Often wielding the softness of tulle, organza, and silk, Sofia Carmela is an expert at creating billowy silhouettes while maintaining just the right degree of practicality. When combined with colors that have shed all self-consciousness—think gemstone fuchsia, sunset orange, and gentle pinks that feel like the brushes of first love—Sofia Carmela’s creations easily become the belle of the ball. 

“I’m so glad to be one of those people who have been lucky enough to realize their childhood dreams. I’ve loved clothes since I was little, and to now be in a position where I can make a difference in my clients’ lives by sharing my lifelong passion with them is almost unbelievable,” Sofia shares. “It’s an opportunity I’m going to make the most of.” 

Check out Sofia Carmela’s designs on or visit her atelier at Sta. Rosa, Laguna. For more information, call +63 939 926 1512, or follow her instagram @sofiacarmelaatelier.


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