Tastemaker – Izhcka Zeta
Izhcka Zeta belongs to an exclusive circle of designers who have the distinction of mounting a well-lauded fashion show in the home of haute couture. His collection “Monarchs of the Opera” was presented at the opening of the International Fashion Week in Paris in September 2018 at La Maison, Champ Elysees. The designer’s runway debut will always be the defining moment for the eccentric designer who is the Creative Director of renowned UAE atelier Jacy Kay Couture.
Not only bold, and tasteful, but also intellectual, Izhcka’s painstakingly birthed designs always combine a variety of elements, his obsession du jour, melded together beautifully to intentionally form a story. “I would like to be known as someone who is different – able to create dresses that are unique and varied. Some designers have one distinct look, and while it marks the designer’s identity, it can also become boring and monotonous. I would like to be known as someone who is not inhibited by the limitations and expectations of society or of my own bias.”
He adds, “Filipino designers should be truly competitive, not just inspired by others’ works, but leading and generating original concepts and ideas. There should be something uniquely Filipino embedded in our creations so our identity will not be lost. We should also align with the 2020 of Dubai: driven by technology, language-proficient, and truly competitive. This way, we understand the demands of the market and are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed.”
Francis ‘Izhcka’ Zeta
Francis ‘Izhcka’ Zeta will always look back at 2018 as the milestone year which marks his first ever round of rousing applause from none other than the discerning Parisian couture crowd.Ever the eccentric one, Izhcka’s markedly dramatic style is but the tip of the iceberg in comparison to his immense capacity to dream of fantastical concepts and consistently create exceptional pieces that look more like works of art. Holding off for the longest time from requests for a local gala, those in the know would understand the choice to debut in Paris and not anywhere else, for this designer whose pieces are treasured by the region’s elite.
His collection “Monarchs of the Opera” was presented at the opening of the International Fashion Week in Paris in September at La Maison, Champ Elysees. For the designer, premiering in the world’s fashion capital was a daunting challenge. “I needed to think of silhouettes that are not just crystal-embellished. I wanted it to be Parisian: stylish, intellectual, and with an element of surprise at the end. The collection was inspired by the strength and daintiness of butterflies, especially the monarchs which are such regal queens displaying strength and power to command and nurture at the same time.”
Though his hope was personal, the resulting ripples are inevitably shared, “That was a dream that I thought would only remain a dream. To my surprise, and probably everyone else’s, it became a reality. It was one truly applauded show that brought pride to me and to Filipinos.”
Izchka’s urges Filipinos to be equal parts creative and patriotic. “Whatever one creates, make sure the word ‘Filipino’ is carried along with it. My creations have always been characterized by luxury and creativity – and this is what I want everyone to know and realize; that being Filipino is the same as being excellent and creative.”
Special thanks to our sponsors: Emirates Airline, Stars n Bars La Mer, Liali, Instax – Grandstores UAE, Dusit Thani Dubai, Gver – Your Friendly Marketplace for Sharing, Meeting Dancewear , MPQ, CMG, Filbrit, and our partners Rozen Antonio Photography, Alex Callueng Photography, Jef Anog Photography, and Ethereal Photography.
IZHCKA ZETA – Fashion Designer
Photo by Alex Callueng; Photography Assistant – Bethoven Filomeno
Francis Izhcka Zeta has crafted a name for himself as one of the UAE’s most sought-after fashion designers. With a skilled eye for intricate and imposing details, his stunning designs enjoy an international clientele, making him a strong sartorial force in the Middle East.
Izhcka attests that the success he has today is the result of constant, unrelenting diligence. He elaborates: “I was a learner. I rarely slept at night without reading and practicing what I read. I asked how to do things. I researched on the trends and what the people in the Gulf desire for their weddings. I went into the tiring but rewarding field of detailed artistry, wherein every nook and corner of the dress has to be taken care of, with no precious stone left unturned, as they say. I realized that when one makes no excuses, then quality shines through in whatever I create.”
His former career as Art Director and Creative Designer for select shows on major networks in the Philippines was illustrious enough on its own, but Izhcka reiterates that it pales in comparison to the moment when he was granted the position of Creative Director for the Emirati brand, Jacy Kay Couture: “It was a complete validation of my hard work as a designer. It is a triumph in itself to be able to make one’s visions a reality.” Of his legacy, he professes: “I would love to be known as somebody who started with only dedication and hard work – someone who was able to hurdle difficulties and attain success despite overwhelming odds. I have nothing against inherited success, but I place more value on achievement that is gained through one’s own effort and discipline.”
Special thanks to Illustrado 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf 2016 sponsors – Giordano, Nikon, Liali Jewellery, Lulu, Mitsubishi and Western Union.