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    Style Stories — style stories



    Have there been moments when you felt stuck and didn’t know how to move forward with your life? Sometimes you need someone who can hold space for you and guide you through life’s challenges – and a life coach can help you make the changes you need so you can live life in a way that’s authentic to you. Kimi Lu is a life and corporate coach who has been conducting private sessions and mindfulness workshops for the past 10 years. Trained at the Bennet Stellar University, she is a licensed Certified Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapy Life Coach, and Reiki Master Practitioner who has built a growing community of positively-charged beings she calls #protons.

    Here, she tells us what inspired her desire to become a life coach, her book on self-love and her newest program designed to boost your confidence.      

    What sparked your interest in pursuing life coaching? Was there a life-changing moment that inspired it?

    "I felt lost. In the middle of my regular work day, I found myself crying out of nowhere. Tears were just falling from my eyes. I couldn’t understand why and that made me reflect a lot about what was happening in my life. I felt empty inside. I didn’t think I had to see a doctor for it but I knew I had to talk to someone about it. I searched online for a life coach in the Philippines and couldn’t find one – and I had a crazy idea of becoming one because I knew that one day, someone else will feel the same way I did and they would need someone to talk to! This year is my 10th year of coaching people and helping them navigate through life's  challenges." 

     Kimi wearing the Loire necklace and Lush earrings

    Tell us about your early days as a life coach.

    "I got two strange looks each time I told people I was a life coach. I started in 2010 when life coaches were not popular at all and social media was not a coined word yet. So the first look they’d give me was a really confused look —- “huh, what’s that?” and the second look was —- “huh, how can you be a life coach, you’re so young?” I had to deal with those looks while trying to remain positive and build my self-esteem to hold on to my mission of helping people find their way through life."

     Kimi wearing the Loire necklace and Lush earrings

    "My first client was a dermatologist. We would meet at his house or at his clinic then I would meet other clients at the mall. That first client eventually offered me his spare clinic in Medical Plaza in Makati – I stayed there for 2 years. 50% of my clients in my first 3 years of practice were expats because I guess they were the ones familiar and open to seeking for help. Then after a while, there were more Filipinos coming to me and are more open to receiving guidance." 

    Kimi wearing the Ara bee necklace and Yani Afghan bead necklace

    How have you evolved as a life coach since you started?

    "I started with just face-to-face, one-on-one coaching. I thought that was all I was going to do in this career. Then I started doing small groups and eventually I expanded to Corporate Wellness or Essential Skills coaching. Currently, I also do global workshops and online coaching. I swear, the Universe is abundant that way! So many possibilities if we just think outside the box!"

    Kimi conducts her one-on-one sessions at the Protons HQ in Makati

    "Having my own space for my practice has also helped me immensely. I’ve lived in my Makati condo since I was 12 years old. When my parents moved to their home in Batangas and my brother got his own place, I decided to stay there and transformed it to what I call now as the #ProtonsHQ where I hold all my sessions."

    How did your book “Masturdating” come about?

    "It is an intentional guidebook to celebrate life. There are exercises inside, which will help people realize how wonderful life is and how much love they should be giving themselves before anyone else. The challenges in the book is a compilation of the top 29 challenges from my online program series for 5 years."

    Kimi's book "Masturdating" is all about self-love and is available on Amazon

    "Everyone was shocked when I announced that I was launching a book because I’m not a writer but I’m a big fan of experiential learning and that’s what the book really is. It is for you to experience little life boosts so that it may spark happiness inside of you!"  

    What do you love most about being a life coach?

    "Just seeing the spark in people’s eyes when they have an “aha!” moment or they feel good and see a glimmer of hope. It is a very fulfilling job and I am obsessed about it. I am addicted to teaching people how to love themselves authentically and deeply." 

    One of Kimi's healing modalities is reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing through the laying of hands. On Kimi: Calla heart lariat and Yani Afghan bead necklace


    What’s next for you?

    "I developed the #ConfidenceBoostProgram last year for one-on-one sessions. I’ve seen how the program’s graduates have progressed and taken huge leaps in just 4 weeks and I wanted more people to experience this! I came up with my first public workshop for the year, the #ConfidenceBoostProgram workshop."

    Kimi wearing the Como necklace 

    "I’ve been talking about setting an intention for the year because being intentional about your goals will help you gain direction and clarity – and this experiential workshop can help amplify that through active and guided meditations and exercises that can help you re-discover yourself. I have 3 special guests who will share their beautiful energy and gifts to empower and inspire all the attendees – it’s going to be a supercharged session full of positivity! I also have slots open for premium one-on-one sessions for those who prefer private coaching and who want to go deeper into their self-discovery journey."

    Kimi wearing the Como necklace and Nia earrings

    "I’m also boosting my Essential Skills training programs to make sure that more and more people learn to love their jobs, the people they’re working with and for, the clients and suppliers that they have. I want people to wake up on Monday mornings and be happy to work and make an impact in their own way!" 

    Follow Kimi: @kimilulifecoach

    Website: www.kimilulifecoach.com

    Photos by Kyle Quismundo (@kylequismundo)



    Kelly Misa-Fernandez believes that a working wardrobe is the answer to every woman’s “nothing to wear” dilemma. Just like any modern woman, the long-time model, TV host, and lifestyle blogger juggles multiple roles: wife to husband Carlos, mom to Tristan, and host of her travel and lifestyle show called “Trending with Kelly” on ANC.                    

    The statuesque beauty shares with us her practical approach to shopping and tips on how to find a look that’s genuinely you:

    On personal style: “It has to be a perfect mix of comfort and style, form and function. Style has become an after-thought. I like a lot of girly clothes, dresses that are flowy and lacy with forgiving silhouettes – not too tight but still very flattering. As long as it has a clean silhouette, it’s flattering, and it feels like me, I buy it.”  

    Kelly wearing her white lace dress with (1) Caba Afghan bead tassel earrings (2) Wildcat bracelet (3) Cala turquoise bracelet and (4) white agate piece from Lyla bracelet set

    On what’s in her closet: “I love basic and earthy, relaxing tones complemented with pastels and muted colors. I usually wear the same things over and over again that’s why I have to make sure I have to be able to wear something many times before I buy it. I like that kind of working wardrobe because it’s easier for me. My closet is divided into workhorse clothes – ones that I just wear without thinking too much about it and I can put on in 5 minutes – and ones that I wear for special occasions like strappy tops.”

    Kelly wears her lavender lace top with (5) Victoria 3-layer necklace

    On what she wears on a typical day: “Every day is different for me since I’m a hands-on mom and wear a lot of different hats so what I wear depends on what is required. When I have to attend an event, that’s when I dress up more. If I just have to go out with my family, I wear basic t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers but I do love to accessorize. I think that will be the saving grace to my rather simple look.”

    Kelly wears her lavender top and white cropped pants with (6) Amal aventurine drop earrings and (7) Mosa horn necklace

    On her choice of jewelry: “It’s either very simple and minimalist or really full-on statement pieces. It also depends on my mood and where I’m going. The more simple, subdued jewelry are reserved for days when I’m just running errands or I’m with my son and when I’m not with him, that’s when I can wear the more flamboyant ones.”

    Kelly's picks: (8) Roan filigree earrings (9) Cala turquoise bracelet (10) Mosa horn necklace (11) white agate piece from Lyla bracelet set (12) Wildcat bracelet (13) Boka white tassel earrings and (14) Caba Afghan bead tassel earrings in sky blue

    On bags: “I used to like funky and cute bags but I rarely carry small bags nowadays. It’s more of backpacks and carry-all totes that can fit all the toys, snacks, and all the little things my son needs. When I have to use a smaller bag, I just put it inside the bigger one to make it seem like I don’t have a million things with me.”  

    On shoes: “I used to love statement shoes – anything with a chunky heel or a great color or design. These days, I wear flats, strappy sandals, or sneakers. All my high heels are collecting dust at the moment.”

    Kelly likes to invest in timeless and versatile pieces that she can use for a long time such as her Givenchy leather bag and Valentino studded flats 

    Style tips: “I think if you’re true to yourself and you know who you are, everything else will follow. Try to think of three things that best embody you and shop based on your needs so you won’t make the mistake of buying something that’s not you.”

    Kelly wears her denim top and cut-out pants with (15) Seville two-tone earrings

    "If you buy something that you’re not comfortable in then you just wasted your money even if you bought it on sale. I used to buy whatever was trendy but now I have to make sure it has to stay with me for a long time.”

    Kelly wearing a custom beige dress with (16) Modena tassel earrings and (17) Lyla bracelet set

    “Try not to stick to trends because these days, it’s all about finding a timeless look, a look that’s more you. It’s more about personal style than whatever is trendy at the moment." 

    Follow Kelly on Instagram: @kellymisa

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Shot on location at Ibiza Beach Club BGC



    (1) and (14) Caba earrings - will be exclusively available at Lanai 

    (2) and (12) Wildcat bracelet

    (3) and (9) Cala turquoise bracelet

    (4) (11) and (17) Lyla bracelet set

    (5) Victoria 3-layer necklace

    (6) Amal aventurine drop earrings

    (7) and (10) Mosa horn necklace 

    8) Roan earrings

    (13) Boka white tassel earrings

    (15) Seville earrings

    (16) Modena tassel earrings



    For Maggie Wilson-Consunji, a plain wardrobe serves as the canvas for her classic-meets-boho style. For her, summer dressing is a year-round affair - and her aesthetic can be attributed to her being a swimwear designer for Wanderlust Swimwear as well as an interior designer with an eye for the exotic.

    She tells us more about her style evolution and why she isn't one to follow trends. 

    On personal style: "My style in general is very classic and I don’t really follow trends. I have a lot of white and beige in light fabrics like linen. When I do pick an outfit, I always make sure that there’s at least one area that is fitted or sexy if you will. I could be wearing a loose top but I would pair it with shorts or a romper then I would tie it on the waist so you can still see some shape."

    Maggie wearing a white romper with (1) tribal drop earrings (2) beaded coral neck piece and (3) chunky coral necklace 

    On how her style has evolved: "I went through a phase when all I wanted were really tight clothes but now I’m at a point where I’m very comfortable with my body and gravitate more towards clothes that I can move easily in. Of course, I’m a mom now so I need the extra room."

    On what she wears on a typical day: "For me, it’s like summer all-year-round; it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or not. It’s always nice to bring some color and fun to an outfit regardless of the weather. In terms of accessories, I’d probably pick a good pair of hoop earrings. I feel sexy and powerful in them."

    Maggie wearing (4) 2-layer hoop and disc necklace, (5) beaded turquoise necklace and (6) pink mini hoop earrings

    As a swimwear designer, summer is always on Maggie's mind and this is one of the defining aspects of her style.

    Maggie's collection of swimwear pieces come in a variety of bold prints 

    On her favorite accessories: “Bags and accessories should be the statement pieces of my outfit since my wardrobe is so plain.”

    Some of Maggie's favorite accessories include these blue tassel earrings from Kate Spade

    "I have a big collection of earrings. I gravitate more towards gold pieces as well as turquoise. I love hoop earrings as well. My wardrobe isn’t very colorful so I like to add color to my outfit using accessories."

    Maggie's collection of statement earrings also include large hoop earrings, the (7) Panama earrings in light blue as well as the (8) Roan earrings and (9) beaded mini hoops from the Savanna Collection

    "I’m also really into tassels and pom-poms right now."

    Maggie wearing (9) purple pom-pom earrings from the Savanna Collection

    Her shoes also come in a spectrum of colors. 

    Bright tones, textured metallics as well as a printed pair of pumps from Zara make up Maggie's shoe collection

    On bags: "I like bags with lots of character. It must have a long strap and not just top handles. Before, I used to like big bags but it’s such a pain to carry so I’ve been buying a lot of smaller bags lately. Similar to my wardrobe, I’m really into neutrals although I did purchase a bag recently that’s white with lemons on it."

    Maggie's favorite bags include a lemon printed mini bag from Dolce & Gabbana as well as a colorful flamingo cross-body and a monogram clutch, which are both from Aranaz

    Maggie also favors bags in neutral tones like these two snakeskin pieces 

    Style tips: "Always buy the basics first: a nice pair of tailored pants, jeans, basic t-shirts. A good white polo can go from day to night and you can take it anywhere. It can be casual but super glam as well. I always love to change up an outfit like wearing a dressy skirt with a t-shirt so it throws it off a little bit – not too formal-looking or dressy."

    Maggie pairs her animal print skirt with a white fringe top complemented with (10) black tassel necklace, (11) tribal coin necklace and (12) gray and black bracelet set all from the Savanna Collection

    "When I go shopping and I find the perfect fitting piece, I don’t just buy one. I buy four because I’m scared that when it disappears, it’s not going to come back ever again so I have that bad habit. I’ll buy a pair of pants but I’ll have 4 of them."

    Maggie wearing a beige Patty Ang ensemble with (13) 2-layer howlite and tassel necklace) and (14) cascading tassel earrings from the Savanna Collection

    "Don’t dress for anyone. Dress for yourself. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. I always say never follow trends unless it’s something you like personally or think will look good on you. Don’t buy an item just because your favorite celebrity or blogger is wearing it. Always ask the advice of your friends. I have one or two girl friends that I take shopping with me to ask what they think."  

    "And lastly, clothes don’t have to be expensive. There are many brands out there that are affordable that I think look just as good as expensive clothes."

    Follow Maggie on Instagram: @wilsonmaggie

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)



    All accessories worn by Maggie are from the Savanna Collection.

    (1) Soweto earrings 

    (2) Shaka necklace

    (3) Khoi necklace

    4) Montagu necklace 

    (5) Amatola necklace 

    (6) Namib earrings

    (8) Roan earrings

    (9) Roux earrings in purple

    (10) Kalahari black tassel necklace

    (11) Vilakazi necklace

    (12) Oryx bracelet set

    (13) Rahima necklace set

    (14) Catalina earrings



    Undoubtedly one of the most notable Filipino fashion brands, Aranaz has enamored fashion lovers from all over the globe by turning traditional Filipino elements into modern sartorial must-haves. 

    Aranaz is also the first brand that Heyjow collaborated with for an exclusive collection and has been our stockist for the past 3 years.  

    We caught up with Aranaz Creative Director and SoFA Design Institute co-founder Amina Aranaz-Alunan who gave us a peek into her closet and beautiful tropical-inspired home.

    Amina's home has natural elements complemented with muted tones that exude a relaxing tropical vibe 

    On personal style: "Definitely very feminine and fun. I love fashion so I like to experiment and try out new trends but I always lean towards feminine silhouettes. I gravitate a lot towards skirts that cinch the waist. If I do wear looser clothes, it still has to be waist-defining. For tops, I like the more fitted and tailored silhouettes. I like clothes that accentuate the body.

    Amina wearing (1) 3-layer necklace with mother of pearl and druzy bar and (2) small Ottoman coins and etched discs layer and (3) geometric aventurine ring

    On what she wears on a typical day: "It usually is dictated by where I have to go. If it’s my factory, I’m usually more casual but sometimes I lean towards resort wear, which gets me in the mood to be more laid-back. When I’m at SoFA, that’s when I’m more dressed up and wear things that are more business appropriate but still fun."

    On how her has style evolved: "Right now, I’m more comfortable with being a bit dressed down. Before, I had to be always dressed up or there always had to be something that was super glamorous. When I was younger, I had a lot of things for a night out but now I look for pieces that I can wear for many occasions, things that I can wear to work but I can also wear to the mall or to a lunch out."

    Amina wearing a black button-down dress with (4) hoop on a strand of 24k gold plated wire-wrapped rosary chain with moonstone beads layered with a tribal spiral charm necklace, (5) druzy drop earrings and (6) gray agate charm bracelet with delicate lavender beads

    On shoes: "That has been a big change in my wardrobe. I used to live in heels but ever since I had kids, I’ve been wearing a lot of flats."

    Some of Amina's favorite shoes include these slides with ribbon detail from Renegade Folk, black patent slides with colorful accents from Mango, plaited black and white sandals from Spanish brand Bimba y Lola, and pointy sandals from Mango  

    Dressier occasions call for a striking pair of shoes. Pictured here are Amina's gold Zara Trafaluc strappy heels, a silver pair from Kurt Geiger, and a Giuseppe Zanotti wedge in army green.

    On her favorite earrings: "The giant acrylic earrings are from a collaboration between Marni and H&M. I bought it years ago but I’ve only worn it I think once or twice but it’s something I like looking at."

    Some of Amina's favorite earrings are made up of Aranaz statement earrings and a giant acrylic pair from Marni x H&M

    Amina's jewelry collection also includes these ethereal white earrings, one of which is Ken Samudio's Fleur de Lis earrings (middle) 

    "Statement earrings are really a big thing right now. These red ones are a lot of fun. I call these types of pieces ‘easy glam pieces’, just like what we have in Aranaz. These pieces instantly elevate your look even if you’re just wearing basic wardrobe elements."

    Amina wearing an off-shoulder top by Mich Araullo with (7) red tassel earrings and (8) rustic hoop on howlite beads layered with a turquoise prism bar 

    On their latest collection: "The bucket bag is from Aranaz’s latest collection, the Garden Party collection, which was launched on Moda Operandi's website. We have a mix of big, medium and mini bucket bags all embroidered with a garden motif.”

    Seen here are Amina's own collection of Aranaz bags, which includes the Charlie Bag (leftmost), iconic Pina clutch and the green Bianca mini bucket bag from their newest collection

    Style tip: "I’m really an accessories girl and whether it’s bags, jewelry, or shoes, it’s the best and easiest way to upgrade your wardrobe. It’s the easiest way to wear a trend. You can go from day to night just by simply changing your shoes from flats to heels or changing your bag to a big day bag to a mini bag or clutch.

    Amina's picks: (9) 2-layer necklace with a stalactite slice paired with tribal discs (10) 3-layer necklace with teardrop mother of pearl and druzy bar

    "Another is clean out your closet. I realized that when I have lesser choices, I actually find that I have more to wear especially when I’m traveling. When you’re forced to live with a certain wardrobe, you become more creative and seldom have those ‘I have nothing to wear’ moments."

    Follow Aranaz: @aranazph

    Follow Amina: @aminaaranaz

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Make-up by Junie Sierra (@makeupbyjunie)

    Hair by Vianca Ashanti Aquino (@jim_aki)



    (1) and (10) Anemone from Tropical Greens collection

    (2) and (9) Cerise from Violet and Lilies collection

    (3) Sprig ring from Foliage collection

    (4) Doe from Aloha White collection

    (5) Sheen earrings from Violet and Lilies collection

    (6) Lyla bracelet set from Violet and Lilies collection

    (7) Coquina earrings from Island Girl Blush

    (8) Rhine from Azure Paradise collection



    Fringe, flounce and flamboyance – these three make up Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi’s collection of fun accessories that she easily mixes with classic wardrobe pieces to create a fun and feminine look that’s all her own.

    The writer, TV host, and mom of two talks about her style evolution and the pieces that she holds close to her heart.

    On personal style: “I tend to stick to classic lines because it suits me well. I do like pencil skirts, shift dresses with 1950’s cuts, and anything that defines the waist. The older I get, the more I veer away from prints. I used to love prints but now I’m more into classic pieces."

    "When I do wear prints, I go for ethnic prints. I’d pair a bold skirt with an African print with a white shirt. I would usually wear a classic shirt and pants with a fun pair of earrings or bag because I really love to accessorize. There’s always a boho element of ruffles, off-the-shoulder, or tassels.”

    Stephanie wearing (1) Maui tassel earrings, (2) clear quartz prism bracelet and (3) tourmaline and moonstone bracelet set

    On her evolving style: “I was just telling my husband the other day that my closet was starting to look like his. I’ve eliminated a lot of prints from my closet. I used to have a lot of brightly colored, block print tunics and now it’s more of striped shirts and shorts in white and navy blues."

    "I don’t have as much time to think about an outfit and when things are very patterned or colorful, you have to curate it better so you don’t look like a Christmas tree so now it’s just easier for me to pull out anything, at least for everyday wear. It’s a lot more casual and relaxed. I’ll just save the extra oomph for a special occasion.”

    Stephanie wearing a (4) 2-layer piece featuring a green geode on moonstone beads

    Stephanie wearing (5) salmon tassel earrings and (6) howlite and clear quartz bracelet duo

    On her favorite accessories: “I bought these shoes in Jaipur, India in one of the markets. In the beginning, they weren’t so comfortable but the more I wear it, the softer it gets because it’s made with camel skin. Pairing them with a simple shirt and jeans immediately makes you look dressed up.”

    “This hand woven bag is from my friend Rocio Olbes-Ressano’s line called Henry. It’s has a really nice story because she works with a community of women who are recovering from abuse. A lot of her work involves social entrepreneurship and this is one of her endeavors. I use it all the time because it’s a really great shade of red. It’s looks nice with almost anything and I’m always in jeans and a white shirt so it really pops out. This fits everything! If you open it, you’ll see everything from a stuffed toy to my phone to make-up and food.”

    There's no shortage of patterns when it comes to Stephanie's collection of clutches and sling bags

    Stephanie loves color especially when it comes to accessories. Some of her favorite shoes include fringe-y blue heels and red studded ones from Aquazzura, orange and yellow tasseled shoes from Kotur, and nude frilly ones from Stuart Weitzman.

    Stephanie loves statement earrings in a mix of bright and rich colors. Shown here are some of her favorite earrings, which includes Heyjow's (10) filigree tassel earrings in indigo (center) and ones she bought abroad

    These swirl earrings are from Sri Lanka, which Stephanie bought during her honeymoon. "I like pieces that have a story and have a travel aspect to it," she shared.

    On how Buddhism has influenced her: “I have tattoos. Not too many people know about it. I got it when I was 16. I was very much into yoga and Buddhism when I was in high school and I was reading a lot of Buddhist works. The first one is karuna, the Buddhist word for ‘compassion’, which in Buddhism means the desire that all living beings be free from pain or suffering. I thought it was a nice message to have on me. My other tattoo is the lotus flower, which represents the ability to rise about the ugliness in the world and still come out beautiful.”

    On sentimental pieces: “This necklace by Me & Ro has the 4 Immeasurables of Buddhism. I just keep adding charms to this piece like the infinity symbol, which symbolizes my wedding day. The cross is from Sebastian’s baptism. I have yet to add the cross from Maxi’s baptism. I just add things that mean something to me and then I wear it almost like an anting-anting.”

    “My husband gave me the turquoise scarab. His father gave it to him from Egypt and it served as a lucky charm to protect him whenever he travels. He kept it in his wallet and carried it with him everywhere he went. He gave it to me when we got married so I would always be protected when I travel. I had it mounted on a necklace. I wear it also quite often.”

    Stephanie put together different charms that have sentimental value on this necklace, which includes a locket with a portrait of her family and the scapular from her baptism

    Style tip: "I think you just have to accept that your style evolves with your personality and your needs. When I became a mom, I became less inclined to wear things that were too complicated. I love silk shirts and used to wear them every day but it’s just not practical with a toddler and a baby. Now, it’s evolved to things that are easy to wash like cotton and things that you can move in."

    Stephanie wearing an off-shoulder dress by Rajo Laurel, (7) white agate earrings, (8) 2-layer disc with pearl center and curved bar, and teardrop mother of pearl on howlite beads and rollo chain

    Stephanie wearing an off-shoulder dress by Rajo Laurel with (9) white tassel and clear quartz necklace 

    Tips for new moms: "For new moms, your best asset is getting back in shape. It’s not so much about but losing pounds and being thin but about feeling your best. No amount of accessorizing or shopping will ever replace that feeling of being healthy and confident."

    Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephaniezubiri

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)



    (1) Maui earrings from Prelude to Summer collection

    (2) and (6) Crest bracelet from Aloha White collection

    (3) Currant bracelet set from Island Girl Blush collection 

    (4) Bora 2-layer set from Prelude to Summer collection

     (5) Salmon tassel earrings - part of Island Girl Blush collection 

     (7) Mist earrings from Aloha White collection

    (8) Moor 2-layer necklace from Aloha White collection

    (9) Magnolia tassel necklace from Aloha White collection

    (10) Filigree tassel earrings exclusively available at Lanai