Tropa: A New York Minute with Creative Director and Jewelry Designer, Triszh Hermogenes
Triszh Hermogenes knows what it takes to succeed.
With radiating ambition and a penchant for the spotlight, she has made New York City a nesting place for her talent, thus immediately earning her the well-deserved title of Creative Director for Venessa Arizaga, a popular fashion and fine jewelry line based in Brooklyn, New York.
I met Triszh online via a mutual friend, and had the immense pleasure of collaborating with her on this episode. In episdoe 2 of Tropa, she talks about her journey from Manila to New York City, her highs and lows as a fine jewelry designer, and what she hopes to achieve in the future.
SSS: How long have you been in New York City?
TH: I moved here August 8, 2011.So 9 years—9 years nako nandito.
SSS: How did you adjust to living in New York City?
TH: NYC is such a diverse place.Everyone here is from somewhere else, so I feel like I blended in just fine, which is funny because in Manila I always wanted to stand out. But here I'm just like, "I'm just gonna blend in. Chill."
SSS: Why did you move?
TH:I initially moved to New York to study Fashion Marketing at Parsons The New School for Design. It was great because it was always my dream to go to fashion school. I had to study 4 years of Business Econ first before I was allowed to study Fashion Marketing, so like, when I got here, I was so happy because, finally—I get to do what I want to do.
When I was in school, I worked at Altuzarra, Versace, I volunteered during Fashion Week—it was just, like, a really amazing experience.
SSS: How did you start your career in jewelry design?
TH:After I graduated the program, my classmate from Parsons introduced me to Venessa Arizaga, a jewelry designer, and the rest is history! She hired me, and we've been working together for 7 years and counting.
SSS: What are some of the memorable things that have happened to you since you moved?
TH: One of the most memorable things that happened to me was when Venessa and I were interviewed for Teen Vogue. I remember that day: I was walking to One World Trade Center and I was looking up and pinching myself, like: "Is this real? Totoo ba to?"
Years back, I was just reading the Teen Vogue handbook, figuring out how I'm going to break into the fashion industry in New York. Fast forward to this moment. I'm being glammed-up and interviewed for Teen Vogue, and showing people how to DIY their own jewelry. It's just, like, a really incredible moment.
SSS: How about some of the most exciting things about what you do now?
TH: Yung pinaka-exciting thing about what I do is when I see people wearing the jewelry—seeing Instagram posts of people tagging us, and just, like, telling us how the jewelry makes them smile and makes them happy. That's why I wanted to be a jewelry designer—to make people happy with the jewelry I create.
SSS: What's your best work?
TH: I don't think I can pick one specific thing and say, "Oh, this is my best work." because I've done a lot of collaborations. I've designed so many collections and over thousands of pieces. I'm equally proud of all of them, because I gave my best. I'd definitely say, like, all the Venessa Arizaga exclusive pieces I designed for Nordstrom, Opening Ceremony, Saks Fifth Avenue, Selfridges (in the UK), even the Whitney Museum of American Art—I'm super proud of all of that, and I just feel so lucky that I have the opportunity to work with them.
SSS: Is jewelry designing something you see yourself doing in the long run?
TH: I can see myself doing this for a really long time. You know, 7 years in the fashion industry could be very exhausting, and at one point, there was
a time where I felt like I was burning out. But, you know, I mean, it's what I want to do, so I can see myself doing it for however long I can.
SSS: In another life, what would you be doing?
TH: If iI could choose to do something else, I'd be a professional astrologer. Actually, I'm starting astrology school in October, and I'm so excited. Or the other thing I really want to be is a reality TV star or artista, because I'm a Leo moon and I love the spotlight.
In fact, before I moved here, I auditioned for PBB. Well actually, nakapila lang ako for 8 hours, 8PM na nun, ang layo layo ko pa rin sa audition tent. And then my mom texted me, "You have a letter from Parsons." I asked her, "Malaki ba yung envelope or maliit?" Tapos nung sinabi niya na malaki, umalis nako dun sa pila.
SSS: If you had all the resources in the world, what would you do?
TH: One of my dreams, ever since, is to save-up enough money and build my own sustainable, environment-friendly manufacturing facility in the Philippines. where I can give people jobs, pay them well, give them health insurance and benefits—whatever I can give to help them live a quality life.
SSS: What would you tell your younger self right now?
TH: If I could tell my younger self one thing: "Triszh, don't be scared of bleaching your hair, because it's just hair and it'll grow back. Don't wait until you're 25 before you do it."
Don't give up on your dreams, even if a lot of people doubt you and ask you, "How are you going to achieve this? That's, like, too ambitious. You? How are you gonna get a job in NYC, in fashion? It's a competitive industry."
Don't let that stop you, because guess what? You're gonna be in New York. You're gonna be working in the fashion industry, and you're gonna be achieving things that you never even dreamed you would achieve. Go lang.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Triszh. Follow her on Instagram @triszhermogenes.
Watch the full episode at @supersarisari via Instagram.