The story of Filip + Inna Founder Len Cabili can be likened to pearls. It is testament to the resilience of the human spirit, turning pain into something precious and enduring. She begins, “It was pain turned for good. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in 1999. When you are dealt with the cancer card, you start thinking of a way to live with purpose and intention.” What felt like the end, was actually just the beginning of a new and fulfilling chapter in Len’s life. “As I prayed it was fashion that would always come up. A trip to New York, meeting with a textile designer who works with artisans in India inspired the idea of working with artisans around the Philippines.”
We get up close and personal with one of the Philippines’ sustainable fashion visionaries and discover how purpose and faith inspire the building of legacy.
- What keeps you busy these days?
Spending time with my parents, fixing my apartment and my work with Filip + Inna
- What is it about your work or career that you enjoy most?
The people that I meet. The places that I discover.
- What do you consider to be “hazards of the job?”
The only danger I see is how it can take a toll on my body. It is not work at all and I enjoy it so much that it is hard for me to stop working.
- For women who aspire for similar careers, what would be your advice?
My faith is my true North—faith in God, reading the bible regularly and being accountable to my sisters in Christ. It has guided me in both my private and my professional life as I work with the artisans.
- How do you balance work and family life?
It is something I struggle with a lot as I am trying to figure out that healthy balance. The pandemic has given me the opportunity to slow down and ask myself the question: ”What is enough?”
- What are activities that enable you to bond with family?
Shared meals, going to the beach, playing golf, trips.
- How do you unwind or rewind? Any favorite spots in your current city that you consider as your me-time haven?
The American Cemetery in Makati. It reminds me of how short life is and that we need to make the most of it.
- How would you describe your personal style? What are three your wardrobe essentials?
My style is classic with some semblance of a modern touch. Wardrobe essentials include: a classic white shirt, Filip + Inna, ballet flats and sneakers
- What is a good investment piece? Kindly cite examples of pieces in your current wardrobe.
A piece that shows craftsmanship, tells a story and not only looks but feels good when worn. There is a special quality to pieces when you know that an artisan has invested time and shared her creativity on the piece.
- What do pearls mean to you?
My first jewellery was a pearl pendant and earrings from my mom. That’s why they are very special to me. They are valuable treasures to be kept and passed on.