917 Diaries

by Fernanda Brandao



July 2013

Interview: Emi Jorge


Very few designers have made me fall in love with all their creations at first sight. Emi Jorge is one of them. Like I mentioned in my post published earlier this week about her clutches, the Filipino designer is one to watch, and her pieces are the epitome of creativity, luxury, and unique craftsmanship all wrapped into one.

I am very honored to have her interview being published here at 917 Diaries, and I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about this very talented lady and the inspirations behind her amazing designs.

Thank you Emi, for sharing a little bit of your world with 917 Diaries!


I was absolutely mesmerized by the intricacy and beauty of your designs. Where do your inspirations come from? How do you define your style?

My designs have a strong reference to who I am, therefore my designs bear the intrinsic value of where I come from, my roots, and our way of life. My designs have a Filipino soul to it but I execute them in a stylized manner with the customers never really knowing the foundation of the design, but happily toting them as modern pieces.

Inspirations come in many forms, from people you meet to anything that stimulates the senses and so long as they continue to intrigue, creativity will not be far behind.

You are also a shoe designer. Do you plan on expanding in that area as well?

I was a shoemaker and designer for many years and did a lot of bespoke shoes for local clients and celebrities. I decided to do a shift from shoe designing to accessories to feel what it’s like starting from a fresh palette. After a long history of making footwear, experience has taught me to apply basic techniques and understanding to any field of design.

I know asking a designer what her favorite piece is, is like asking a mother to name her favorite child, but do you have a favorite one? Why?

I’m a mother and all my kids are my favorites! But the bags can’t love me back so this should be easier. I’m attracted to the Symphony no 5 clutch because this was inspired by a festive occasion – the five points symbolize a star which is a symbol for Christmas in our country. This clutch was named Symphony no 5 (also known as “Ode to Joy”) after a piece my daughter was playing one Christmas night.

Emi Jorge 5 points

      Nina Garcia and the Symphony no 5 clutch


When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?  

The moment I realized I can’t work 9 to 5 in an enclosed space! As a young student, my mind always wandered off to things outside the classroom. I knew, then, I would, someday, be doing things with no rules.

Can you tell us a little bit about the projects you are working on at the moment? Any plans for expansion.

I am very excited about the new collection. The theme is savage and raw; drawing inspiration from what the Philippines was once called “Islas de los Pintados.” But wait and see how they will turn out to be; lots of metal work in new applications and dimensions. I’m also collaborating with local weavers to create indigenous fabric made from pineapple fiber, abaca and silk.

Where do you go to relax? Do you have a favorite getaway destination to go with your family?

Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands. We hit the beach whenever time allows us to.

Our last beach destination was in Coron Islands, also known as the last frontier. Known for its rich marine bio-diversity, the place is a diver’s haven where one can find rare sea mammals amidst shipwrecks, not to mention fantastic snorkeling too. We stayed in a chic and luxurious resort called Two Seasons, an ultimate beach lover’s paradise!

When in NY, where are your go-to places? Favorite stores, restaurants, hotels, any hidden treasures?

I’m a huge fan of Tomas Keller, and Per Se tops my list. I also heard so many nice things about FiveStory and its independent labels. There is so much to take in when in NY. Broadway plays and visits to art museums are my staples.


Here is a gallery with our favortie Emi Jorge clutches:




  1. Márcia Andrade
  2. Soraia Debs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *