HomeAAPI Heritage MonthFil Am woman named 2024 Designer of the Year at Peoria’s Fashion...

Fil Am woman named 2024 Designer of the Year at Peoria’s Fashion Week

Abegail Alms, a Filipino-American, is gaining recognition after being named the 2024 Designer of the Year at Peoria Fashion Week.

According to 25 News, Alms, who has a passion for leather crafting, earned the award last week.

Alms immigrated to the United States from Pangasinan in 2013, after marrying her husband who is an American citizen.

In 2015, Central Illinois Proud reports, Alms learned about leather working from her brother-in-law.

“He gave me like the crash course of leather working and then after that I started watching lots and lots of videos online, and then I decided that I wanted to do it and I just started making stuff out of leather,” Alms told Central Illinois Proud.

She began making leather accessories like bags and wallets, eventually selling some of her products on Etsy. Then, in February 2024, she opened Mabuhay Leather Craft in the Northwoods Mall.

“Mabuhay is a Filipino word. It’s a greeting and it also means to live or long live,” Alms told Central Illinois Proud.

According to 25 News, Alms was initially hesitant when she was asked to participate in Peoria Fashion Week. She explained that she had no prior experience in fashion design with leather, as she mainly focused on leather accessories and armor. 

Despite her hesitation, she came up with a brilliant idea on making her theme warrior women. She was inspired by her dad who passed away in 2019.

“I wasn’t there for him. I was here in the United States, and he was in the Philippines, so I felt like I couldn’t do anything for him,” she told 25 News. 

Alms wants to continue improving her design skills while also sharing her leather crafting expertise with others. She hopes to inspire others to persevere and achieve their goals, as she did. 

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