RAIN DAGALA is one of today’s most sought-after celebrity stylists with clients like Team Kramer, Julia Barretto, Bianca Gonzalez, and Christian Bautista to name a few. Peeking into his life is both entertaining and intriguing, as he is also welcoming and refreshing.
Now the owner of his own styling company alongside his business partner, EM Millan, Rain recalled that fashion was never his original plan back in college.
The Business Management student was already an achiever. He actively joined Marketing and Brand Management Trainee searches in the hopes of entering the country’s top companies. His diligence paid off when he graduated as Cum Laude from the College of St. Benilde.
“All I knew at that time was that I wanted to finish school with the highest honors and do well in the corporate world,” he recalled.
He then spent five years in the corporate world before finally accepting his true passion.
He explained, “I knew deep in my heart that I secretly wanted to become a magazine editor or a job that had to do with fashion and clothes. I didn’t initially see it as a job but the thought of it did make me happy.”
It was an encounter with fashion editor Pam Quiñones that paved a change in Rain. After her encouragement, he immediately enrolled in the School of Fashion and Arts to take up a Fashion Styling Course.
Through hard work and some luck, Rain landed a job at ABS-CBN Publishing. He became business manager, and eventually, a freelance stylist. During this stint, he met Em Milan who eventually became his business partner for Team RAINEXM.
Now six years in their business, Rain continues to evolve by dressing up some of today’s brightest stars. He also shares his fashionable wisdom to readers of Meg Magazine as its resident Fashion Editor under Bianca Gonzalez and Suki Salvador.
As for the secret to his success, Rain candidly dismissed the notion of it for there is more for him to achieve. He expressed, “I still have a lot of dreams that I want to happen. But what helped me is the fact that I always pressure myself to come up with something exciting while still staying true to my core. At the end of the day, what truly matters is your attitude towards work and towards the people you work with. This is the democratization of fashion for me.”
On his styling process, Rain allows his client’s uniqueness to shine through in the outfits that they wear. He said, “What I like about our clients is that each of them have different personalities that we try to highlight through their style. They’re risk-takers, creative thinkers and working with them is always a collaborative effort.”
He also dismissed the notion that the job of a stylist is glamorous 24/7. He noted, “Styling is a mentally and physically demanding job. You always have to come up with fresh ideas. The shoot itself can be physically taxing: you steam, tape shoes, and it involves a lot of logistics as well.”
Through all these experiences, Rain observed how the fashion landscape had dramatically changed since he was just starting. “The fashion industry in Manila has vastly improved and this is something to be happy about. The members of the industry have gained the respect of the general public and through their body of work who in return who see the jobs we do as careers,” he explained.
In addition, he is also elated whenever the Filipino fashion designers and stylists alike get the international attention they deserve.
So what is good style for a good stylist? “Great style is sincere. Personal style allows people to see a peek of who you are, your interest, and your passion. It is never pretentious,” he concluded.
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