Q & A with Designer RC Caylan

Models Mackenzie Santamour (Blue), Marissa Faust (Black) with designer Romel Caylan. Photo by Johnny Quirin.

From the Grand Rapids Magazine November 2018 issue. Available on newsstands now or via subscription.

Since the age of 9, RC Caylan has had a passion for fashion and design. Born and raised in the Philippines, his inspiration came from his grandmother, a schoolteacher and uniform seamstress.

While in the Philippines, Caylan worked as a cosmetologist in order to finance his dream of becoming a fashion designer — a dream that is now being realized. Caylan immigrated to Grand Rapids in 2012 and opened up his own studio, RC Caylan Atelier, downtown four years later, where he makes custom gowns. Creating intricate and sophisticated designs, Caylan is focused on execution and producing the utmost quality for his clients.

Caylan is making strides in the fashion world, having showcased his collections in San Francisco and at 2018 New York Fashion Week, in addition to being awarded Best Fashion Designer at the 2018 Global Beauty Awards.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT GR? My favorite thing about GR is the city itself. It is small, but it’s just right.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Designwise, I have always loved the vintage Hollywood glitz and glamour. Most especially, I get inspiration from nature, the water movements and colors, and the transitions of weather as it also represents our emotions and feelings in life.

STYLE ICON? Before I opened Atelier, I always loved how Nicole Kidman carried herself on the red carpet. Also, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez and Charlize Theron.

BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? The best part of my job is getting to know and meet amazing people in the fashion industry and beyond.

FAVORITE FAMILY TRADITION? Since I am an immigrant and my immediate family is not here in GR, my favorite time with my husband here in Michigan is when we go cruising in the Caribbean region.

IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE? I like water, but this is a hard question because I have so many places that are on my bucket list. One of them isSwitzerland.

*Main photo: Models Mackenzie Santamour (Blue), Marissa Faust (Black) with designer Romel Caylan. Photo by Johnny Quirin.