Meet the region's leading fashion designers Filipina jewellery designer Ciara Marasigan, 24, was born and raised in Manila and graduated from the University of Asia and the Pacific's School of Management in the Philippines last year. She's been working as a jewellery designer since she was 21, having taught herself the craft. Her handmade pieces, which are more like works of art, feature Swarovski crystals, gem-stones, corals, wood and fresh water pearls embedded on wire. Marasigan launched Ciara Creates, a collection featuring stainless steel in 2002, and recently launched Cristal Fantaisie by Ciara at the Ayala Museum in Makati City. Have you always wanted to be a designer? I always dreamed of pursuing a career in fashion, and I had a penchant for pretty things as a young girl. It's amazing that I'm doing what I love most. Work is fun for me. How did you set up the label? I created jewellery for myself, and friends kept asking me where I bought the pieces. Two months after I started marketing, I asked my father to help me register the business. It grew quickly as we got orders from Hong Kong, Los Angeles and local high-end boutiques and department stores. What's the company structure? I have three apprentices, and a secretary, who takes care of administrative responsibilities. I design all the pieces. What's your design philosophy? I'm guided by the philosophy that my creations should have the magical uniqueness of paintings and sculptures. I don't believe in mass production. What inspires you? I'm inspired by things such as art galleries, travelling, sinful desserts or a great love. Global trends alone don't dictate my design. What does your current collection look like? The collection for autumn/winter has darker and richer jewel tones such as amethyst, turquoise and ruby. Metallic gold and silver are also big. What else do you design? Maybe in the future I'll launch my own brand of purses. Purses and jewellery are a woman's most trusted friends. I leave couture to my friends. Collaborating with them is fun enough. Where are your designs available? I've secured an export order with Lane Crawford. Now, with Cristal Fantaisie by Ciara, I hope to re-establish my relationship with Hong Kong boutiques. My designs are also available in Los Angeles, New York and the Philippines. You can see the collection online, at www.ciaracreates.com . What's your motto? Never allow anything to dilute your glorious uniqueness.