Gara Suarez

Freelance Fashion Illustrator & Presentation Designer

Location:Pasig, Manila, United States
2 Skills
Designer and Product Developer with a good balance of creative and analytical skills, keen eye for details, strong sense of urgency, good flair for fashion and with extensive experience in merchandise planning, product development and brand building.

gRace b. suaRez


Highly motivated, creative and energetic Design and Product Development Specialist with extensive experience and knowledge in casual clothing design and development, ideas generator and a versatile team worker with strong enthusiasm and passion in achieving goals, who thrives on being involved in leading teams in an environment of creativity and constant challenge. Line of expertise includes brand positioning, brand image conceptualization, trends research and forecasting, line planning, product development, design execution and sales analysis.


University of Santo Tomas, Manila
Bachelor of Fine Arts
~ Excelled in major subjects : Fashion Design and Color Theory


Freehand MX (FH 11.0)
Adobe Photoshop 7.0
MS Office ~ Excel, Word, Powerpoint
Freehand Drawing ~ Fashion Illustration
Storyboard Presentation


Fashion Design > urban casual clothing, cut & sew knits, woven, denim, khakis
Design Sellability Forecast
Product Development, Merchandising & Sourcing
Knowledge of Garment Construction
Trends & Sales Analysis
Brand Conceptualization and Psychology of Target Market
Visual Merchandising Theme/Storyboard presentations Layout designs for magazines
Flash presentations, Gift/Party packs design, Scrapbook design
Bags and Fashion Accessories design


Manila, Philippines
June 2007 – present
Design and Product Development Consultant (Freelance)
•Responsible for the Design Collection Concepts and Creative Direction for two (2) brands of the company namely, FREEGO, a local clothing line of casual knit tops and denim and F’G, a teens line of tees and denim.
•Responsible for researching global markets in order to identify new trends in wash and finish treatments, print techniques, style silhouettes and packaging. Ensures that trends forecast is translated consistently within the brand domain, applicable to its target market as well as aligned with the company’s business strategy
•Prepares mood board, color palette, design applications and develops specs for new fits
•Provides guidelines and directions to in-house designers for execution of trends direction for all styles, print concepts and visual materials

Randwick, Australia, NSW
March 2007 – present
Freelance Designer (Virtual)
•Functions as one of the in-house designers for Sweet Rain, an online custom made apparel Service Company based in Australia
•Works on the designs, specs and fabrications in alignment with the clients’ requirements
•Designed sample styles displayed on company website:

November 2006 – present
Design Consultant (Freelance-Virtual)
Los Angeles, California
•Responsible for the Brand Concept and Creative Direction of Miss Kitty Couture, a junior clothing line of graphic tees and denim
•Function includes market research, mood board creation, designing, sketching and specs
•Responsible for researching global markets in order to identify new trends, techniques, etc.
•Ensures that product is consistent with market trends as well as business strategy
•Checks design packages of each style for sample development
•Works independently with vendors and ensures quality and proper execution of designs
• Provides guidelines and directions to Graphic Designer for print concepts and visual materials

TFB, Inc. (GIORDANO Philippines)
Quezon City, Philippines
May 02 2000 - Present
Product Development Specialist
•Responsible for the design and product development of Giordano Casual Wear product line for Philippine market
•Works on merchandise plan (MD) plan of every collection which consists of theme/mood boards, season’s color palette, the look (coordinates), style sketches and color combos
•Conceptualizes designs for all categories: men's and women's knit and woven tops, men's and women's bottoms~ denim and khakis
•Collaborates with buyers per category regarding number of styles based on their respective budget and merchandise assortment for each collection
•Coordinates with suppliers or manufacturers for fabrics/material sourcing, sample development, wash and finishes, specs, lab dip approvals and other design details
•Conducts fitting tests for sample approval, makes necessary revisions or adjustments and approves final pre-production samples
•Attends buying conferences, international fashion trades and trends shows to keep abreast with fashion direction and cascades acquired information and new learning to the buying team
•Collaborates with Visual Merchandising team on store display & item highlights
•Coordinates and meets regularly with the Buying team, Sales and Operations team for sales analysis and strategy planning
•Visits shops regularly and conducts market research and competitive survey to get updated with customer feedbacks and local market trends
•Orients buyer trainees on brand's psychology and domain
•Conducts training for buyers on basic garment construction, fitting and other technical areas of product development
•Successfully launched majority of top20 selling movable styles in the local market from year 2001 to 2003
•Initiated the organization of local product development system in my first year (2000) with the use of standard PIS (Product Information Sheet) forms for sample development
•Standardized size specifications for commonly used basic styles under major categories in 2001
•Established good working rapport with accredited suppliers which helped improve their service in terms of speed, quality and problem solving

GABC, Inc. (OXYGEN street wear)
Quezon City, Philippines
Feb 08 1999 - April 26 2000
Product Manager
•Performed duties of buyer *** product developer for girls' line of OXYGEN, a local street wear brand
•Prepared story boards, style designs and samples for line presentations per collection
•Conceptualized designs and coordinated with manufacturers for sample development
•Negotiated with suppliers for best FOB prices
•Issued purchase orders for approved items and assured target deliveries are met.
•Analyzed style sales performance
•Traveled overseas for offshore buying
•Supervised 1 designer, 1 clerk and 3 quality assurance staff
•Coordinated with Sales, Marketing and Visual Merchandising people for strategy planning

Jakarta, Indonesia
August 15 1995 - September 15 1997
Merchandising Advisor
•In charge of Product Development and Merchandising operations of WRANGLER Jeans, Indonesia
•Conceptualized and developed product line of the brand by introducing new wash treatments and finishes on fine quality denim fabrics in reasonable prices
•Conducted fitting, wear and wash tests and coordinated with pattern & sample makers for garment construction & specs
•Conducted market trends research & survey specifically on jeans fashion direction
•Attended Regional Merchandise Meetings in London, UK and Frankfurt, Germany
•Supervised 1 senior merchandiser, 2 asst merchandisers and 1 quality assurance staff

Jakarta, Indonesia
Nov 15 1994 – Jul 31 1995
Product Development & Merchandising Manager
•Responsible for Product Development and Merchandising of LEA jeans, local jeans wear brand
•Spearheaded conceptualization and development of jeans product line
•Collaborated with Marketing, Ads & Promo people for marketing strategy plans
•Worked hand in hand with pattern & sample makers for every style
•Coordinated with washing plant officers for wash & dyeing tests and process
•Negotiated with accessories suppliers for best deals
•Traveled overseas for photo shoots and trade fairs
•Supervised 2 senior merchandisers, 2 junior merchandisers and 2 purchasing staff

(MATAHARI Dept. Store)
Jakarta, Indonesia
Nov 27 1993 – Oct 29 1994
Buyer (for Girls' line)
•Responsible for the procurement of the right merchandise from the right supplier at the right quantity, price and terms and making it available when and where needed.
•Negotiated and worked closely with suppliers for product development and sourcing of materials.
•Supervised assistant buyer and merchandising clerk.

Makati City, Philippines
March 1992 – Oct 1993
Research and Development Head
•Spearheaded research and development for GUESS Philippine market
•Conducted research and tests on denim washes and finishes
•Conceptualized styles for all categories
•Worked with printing suppliers for sample proofing of print and embroidery designs
•Coordinated with pattern makers and sample makers for specs and sample development
•Supervised 1 graphic artist, 2 pattern makers and 2 sample makers (sewers)

Robinson's, Inc.
Quezon City, Philippines
July 1990 - March 1992
Designer (children's wear)
•Created image concept for the department store's in-house brand LIBERTE', JRS., a kids to pre-teens line of mix n match coordinates
•Conceptualized theme/look, color palette and style designs per collection
•Initiated line presentations to buyers for children's wear and corporate merchandising manager
•Collaborated with buyers on number of styles based on open to buy reports
•Reviewed and analyzed style summary reports
•Assisted buyers with design conceptualization and product development of selected outright purchase items
•Conducted market research and competitive surveys for trend update
•Sourced for reliable vendors and negotiated for best prices, better quality and service, on-time deliveries

Robinson's, Inc.
Quezon City, Philippines
June 1989 - July 1990
Buyer (Girls' Line)
•Responsible for the procurement of the right product at the right time, right quantity, right place and right price for the girls' line department
•Negotiated with vendors for best prices, good quality and timely delivery
•Collaborated with product development group for design requirements for outright items
•Analyzed style summary and OTB reports and initiated action plans for succeeding purchases
•Proposed markdowns for slow selling items and prepared return damage reports for damaged items

Jourdan Et Cie (CHRISSIE)
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
April 1988 - June 1989
•Responsible for the design and product development of local brand Chrissie, a women's line of separates and coordinates which catered from young to missy age bracket, low end market
•Conceptualized style designs and trims for garments such as prints, embroideries, appliqués, labels and packaging
•Made line presentations to buyers of various department stores
•Analyzed sales summary reports
•Conducted trend and market research

Zarima Corporation
Makati City, Philippines
February 1987 - March 1988
Chief Designer
•Responsible for design and product development of local sportswear brand TOPSEED
•Successfully expanded the product lines of the brand
•Conceptualized designs for all product lines namely, polo shirts (solid, jacquards and stripes), crewneck tees, print tees, sport shorts and sport jackets
•Supervised one assistant designer

Zarima Corporation (TOPSEED)
Makati City, Philippines
October 1986 - January 1987
Assistant Designer
•Conceptualized designs for local men's sportswear brand Topseed specifically for the knit tops category
•Conceptualized yarn dyed stripe patterns, prints and embroideries
•Sourced out trims, accessories and other sundries
•Prepared and updated design portfolios, salesman samples and swatch cards for distribution to salesmen during weekly meetings
•Performed other tasks as instructed by the Chief Designer