Fashion designer extraordinaire Rajo Laurel’s creations have graced catwalks, draped beautiful brides, and helped celebrities stand out from the crowd. But what many may not realize is that the style savant is also deeply spiritual. In fact, he even has a favorite priest whom he speaks to on a regular basis!
How are you able to practice kindness in a very cutthroat industry?
Because I have experienced being bullied and being treated unkindly, I don’t want this feeling inflicted on anyone, ever. You must realize that the thing you can control is your attitude, and how you will deal and react with all the negativity. In the end, it is your reaction that matters most. If you practice kindness, this creates a ripple effect and changes the dynamics of the situation. This is not easy to do and it took a long time for me to realize this. (Read: Pinay Fashion Designer To Sponsor Wedding Gowns For Frontliners)
I also practice “walking away,” which is deciding to walk away from bad energy and unkindness. I practice this as our lives are truly very short and we all don’t have time to waste on the irrelevance of hate.
Is there a particular story on Pope Francis’ kindness that has inspired you?
What really made a profound effect on me is his stand on my lifestyle. As an open Catholic homosexual, I have and had lots of issues with my faith. Our Pope’s stand on my lifestyle was affirming, and although in my mind it is still a work in progress, I like where this is all leading. (Read: Three instances Pope Francis demonstrated his openness to change)
Do believe there could be room for kindness in the entertainment and fashion industry?
Constructive criticism is the main goal when I judged Project Runway, as I was once—and often still am—in the same shoes as the designers. There should be no space for meanness and hate as a means of entertainment. (Read: These Fashion Idols Are Saving Earth—One ‘Ukay’ Find at a Time!)
We should all foster the mindset of growth, learning, and development. From this, we all become better designers and better human beings.
How do you use your influence on social media to be an instrument for kindness?
By using this important tool to spread only good, awareness, and positivity. Like with any modern instrument, this is just a tool.