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DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT

Ethnic by Design : Adventurous Shoppers Get Wrapped Up in a Collection of Batik Fabrics Woven by Tribes of Indonesia, the Philippines

July 28, 1994

Lucy Sanchez of Lakambini Collection, a line of ethnic clothes for women, has a simple philosophy: "to share my ability to translate personality, character and just plain chutzpah into charm. And to create a collection that will spark emotion."

Drawing inspiration from her native home in the south Philippines and influences from neighboring Indonesia, Sanchez has created skirts, tops, scarves and accessories. Her unisex kantiu (a tight sarong with a long slit) is the line's best seller.

She uses batik fabrics imported from Indonesia and the Philippines that are handwoven by the ethnic tribes. "There is no duplication in design or color scheme," Sanchez says. She travels from her showroom in Los Angeles to the South Pacific to talk directly with the weavers.

"Fiesta Filipiniana," a celebration held recently at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, showcased Sanchez's collection. She also makes frequent presentations at the Indonesian Embassy in Los Angeles and will have a fashion show at the Hyatt in Downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 28.

Sanchez arrived in Los Angeles six years ago from the Philippines. "My first buyer was an American, and I was inspired by the community's response. It was like lightning. All races are buying my clothes because the trend now is ethnic designs, and people are looking for something new. My line is exotic and tempting and different from anything else."

Today's consumer, Sanchez says, is reaching out for clothes that are well priced, unique and enduring. "My clothes are timeless," she says.

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