With her two-toned hair, you can instantly tell ISSA PRESSMAN is not your average girl. A self-proclaimed “life freestyler”, the 21-year-old has dabbled in pretty much everything you can think of. It’s no doubt a natural trait she shares with her also talented sister, Yassi Pressman. She connects with several passions and she doesn’t at all feel the need to stick to one area. She says, “I’m not the type who’s a professional in everything that I do. I literally just have a dip in each just to try different things but then I really wouldn’t go up and say, ‘Oh, I’m a professional dancer or I’m a professional singer.’ I’d never say that but then I like experimenting and doing different things.”
I always make sure my style would always match my personality so that it grows even better. If you just try to copy someone else’s style, it’s never gonna grow on you and it’s never gonna become your own.
One of Issa’s many interests include being in front of the camera. She’s been a familiar face in the big screen having roles in movies like Camp Sawi, Girlfriend for Rent, Talk Back and You’re Dead, and much more. Moreover, she’s even made her presence felt on Youtube with her very own channel, Issa Vibe. There, she shares her favorite beauty products, gives a peek into her life with vlogs, and showcases her killer moves in self-produced dance covers. It’s with these types of self-expression that truly makes her shine.
And if it’s not already apparent, the Fil-Brit’s sense of fashion is also hard to miss. From her colorful bandanas to print-on-print ensembles, this girl really knows how to pull off eye-catching outfits. This loud style can easily be spotted with a quick scroll on her IG Feed, which has a following of 270k. She admits that time has seasoned her style and finding her signature just happened naturally. “Your style is gonna gradually grow and improve at its own pace. You’re gonna start mixing prints on prints, loud on loud. It’s just gonna naturally grow on you. For me, this was my standard already then I wanted more and more. It adds to your personality and attitude.”
With her young age, creative mind, and game-for-everything attitude, the world is this girl’s oyster. She goes for what she wants and she’s not afraid to be her authentic self. The whispers and judgment clearly do not bother the artist and she highly encourages you to do so too. Below, the multi-faceted artist chats with us about her fashion icons, her art musings, and how freeing it is to live your truth.
Can we start by saying how obsessed we are with your edgy street fashion sense. How did you get into fashion?
Honestly before, when I was younger, [I’d wear] plain tops and match it with something plain also and then little by little, it changed—I’d wear loud colors or printed then I’ll match it with something plain also. I always make sure my style would always match my personality so that it grows even better. If you just try to copy someone else’s style, it’s never gonna grow on you and it’s never gonna become your own.
Who are some of your fashion icons that we should follow on IG?
When I was younger, it would always be Vanessa Hudgens because she could pull off anything. She could go super girly or boho or sometimes street. She’s like this little doll who’s not the typical barbie doll with one particular style. She could touch on different styles and she makes it more interesting. Now, I like @double3xposure. They’re twins and I super love their outfits kasi it’s always matching and always also different. Sometimes she’s in a skirt, sometimes she’s super street but it meets somewhere in the middle where she has this very comfortable and relaxed look where she looks like she doesn’t try. When it comes to high fashion, not trying hard, but not something you’d usually see on the streets but she could rock it, would be Kim Jones. Even if it’s super fashionable, pang magazine lang, she could make it look not too extra that it’s over the top. She always makes it look super sakto. Other accounts I like are @maybeyesmaybenomag and @ravvebeauty.
Full brows, full mascara, full lips. The fuller, the better.
What’s a favorite fashion piece that you think can easily elevate any outfit?
Sometimes, when I don’t want to put makeup on or when I want to wear something simple, a bandana could really add up to your look ‘cause it’s so simple, not too flashy, it’s not like you put big accessories. It’s stylish but not too formal and not too casual. It just adds this edginess to your look every single time. Any print, even if it clashes, it’s gonna look good with what you’re wearing.
We really admire how you’ve created your own personal brand. What’s your advice for those who want to develop their own signature style?
It would simply be being yourself. We all have different shapes, we have different colors, you know? So you just have to be free and trust yourself. Whatever you wanna wear, you can as long as you pull it off. The only way to pull it off stuff easily is if it’s close to your own personality. When you have that, then comes confidence, and if you have confidence, you’re gonna look good all the time.
Aside from fashion, you’re also passionate about the arts. Between fashion, music, and art, would you say that you gear towards one over the other? What among your passions do you enjoy doing the most?
I’d go for art but this is a cheap answer because art is fashion. So is music, dancing, and singing. I think I’d always choose art over a number of things because—we hear it all the time—it’s a way of expression but then it really is. You get to express yourself to other people. Fashion-wise, when people see you, they can already tell what type of person you are even if you don’t say anything at all. It’s about freedom, confidence, and having your own style through art or through painting. You could just paint out and then say, “this describes me.”
Top by SCRARS Int'l @ Case Study
What’s your favorite dance project that you worked on and what was the story behind it?
I’d always dance with my sister when I was younger but we haven’t been dancing together lately. I’m pretty sure once we do a collab, that would be my favorite. But we’re sisters eh, you know? That would be like a sister bonding type of a thing. Project-wise, it would be a dance that my best friend and I made already. We’re called MoveTaDeath, we do dance videos and the reason why I love this so much is we get to choose our own music, we get to produce our own style, we get to style ourselves, even do our own makeup. We sometimes shoot it ourselves, and I edit. It’s a piece we create together. We have a couple of videos uploaded but maybe my favorite would be the ‘Yonce one.
As an artist, what fuels your creative juices? And can you tell us about your creative process when it comes to painting?
I haven’t been painting recently because I’m the type who doesn’t paint because I have to. I paint when I’m in the mood. That mood is where my art’s gonna come from, whether I feel sad and dark or happy. It usually depends on my mood. I wouldn’t say that I stick to one particular style.
You’re beautiful with the way you carry yourself, with how confident you are. It’s not the makeup and the clothes you wear. You have to be a hundred percent comfortable, confident, and natural.
What’s your advice for people who also have a lot of passions and want to juggle all of them?
Although I don’t do it myself, I suggest waking up early for anyone who wants to do multiple things. And maybe it’s just me being indecisive but I can’t focus on one thing only, which is both a good and a bad thing. I describe myself as a life freestyler, I just like trying different things.
Your YouTube account also blesses us with some refreshing beauty content. Can you share with us a skincare hack that you know of?
Always, always, always wash your face after makeup. I got this from my friend, Julia, so I don’t want to take it as my own. A really effective and natural way for skincare that would cost you only below ₱50 is sugar and lemon. All you have to do is cut the lemon and scrub it on your face then you get the sugar and put it on your hand or on the lemon itself, then scrub it. Wash it off with water and then finally, ice it so that all of your pores closes.
What’s a makeup trend that you never get tired of?
Full brows, full mascara, full lips. The fuller, the better. Not sure if it’s a trend, but the no foundation makeup that would really help your skin heal. The more you take care of your skin, the less you have to put on foundation. Then, you just need to put blush, contour, your mascara and all.
What’s your number one rule when it comes to beauty?
Don’t overdo it, don’t overthink it. Also, don’t think that you’re only beautiful with makeup ‘cause you’re not. You’re beautiful with the way you carry yourself, with how confident you are. It’s not the makeup and the clothes you wear. You have to be a hundred percent comfortable, confident, and natural.
You shouldn’t feel like you should lie about anything because people are going to judge you.
Can you tell us about your most embarrassing beauty moment from the past?
If I had to pick one, it would be my kilay. Right now, I love how it’s super uso na bushy but when you look at your old photos, it looks so bad. I’d tweeze it all the time. If you look at my old photos, I look so different but really it’s just because of the kilay. I was also chubbier and all and that one line kilay lang. But before it looked good. (laughs)
When would you say you feel the most beautiful?
When I wake up in the morning. Joke! (laughs) Real talk, it’s when you get enough sleep. But emotionally, when you’re happy everything just becomes more magaan and health-wise and even your facial muscles are just magaan.
Apart from being one of our favorite girls on social media, we really admire how outspoken you’ve become when it comes to fighting for equality. How do you deal with the struggle and discrimination that comes from the ignorance of those who don’t understand?
I don’t mind them. You know that it’s an issue. You know that when you stand for something like that, people are always going to say something about you. Even if you look like a Barbie doll, already trying to be perfect, you’re going to be criticized as being “too perfect”. So you really can’t please everyone. Comments are always gonna be there. For me, if being true makes you happy, then stand for what makes you happy.
What’s your message to those who are helping the fight alongside the LGBT community?
It’s just more than that, I was really fighting for honesty. You shouldn’t feel like you should lie about anything because people are going to judge you. I want to fight for people not just for people who are bisexual or whatever. Just people who feel like they’re not welcome to be their real selves in general, for everyone. I want them to believe in themselves and all of my answers are gonna connect with each other which is about being comfortable and confident. Because if you are confident, you’re not gonna care about these things. These things aren’t gonna bring you down or not gonna bother you. If you’re just confident with who you are, then you’re not gonna lose anything but inspire other people to feel confident as well.
Photographed by Wilmark Jolindon
Styled by Matt Panes
Makeup and Hair by Zidjian Floro