Even from a very early age, the always-polished Kaye Chua Tinga was exposed to fashion by way of her mother styling her and her four sisters. “She would dress us in varying forms of the same style, just like Destiny’s Child, where if pantsuits was the trend, she would dress me in sleeveless, another of us in puff sleeves, and so on. Because of her, we were very fashion-forward toddlers,” reveals Kaye.
Always amicable, evenly-tempered and warm, Kaye juggles her many roles with aplomb: as wife to Sigfrido “Freddie” Tinga, former Mayor of Taguig; as mother of four children—Kylie, Kerry, Kristian, and Kirk; as the owner of a home accessories business; as a regular in the social circuit; and last but not the least, as one passionately involved in socio-civic causes. She keeps her enviable slim figure by working out five times a week, starting each day doing Pilates, Core Kinesis or Zumba; so on most mornings, you would find her wearing yoga pants and a jacket. “But after that, my daily ‘uniform’ consists of a cardigan, tank top and jeans or capri pants,” she says.
Women are categorised into either shoe girls or bag girls, and Kaye feels she definitely belongs to the former. “When I’ve had a difficult day, visiting the websites Netaporter or Luisa Via Roma, just to see what’s new, always cheers me up,” she says. But with all the beautiful fashion pieces she owns, there is only one item that truly stands head and shoulders above the rest: a pair of diamond stud earrings. “My parents gave them to me when I got married,” she reveals. “They’re my most treasured possession for both sentimental and practical reasons, as a pair of diamond studs can brighten up any outfit, whether it’s an old pair of jeans or the most beautiful evening gown.”
The sartorial Kaye is quite a regular on the glossies’ Best Dressed lists and rightly so; she owns an eclectic mix of both designer as well as high-street brands, a closet peppered with pieces by Pepito Albert, Lanvin, Theory, J Crew, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and Rick Owens. These are the designers she admires, together with Albar Elbaz, Stella McCartney, Inno Sotto, Dennis Lustico, Cary Santiago, Jojie Lloren, and the Dubai-based Filipino designers like Lesley Mobo, Michael Cinco, Furne One, and Ezra Santos. “I love that these designers understand women and what women like,” she explains.
This banker-turned-politician’s wife-turned entrepreneur knows what suits her. “Through the years my style has remained the same but I also adapt to the changes in my life,” she says. “My daughters are growing older, now 18 and 16, so I keep away from anything that they are old enough to wear. There are many ways to look good without trying to look like a teenager.”
When speaking of daughters, Kaye’s face softens as she analyses their individual fashion personalities. “My eldest, Kylie, is more casual, and comfort is more important to her, just like her father. The second, Kerry, is probably more like me: she will not sacrifice style for comfort. If heels will look better with her dress, she will still wear them even if she knows she’ll be standing a lot,” she smiles.
Read the full story in the March issue of Philippine Tatler, available now on newsstands and bookstores. Download the digital version from Zinio or Magzter. | Photography by Frank Hoefsmit | Style Direction by Anton San Diego | Clothes & Jewellery by Pepito Albert |