Lineal is Underlining the Creativity of Southeast Asia

·5-min read

Launched in December 2020, Lineal is a new digital publication that focuses on the enormous amount of creative talent based in Southeast Asia. With original work from fashion, photography and creative individuals, Lineal is a refreshing look at what is unique around the region.

The founder and creative director of Lineal is Onin Lorente, a fashion photographer from the Philippines who has worked for some of the biggest publications in both Southeast Asia, Europe and the US.

Mr Lorente was born in the Philippines and has split his time between his homeland and Singapore which is where he first started working in fashion photography. Over the years, Mr Lorente has worked in New York, London, Milan and Paris as a fashion photographer. Fashion has always been his true love; Mr Lorente always knows the latest news about the top models, creative directors, designers, collections and trends in his favourite industry.

“Overseeing Lineal and doing all the work from researching to editing, brought me back to my roots by reacquainting myself, and discovering talents from the region. As a result, my knowledge of the creative industry has broadened,” says Mr Lorente.

The Mirror Has Two Faces for Esquire Spain by Onin Lorente
The Mirror Has Two Faces for Esquire Spain by Onin Lorente

From Boredom to Beauty

The origin of Lineal, like many things launched during the pandemic, was both situational and conceptual. Finally having the time to stay still in one place – forced or otherwise – Mr Lorente realised that there was room for a more diverse depiction of the Southeast Asian region and its fashion talent.

“Since last year, I have been stuck here in a province in the Philippines. Unable to travel for work, I was contemplating how to evolve as a creative person,” Mr Lorente explains about the origin on Lineal.

“My job revolves around fashion, photography, models and magazines. I produce and shoot in Europe, the USA and Southeast Asia for international editions of Vogue, Esquire, and L’Officiel among others.

“Lately, there has been a thriving number of established independent magazines. Each has its own identity. ATMOS which is about environment and culture, and Display Copy which uses vintage and pre-loved fashion are a few of them.

“We also saw several social movements such as Black Lives Matter and ​​Stop Asian Hate during the break of the pandemic. [All of this] has greatly impacted the fashion industry, specifically on the subject of representation which has been an issue for a long time,” says Mr Lorente.

All of these disparate parts of social and societal upheaval came together to create the idea of a Southeast Asia based fashion publication.

“Aware of these situations, I decided to start Lineal with the goal of highlighting creativity in the field of fashion design and photography, from Southeast Asia,” says Mr Lorente.

“I started researching and contacting artists to feature for the launch. Upon completing the list, I invited writer and editor friends to participate. After I finalised the team, and while waiting for the stories to be completed, I set up the website.

“Lineal is a digital publication. On December 1, 2020, its maiden issue was released, and it was well-received.”

According to Mr Lorente: “The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘lineal’ as a direct line of descent or ancestry, and relating to or consisting of lines. It perfectly captures the core of the publication – underlining talents in fashion design and photography, and inspiring people from Southeast Asia.”

For Mr Lorente, strong visual creativity and compelling narratives are of “the utmost importance to curating Lineal”. While new content is published regularly on the website, the editorial focus of the digital magazine is on the two themed issues released every year in March and September.

The Plastic Series by Raphael Pech
The Plastic Series by Raphael Pech

The Importance of Diversity in Fashion and Photography

For Mr Lorente, working as an Asian face in the world of fashion photography has not always been easy. Like popular and successful Singaporean photographer Jingna Zhang, known to many as zemotion, who recently announced that due to racism she will no longer be working in fashion, Mr Lorente has also experienced the negativity surrounding the creative visions of Asian talent versus those of the West.

“With what’s happening to humanity now, encouraging, moving stories and beautiful visual works from all parts of the world need to be heard and seen more than ever. Lineal focuses on expanding the bit representing Southeast Asia into the big picture,” Mr Lorente explains.

“Furthermore, Lineal amplifies artists’ stands on matters relevant to our society. For example, French-Cambodian photographer Raphael Pech’s photo story creates awareness on the impact of using plastic in our environment, while Indonesian fashion designer Melda Auditia opens up discussion on accepting the feminine side of us, regardless of gender, through her graduation collection.”

Mr Lorente says that discovering Southeast Asian talents from the region and beyond, and being able to highlight their work, is the most exciting and fulfilling aspect of creating Lineal.

“The support of big agencies such as IMG and Ford in New York, for our previous cover talents Anh Duong and Charlene Almarvez, was a welcoming affirmation of the vision and standard that Lineal lives by. It was also rewarding when Lineal became a part of Models.com, a reputable database of creatives and publications in the industry, after we released the third issue.

“Lineal’s readership is growing,” says Mr Lorente.

As for the future of Lineal, Mr Lorente hopes to be able to produce a print version of a themed issue, or a special coffee table book covering a compilation of all the interesting stories and images Lineal has featured: “That would be beautiful!”

“For now, Lineal will continue to celebrate Southeast Asian ingenuity through a digital platform.”

The Vogue Bunch for Vogue Portugal by Onin Lorente
The Vogue Bunch for Vogue Portugal by Onin Lorente

To discover the unique talents of Southeast Asia’s fashion community, go to lineal.asia. You can also follow Lineal on Instagram at @lineal.asia.

This article Lineal is Underlining the Creativity of Southeast Asia appeared first on Popspoken.

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