Guess what Jessey de Leon would have pursued if not volleyball or architecture
Barry Viloria on Feb 02, 2017 02:48 AM
Fashion is the Pocari Sweat newbie’s other ‘love.' (Photos courtesy of de Leon)
“I feel like I'm a college student again,” Jessey de Leon could only say after we get to check on her coming back to volleyball. The former UST women’s volleyball star last played at the 2016 PSL All-Filipino Conference last August, before signing with the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors toward the end of the same year. She briefly stopped in the sport to pursue her architecture aspirations, having recently received her diploma and with her engineer of a dad as her inspiration.
The reason behind such comparison? “It’s because of the same exhaustion and workload,” she sighs. “From 8 to 5 a.m., I focus on my architecture career. I then go straight to training (with the Lady Warriors) at night.”
But these are just two of three hats de Leon is wearing to welcome a very busy 2017 ahead. We all know that like any other former UAAP student-athlete, this 22 year-old is an expert at juggling school, sports, and what-have-you. In fact, the heavily-followed social media star (read: 70.2k followers on Instagram!) even became an ambassador of a popular party place back then.
De Leon’s other venture is managing The Warmer Shop (@thewarmershop), a two year-old online local clothing company that prints mostly hoodies and shirts. It’s a brand banking on celebrity athletes like de Leon’s best friend Mika Reyes and other then-and-now UAAP stars as models and endorsers. At 12 midnight, some of us would have already been tucked in bed, checking on our phone to get us to sleep. But for de Leon, as The Warmer Shop’s owner, social media manager, and designer, her day is just starting.
“I'm still adjusting with my schedule. I'm dead tired always,” she says with a laugh.
But de Leon’s protests end there. She’s pretty inspired these days, with her parents, past teammates, and fans being “very supportive and excited” of her decision to go back to the court. She would have stopped at balancing her post-collegiate volleyball career and her budding architecture line of work considering that’s already a lot, but she didn’t. Masterminding The Warmer Shop has been giving her such joy, knowing that, well, it’s fashion, her “third love.”
“'Cause if only I can choose what to do if there's no volleyball or architecture or design, I'm 101-percent sure I'll pursue fashion,” she admits.
De Leon then goes on to show us #OOTD photo of her back in December 18, 1998. It was from her fourth birthday, showing her wearing these matching top and bottom in plaid. The fomer St. Scholastica varsity player considers this a fashion moment to remember, something that must have already clued in her mom or anyone in the family on her growing to be a fashionista.
De Leon has always been expressive of her love for fashion, and it’s one reason why she enjoyed modeling for quite a bit during her college days. That svelte frame and killer abs combo has graced fashion magazines and websites like Chalk, Preview, Style Bible, and B/Bench Blog. And she has always looked up to high fashion models Cara Delevingne and Arizona Muse as her “pegs.”
Describing her style, she says, “What I wear depends on my mood and my errands for that day. Comfort is key, but I always make sure to keep things polished and put-together. I usually gravitate towards laid-back and androgynous styles. As long as I feel confident and comfortable in what I'm wearing, I'm good to go. High-waist pants and shorts, denims, jackets, halter-tops, and bodysuits!”
These days on Instagram, de Leon pretty much does the same when it comes to pursuing one side of fashion. She is an influencer being tapped by various brands to promote their products and services online.
But she counters, being one is actually more than just wearing the latest sunnies or sneakers, or acquiring the hottest camera in the market.
“I don't think much about being one. I'm just being myself without the intention to ‘influence.’ I make sure that everything I say, do, click or post reflects myself. Perhaps what I love about being an influencer is its innate power to affect others. For example, whenever I want to spread positivity or make somebody feel better, I just resonate it through my post.. Then I'll get reactions from some that I actually helped them already. It's such a good feeling when I make other people happy,” she says.