A multidisciplinary designer whose work explores identity, culture, and self, Leo John Caligan was born in Iloilo, Philippines, and raised in Manchester, UK. While studying at the Royal College of Art, he has explored his identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and his experiences as a child in a third culture.
Leo John graduated from Manchester School of Art with a BA in Fashion, specialising in gender-neutral design, prints, embroidery, and leather craft (which he was introduced to through an exchange program when he studied at Zhejiang Fashion Institute of Technology in China). Leo John has a background in creative pattern cutting, product development and hand crafting leather accessories. As a designer, he has a deep understanding of materials working with materials such as piña which has significant meaning to him both culturally and ethically. This has informed his creative work with a distinctive style that combines traditional techniques with modern aesthetics.
In 2019, Leo John Caligan's graduate collection was featured at Graduate Fashion Week. He was also a finalist for the YKK Accessories Award where he showed his work in their London showroom. This led to an opportunity to showcase his work at the Positive Exhibition at London Fashion Week at 180 Strand in 2020. Additionally, his work for brands such as Katie Ann McGuigan and Wawwa Clothing, have enhanced his technical skills in design and production, which has helped him gain invaluable knowledge of the fashion industry.