Salvacion Lim Higgins was born in Legaspi, Albay in 1920. She studied Fine Arts in the University of Sto.Tomas under National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, but never finished her studies due to the outbreak of WWII. In 1947 she opened the Slim’s atelier (Slim being an acronym for her name, S.Lim) and continued to work until her death in 1990. In 1960 she founded Slim’s Fashion & Arts School with her sister Purificacion Lim.
She has left perhaps one the greatest imprints on Philippine Fashion History. This is not only because of her distinct body of work of more than four decades, but also because of the school that she co-founded, which has mentored generations of Filipino designers and continues to do so to this day. Slim’s Fashion & Arts School, now the oldest fashion institution in the country, is the most technical and in-depth fashion school in the country. In its 62-year history, it has educated tens of thousands of designers all over the Philippines. Notable alumni from each decade include Oskar Peralta, Joe Salazar, Cesar Gaupo, Oliver Tolentino, Albert Andrada, Joey Samson, Martin Bautista and Michael Cinco.
Her body of work has been documented in the coffee table book published in 2009 entitled “SLIM: Salvacion Lim Higgins – Philippine Haute Couture 1947-1990”. She is also the only Filipino designer who has gowns in the archives of both the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In June 2022, she was proclaimed a National Artist in the category of Design. The Order of National Artists Award (Orden ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts and letters.
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