Meet Zaldy Goco, the iconic Filipino designer who turned drag dreams into high fashion

At 6 years old, Zaldy Goco had an extraordinary ability to transform his simple blanket into a cape, a tent, a fort or even a gown.

While he’s now widely recognized as Zaldy, a Filipino American fashion designer, his career as a young artist was anything but fashion design. From modeling to drag, Goco’s open-mindedness has granted him an expansive life experience that informs his fashion today—a keen eye which has always seen the potential for ordinary things, like a childhood blanket, to become something extraordinary.

“My immediate instinct even as a little tiny baby was to wrap it around my head,” said Goco, who is currently 57 years old. “I was aware of its softness, and of its satin edge.”

Having grown up in Mountain Brook, Conn., Goco was one of the only Asians at school—the others being his sisters. His best friend was the only Black person

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