Hello, I am

ChiChai Logo-final.png

aka Francesca Mateo


a community-gatherer, business-owner, artist, and educator

Born and raised throughout Ohlone land (San Francisco Bay Area) as a child of Philippine immigrants, ChiChai stems all she does to her dedication in community and reclamation of one's self as a woman of color.

Community Gatherer and Business-Owner

as EMPIRE IN THE AIR's Founder & Art Director

ChiChai founded streetwear brand Empire in the Air (EITA) which encourages others to build their empires through:

1) the messages in its apparel and

2) its events and pop-up shops that feature other creatives, oftentimes in partnership with local organizations

Artist & Educator

As a multidisciplinary artist, ChiChai challenges notions around womanhood, environmentalism and colonization.


ChiChai serves the Bay as an educator as well, either as a teaching artist or a workshop host or speaker for Filipinx-American activism.

Alongside ChiChai's personal practice, she currently works for different non-profit organizations

Fashion Design Instructor for the free after-school program Youth Art Exchange  where she teaches public high school students


Development and Programs Assistant at Root Divisiona visual arts non-profit that connects creativity and community through a dynamic ecosystem of arts education, exhibitions, and studios

Project PEARLS Co-Founder and Product Designer for GROW, the livelihood program of Project PEARLS in the Philippines aimed to empower women living in extreme poverty.

Let's Collab

Want to invite ChiChai as a teacher or speaker? Interested in inquiring a custom artwork? Simply want to say hello and tell her if you're an air, fire, earth, or water bender? Fill out this form and she will get back to you in 1-3 days.

In case you're wondering, she considers herself a firebender.

Thank you for reaching out! I will get back to you shortly.