I am Francesca Mateo, also known as ChiChai.

Since I was younger, I aspired to combine my love for art and community together. I'm now fulfilling that dream through my streetwear brand Empire in the Air and by serving as an after-school art teacher for public school students in San Francisco.


founder & art director of Empire in the air

Our apparel carries the message that everyone can build their own Empires. We strive to inspire others to stick their heads at cloud-level & turn dreams into reality. Along with encouragement through our products, we take action by hosting community events in the San Francisco Bay Area. From open mics and art shows to 5k runs and kickball tournaments, we offer a platform for others to share their passions.

filipinx-american teaching artist fellow
at root division in Soma pilipinas, san francisco

As the art organization Root Division’s Filipinx American Teaching Artist Fellow, I create and teach my own art curriculum to the youth of Galing Bata. Because Galing Bata serves the youth of SoMa Pilipinas — San Francisco’s Filipinx Cultural Heritage District— the lesson plans aim to celebrate Filipinx and Filipinx-American history and cultures.


Youth Art Exchange (YAX) is a non-profit organization that provides free art classes and professional development for public high school students in San Francisco. I teach the Fashion Design class in which I provide students with basic training for dyeing, embroidery, and sewing as well as how to market & brand their products. I am also the Program Associate at YAX in which I assist in coordinating events for our students and provide support in recruitment, retention and day-to-day operations.

freelance artist & graphic designer

I take on a variety of visual projects, including but not limited to: invitations, advertisements, and paintings. To inquire about an art commission, contact chichai@francescavmateo.com