Brands do come and go, but what separates the go-getters from those who aren’t is a focused vision and direction for a brand to thrive.
Now more than ever, streetwear has fully infiltrated the fashion world deeper and deeper. With this in mind, it is easy to see why more wants a piece of the pie. The metro has always been a melting pot for culture and community cultivation in the country, but the streetwear community doesn’t only bound itself within the concrete jungle of Metro Manila.
The streetwear community in the Philippines is getting bigger and better as years goes by, with exposure for local streetwear brands intensifying with vlogs, websites, magazines, and influencers tackling and covering things related to the culture. Beside, we never had a shortage of hustlers and brands. Almost every day, new brands are coming out and are utilizing social media to showcase their identity and merchandise. Surely, the streetwear community is nowhere near being a one-trick pony as it continues to compete with mainstream brands. As 2019 comes to an end, we look back and give you our list of the best local streetwear brands to welcome the new year with a bang.
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FW '18 Full Campaign Video . A Film by: Sclera Story by: @jem_vergara Track by: @similarobjects . Featuring: @derangedpoet + @aikayamaguchi . Executive Producer: AOGIRI Assistant Director / Editor / Colorist: @awfbeet Director of Photography: @sikwiddit Producer / Project manager: @jem_vergara Hair and Make-up: @idapaintsfaces . Special thanks to: @purrpapi, Makers Cafe, and Bulb Studios.
Aogiri, stylized as A O G I R I, is the brand for you if you like technical clothing brands like Arc’teryx Veilance, Acronym, and Stone Island. It is refreshing to see a local streetwear brand deviate from what others are offering even though tech wear’s popularity in the country has not yet reached its full potential. Nonetheless, be captivated with the slick functional pieces that AOGIRI has to offer.
Considered as one of the OGs in the local streetwear culture, Nick Automatic is still one of the best in the scene. This Cebu-based streetwear stalwart sticks with their brand identity and didn’t compromise their design ethos of creating playful and colorful doodle-styled designs throughout the years.
Started as a blog by Ken Yamaguchi in 2009, Threedown has slowly built its way as a brand. The brand’s following is continuously growing and is now considered as one of the promising skate-oriented brands to come out of the metro with their designs ethos often taking cues from the counterculture movement. Threedown is also reinventing itself by slowly transitioning to cut-and-sew.
Hailing from Bulacan is Thank You. It’s always amusing to see how they spin their mantra, which is to be thankful and turn it into something unique and appealing. Also, it’s not often to see a brand convey positivity and its message through its name.
What’s separates Tenement from other local streetwear brands is their brand identity. Who would have thought that a sport-centric lifestyle can be translated into streetwear? Their retro-looking designs, which often reflect the 90s collegiate sporty aesthetic, looks trendy and timeless at the same time.
Support Your Friends
Support Your Friends, often referred to as SYF, is one the most promising brands to hit the streets of Manila in recent years. Their designs often revolve around the idea of community building. SYF has also a knack on bootlegging brands from time to time. They are continuously making headlines in the scene with having collaborations with some of the most prominent corporations in and out of the country.
A newcomer as it may seem, this brand holds so much promise. They make their pieces stand out and desirable with their unorthodox image and text placements. Sleek/Shy’s pieces also often feature cats. So, what’s not to like about it?
Wednesday is a brand that offers a minimalist approach to express their ideas and commentaries. What’s good about this brand is their vision of pushing sustainable fashion-forward. Wednesday is also one of a few brands in the country that upcycles its cut-and-sew pieces and fabrics to make new threads.
This logo-driven brand has made its name as one of the prominent local streetwear brands in the country. Progress is synonymous with hype, and is a total standout in creating buzz for their releases and events. Progress will blow you away with their eye-catching designs that often accompanied by quirky smart lines. Everything from them is just interesting, whether it be from the designs or the product’s price point.
Quality is everything and that says a lot for this brand. Their designs are just charismatic and appealing. Unschld is the best go-to local streetwear brand if you want your wardrobe to pop with colors.
Graphic T-shirts are the staple of streetwear in the Philippines, and WSH is very good at making them. Witness Surreal Hypnosis or more often refer to as WSH is another skate-oriented brand from the metro. Their designs will surely get your attention within seconds. Another great thing about the brand is the way they put some twists on their logo-driven pieces.
Eye-catching products have always been the edge of Deadways. You can define their style as quirky, provocative, and bold but honest at the same time. Their brand identity genuinely represents the streets. Deadways is one of the brands that is loud and proud to represent Cebu.
Representing Makati City is KLTRD. Established in 2012, this brand has been consistent and on-point with combining bold graphics design with flavorful text. KLTRD always comes up with interesting messages that can either be motivational or convincing in many ways.
Gnarly has been continuously making waves since 2008. The brand’s inspiration revolves around their love for comics, music, skateboarding, street food, and people, which equates to extreme fun to individuals. Gnarly is totally on a league of its own with having colorful zany characters to build the brand on.
Revere believes that change is necessary. This philosophy has taken the brand to new heights as they infuse their metal roots with other elements to come up with a unique product. It’s also the reason why every collection that Revere does is always different from the previous ones that they did.
Founded in 2013 by Edel Castañeda, Cebu-based skateboard stalwart Strap has established itself as a core for the skate scene down south. Run by a skater for the skaters, you can’t talk about Cebu’s local scene without talking about Strap. That’s how synonymous the brand is to the city. Breathe skateboarding with their pieces that echo the streets and screams skateboarding.
The Twelfth House
The Twelfth House is a staple brand when it comes to labels with prim and pristine designs. Lock and loaded with straightforward messages and their love for Cubao, The Twelfth House surely knows how to combine simplicity and style. They’re an example that you don’t have to be a heavy-graphic brand to be a streetwear label.
Daily Grind, an umbrella of Team Manila that was founded back in 2005, carries a more urban aesthetic towards its designs. The brand celebrates the idea of being a hustler and what it’s like to do it non-stop daily.
Don’t Blame The Kids
The list won’t be complete without DBTK. The brand is arguably the most renowned local streetwear label in the Metro to date. DBTK is just killing it in and year out. Their designs are always playful, striking and centered on the youth culture. DBTK is also an integral part of the local streetwear scene as it helped elevate the culture in the country.
THE, more often dubbed as T-H-E, is still is an unstoppable force in the local streetwear scene. Despite slowing things down for the brand, T-H-E still finds itself seated among the heavyweights in the game and still a synonymous name in the skate scene in the Metro. After 10 years, people are still eager about the brand.