In the early years, various cultures interacted through the form of art and a little rebellion. During the time of skateboarding, punk, hip-hop, surfing and art movements the necessity of wearing comfortable clothing like jeans, t-shirts and sneakers increased. Clothing became the expression for various cultures but it was not called streetwear.
Driven mainly by youth, streetwear as what it is today has taken the world by this kind of a “new revolution”.
The history of streetwear dates back as early as the 1980s when James Jebbia and Shawn Stussy decided to create simple designs as an antidote to complex and often visually confusing clothing that was the fashion at the time.
In the Philippines, streetwear fashion has greatly developed over the years. However, it came from the interaction of various countercultures and subcultures. Huge fan following of OPM bands and hip-hop is the reason it became famous. Streetwear promotes self-expression, comfort, flexibility and freedom.
Notable streetwear brands to know about in the Philippines
If you are in the Philippines and are looking for the streetwear brands right now, here is a list of top 15 streetwear brands:
Team Manila Lifestyle and The Daily Grind
Team Manila, started as a design studio in 2001 and later on expanded to produce merchandise that reflects the Philippines’ contemporary culture. They basically made common Filipino elements “cool” that you can find inside your house, neighbourhood or even in the streets of your Barangay. They reinvented the portrait of national hero, Jose Rizal and put shades on making it iconic and turned into their logo. The brand also supports Original Pinoy Music which they’ve partnered with notable acts, Eraserheads, Sandwich, Slapshock, UPRISING (a Fliptop label) to name a few. The brand also launched a symbolic tee–the West Philippine Sea written in both Roman and Chinese characters. Showing a strong stance in the current affairs to date.
Founders of Team Manila are also the people behind The Daily Grind. Started in 2005, to give way to ideas outside the theme of the current brand, TM and perceives good energy and day to day “hustling” and “grinding”. Also known for their support for skateboarding/fixie biking, ragged-grunge style and hip hop music affiliation, the brand pioneered incorporating motivational lines in their tees promoting self-consciousness and everyday-pursuit-in-life statements since day one. Merch ranges from aprons, pins to stickers, hoodies, outerwear, T-shirts and bags.
They’ve got a store in Makati called Suez and Zapote which carries their brands and other local brands too.
Made with good intentions, the term “Gnarly”, basically is surfer/skate term and also a teen slang means both excellent and disgusting. The brand is witty, funny, with a lot of personalities. They got their own comic book art that is consistent in their brand. Known for their signature G logo in yellow and black and their own characters such as Fudge, Gremnar to name a few and their own world– Gnarcity. Known for always being bright, classy and pop and established a strong interaction with their audience. They have continued to innovate throughout the years since 2008. With a flagship store at Pasig City. Be sure to check them out, G!
Founded in Cebu in 2009, Nick Automatic popularized graphics with bold lines and huge designs that are comic-based movies, inspired by cartoon heroes and punk music. Nicolo Nimor (creator) and its brand have commissioned graphics with local and international acts such as “ A Day To Remember”, Nicki Minaj, New Found Glory, Chicosci and Urbandub to name a few. They are also part of the “The No Good Crew”, a brand collective with a store in Quezon City. Nick Automatic is also responsible for putting up Threadfest, an annual event that celebrates good local music and clothing brands. With a handmade approach, they conquered the world with unquestionable domination
Don’t Blame the Kids
Don’t Blame the Kids or DBTK founded by brothers, Vince and Emil Javier in 2012 started as a passion project and later on boomed big that influenced youth and their strong following, by sharing positive messages about being determined, passionate and unorthodox. The brand strongly believes that there is nothing impossible to be achieved through dreaming big and starting small.
Also notable in doing collaborations with Sanrio, concept stores like The Nines, Complex Lifestore, contemporary visual artist--Lynard Paras and household brand, Nick Automatic. In addition to this is their latest work with the tech giant, Huawei.
They have also worked with MANILA GREY, an international music duo based in Canada and Pony, a US shoe brand whom they produce a sneaker. Truly, the brand is embodying their mentality, waves don’t stop as they keep on evolving. You can visit their flagship store in Project 8, QC or their web for more updates.
Drone Clothing recently celebrated their 9 years of providing the best experience and memorabilia by launching new merchandise which in limited edition consisting of 100 items only. Drone is a brand that produces high-quality products without going over-the-top with its branding. Known for their mantras, Range of Radness, Money Made Me Do It and We Create our Own Destiny, the brand has been relentless in releasing products with eye-catching designs over the years.
Fueled by the mamba mentality, they have extended their range of products to slides and socks (footwear), hats, beach towels and even scented sanitizer. Recently, they have open the doors of their flagship store in Valenzuela City catering to their enthusiasts and dedicated followers
Hailing all the way from Los Banos, Laguna, Enimal is an independent lifestyle brand which is never afraid to continuously explore and improve their offerings.
Rooted from experiences, music, fitness and outdoor adventures, the brand is known for its signature button-down polos, striped tees and comfortable clothing. Rising to the top is definitely a goal that they have been living. Don’t miss out on the fun and colour on!
KLTRD, pronounced as “cultured” represents the attitude of accomplishing things from the spirit within. Active for holding events with fixed gear biking, skateboarding and spoken poetry activity and live hip hop music.
They are known for self-realization messages and strong campaigns about how we take life. The process is as important as the product. Their merch is just a byproduct of the experiences of its creators. These go-getters are based in Makati and recently launched their website.
Made by a bunch of Nobodies—the brand foot marked a store Somewhere in Cubao, Quezon City.
Known for their releases with manifestos on their shirts, they managed to produce pop-out designs anchored with good research, straight in your face attitude, tight-knit community and philosophy of authenticity. They use their platform very well to take their stand while moving away from the spotlight and remaining unseen. You can not just simply miss out Nobody.
Cravings can not be subtle with this brand. We Drool promotes continuous development of one’s self by beating the odds, overcoming challenges and conquering it passionately.
Pillared with graphics, poetry and staying hungry, the brand has been consistent in supplying products that match the appetite of their supporters. Recently, they have released their SodaPop Cupsule, mainly tribute to their supporters—Thirst Quenchers
Deeply involved with car culture, the brand SAFE has drawn attention to the popularity of their SAFE logo stickers slapped in the cars and vehicles of their supporters. Getting worldwide has never been impossible for this brand with the continuous rise of their popularity.
They are surely driven to hit their target numbers with their simple and effective designs. Just remember to keep it safe!
With love attributed to the local car scene and photos which are mostly shot on “film” from their car meets, the brand is at full throttle in producing stylish outputs. Incorporating Japanese vibes and modern elements to their classic designs and paying homage to the recognition of the nostalgic car culture.
Ever Since has taken pop culture to its next level having Durarara character and Jollibee with a peace sign sticker as their monikers. As they truly say, The World is Yours!
Making sure their voices are heard all the way from Pampanga, This heavyweight brand is known for being angsty and political that upholds social movement. They are never afraid to stand out and hear their cause with the current happenings.
Notable designs that call out for China’s intrusion in the country, end contractualization and EJK. They were able to combine colour combinations that are always pleasing to the eyes. Shirts were worn by Kiyo, Unique Salonga. Hysteria is surely a brand that lets their emotions be expressed in clothes.
As the name denotes, Thy Origins is a one of a kind brand that is designed specifically as a tribute to the Greek origins. Their line of clothing follows only a simple rule: it should educate the mass about Greek Mythology while incorporating daily life adventures and experiences.
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They even recently released a Japanese Mythology Collection. Their energy radiates victory that nothing is impossible, everything is achievable and everyone is immortal.
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Warning: Implicit content ahead! Minimalism is their core and Implicit is one of the brands to truly embody that. Their T-Shirts are minimalist, often only featuring their logo and some infographic details.
Implicit openly supports the LGBTQ+ community and their previous pride month collection has a message on every T-shirt. Recently, they’ve collaborated with hip hop trio-Owfuck and produced a music video.
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Thank you by Thank you Gift Shop
“Thank you” has a very simple message in mind: “to offer gratitude to the things in our life”.
Their apparel almost always has the words “Thank you” embedded on them, accompanied by someone or something. It is a young brand from Bulacan. Recently, they’ve opened their flagship store called, Thank You Gift Shop along with their resto, “Welcome Diner”. Their logo is a little lady derived from the brand owner’s, daughter, Airi.
Episodes is hard to miss on this list. Always maintaining a holistic approach in every release. With significant and iconic releases such as Welcome Paradies and Two Worlds. Recently, the brand has also meaningfully collaborated with WWF in driving funds for this Pandemic season.
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We have one home that we need to protect, but since we are unable to go out and take proper initiative, help can start at home to support the lives of those who support ours. In line with our campaign, Stay at Home, Safe at Home, we partnered with @wwfphilippines to produce limited-edition shirts where 100% of the proceeds from this collaboration will go to WWF-Philippines’ conservation programs. Let’s support WWF’s movement to #ChangeTheEnding for our world, wildlife, and their natural habitats. Available on June 19, Friday 7PM PHT only on episodesupply.com #EPISODESUPPLY
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They are deeply rooted in community building, music and love for the sneakers. Surely a series of their upcoming episodes are coming real soon.
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All the streetwear brands come with their unique styles and ideas but our Philippine brands are taking it over and on the rise. We have listed notable Philippine-based streetwear brands that should be on your list. No one can be forced to suppress their freedom of speech, and streetwear brands like these promote this message.
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Jastin Andrew Nilad is a Contributor to the magazine website vibeant.com. Based in Metro Manila, Jastin covers stories from the creative scene of the Philippines to global streetwear and high fashion scene.