Refresh Your Rotation of Denim With These Filipino Brands
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This Year’s Neue Jeans: Filipino Brands To Refresh Your Daily Rotation Of Denim

Noel wears a VIKTOR MANILA jacket, pleated skirt, and trousers, and a UNIQLO turtleneck. Sophia wears a VIKTOR MANILA skirt worn as a top and pinstriped skirt. Both wear bags from PLAY NICE and rings from ELEMENTARI. Styling by Neil De Guzman. Photo by Joseph Bermudez

Whether it’s straight-cut, fitted, or flared, our denim seems to be our only constant through the seasons. Never mind the perennial query of whether low-slung or ultra-high-rise jeans are in or out of fashion; when it comes to the staple cotton, it’s all about the fit and fabric made to last—and the latter goes for jackets, skirts, and bags, too. Recent runways project a denim tuxedo redux, with tailored matching sets at Akris, boxy collarless tops paired with slim-fitting jeans at Chanel, and billowing jacket sleeves and flared shorts at Sacai. Of course, there are accessory options, too, with Jacquemus’ Le Petit Bambimou in a faded light wash, and a Jimmy Choo and Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration of laced slingback pumps. Needless to say, there’s a denim for everyone.

In Manila, where dark indigo hues blend in with the metropolitan, local brands are experimenting with form, function, and silhouette. Below, see Vogue Philippines’ latest round-up of the best denim to wear for now and always, from Carl Jan Cruz classics to Nicolò’s breezy shirting.

Renz Reyes

Photo by Kim Angela Santos

At his eponymous label, Renz Reyes uses denim as a medium to play with texture and form. Trompe l’oeil weaves, sharp lines, and jagged edges give life to tried-and-true denim. Embroidery has always been a marker of the designer’s practice (even earning him a nod on Vogue), easily transforming wardrobe staples into statement pieces.

“Embroidery is such a personal form of craft,” the designer told Vogue Philippines after his Bench Fashion Week show last year. He expresses gratitude for the artisans he’s worked closely with for the past decade: “You [are] essentially trying to communicate the vision you have in your head to another person. It takes a level of understanding and relationship [that] even if you’re not with them, they are able to anticipate the choices you would’ve made.” 

Carl Jan Cruz

Photo by Koji Arbodela

As the Carl Jan Cruz atelier continues to build upon its visual language of high craft and technique, their Denim Classics collection is frequently revisited and refined, creating constant newness from archival silhouettes. Find everyday basics remixed in subtle ways; handsewn cuffed hems, single snap closures, and contrast stitching add a level of detail that makes all the difference. Between the Jan Shell jacket, Shamz corset, and Sakay shorts, there are boundless options for an elevated look.

Shop the Carl Jan Cruz Denim Classics collection in-store at 45 Bayani Rd., Taguig, or at www.carljancrewz.com.  

Léon Denim

There’s a beauty to the straight-style jean; a traditional fit is timeless for a reason—versatile enough that it’s flattering no matter what you pair it with. Even better when it’s made from the highest quality denim and affixed with meticulous construction detail. The first and only raw and selvedge denim lifestyle heritage brand in the Philippines, Léon Denim’s essential jeans are finely tailored to fit the needs of a stylish daily uniform.  

Shop Léon Denim pieces at leondenimph.com

Viktor Manila

Photo by Joseph Bermudez

Turn to Viktor Manila whenever you’re in search of subversive basics. Known for their dark wash of custom-cut denim, the brand continues to innovate styles for a clientele in search of a streamlined, sophisticated look. Designer Ino Caluza’s latest offerings of pleated denim skirts and boxy cropped jackets make for pieces that can be easily layered any which way you want. 

Shop Viktor Manila in-store on Level 2 of Greenbelt 5, Makati.

Meraki

On the days when comfort comes first, reach for a pair of loose-fitting denim that shines through the details. Finished with unique contrast stitching detail and layered knee panels, Meraki’s denim statement pants add a contemporary feel to a relaxed silhouette. 

Shop Meraki at meraki-menandwomen.myshopify.com

Fortune WWD

As loose-fitting denim continues to make the rounds as an essential trend among the fashion crowd, Fortune WWD offers up the classic silhouette in a variety of genderless options, from mixed denim paneling to riveted double-knee detailing to playful multi-colored contrast stitching.

Shop Fortune WWD in store at 235 Salcedo, Legazpi Village, Makati or online at fortunewwd.com.

Nicolò

Noel wears a NICOLÒ shirt and a VIKTOR MANILA pinstriped skirt. Sophia wears a BURBERRY shirt, NICOLÒ trousers, and PLAY NICE bag. Styled by Neil De Guzman. Photo by Joseph Bermudez

Designer Nicolo Perez’s open-collar denim overshirts are each handmade to a pristine finish, with his signature wavy edges and contrast detailing that add a unique touch to an otherwise easy everyday essential. 

Shop Nicolò at nicolo.shop.  

Kill Joy Studios

At Kill Joy Studios, designer Eugene Malabad is inspired by the “pulse of Metro Manila without apologies,” creating statement and layering pieces made to blend seamlessly with the urban landscape. Denim bags and vests are lined with their signature orange stitching, simultaneously evoking both the grit and vibrancy of the city. 

Models: Noel Hein of New Monarq Manila and Sophia Guillar of Luminary Models. Photographs by Joseph Bermudez. Styling by Neil De Guzman. Makeup: Sabrina Alora and Tyron Madriaga of Estée Lauder Philippines. Hair Miggy Carbonilla. Art Direction: Tinkerbell Poblete. Producer: Bianca Zaragoza. Production Design: Paul Jatayna. Stylist’s Assistants: Jilliane Santos, Kyla Uy. Hair Assistant: Frankhlin A. Gayondato. Production Design Assistants: Albert Dalit, Bruce Venida, Marlon Sosa.

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