MINIMALISM, more than a fashion statement, is actually a lifestyle. It’s getting rid of unnecessary clutter in your house, computer desktop, and clothes in your closet you haven’t used for at least a year. It is the act of being content with what you have and not wanting more than what is enough.
In fashion, minimalism is more than just an edgy style, it’s more than just a trend. For our young fashion designers and business owners featured here, they see minimalism in fashion as an advocacy for sustainability. With the pandemic, people had a change in fashion perspective. People want it simpler, easier to wear, and breathable.
Here are some Davao-based minimalist brands:
1. ALA MOD Studio
Alaine Pang, a Dabawenya who considered herself crafty ever since she was young, first had a glimpse of fashion school when she attended a summer class at the Fashion Institute of Design & Arts (FIDA) here in Davao City. With the interest already cultivated, she proceeded to take formal training at Slim’s Fashion and Arts School in Makati after senior high school.
“I wanted to enter the fashion industry as early as I could, because I wanted my designs out there. Building Àla Mod from the ground up has taught me so much. If taking internships and apprenticeships would have given me work experience, starting this on my own is learning from raw first-hand experience. In the beginning, I had a vision of what the Àla Mod brand should stand for. I knew it had to check all the points of what an ideal fashion brand should be. Not only should the brand bring remarkable designs, but it should also aim for size inclusivity, push for sustainability, and uphold ethical practice. We decided to be a slow-fashion brand that brings quality clothing and design and goes against the grain of disposable, mass-produced fashion,” shared Alaine.
Interestingly, there are actually seven brains behind the Hiraya clothing line. What started as a usual fashion school experience at FIDA led to a business venture among six students and their teacher. Despite having different ideas on fashion and business, Kathreen Cascabel, Samantha Daquipil, Destha Ignacio, Sheila Pedregosa, James Sarayan, Jad Solito, and Danielle Zambrano manage to meet halfway keeping in mind Hiraya’s brand identity as a whole.
“We focused on plain colors para dili dali mawala sa uso. Some of our items are reversible, convertible. The trouble with minimalism is the tendency for people to get bored with it but the great thing about it also is it allows you to mix and match,” shared Kathreen.
“One of our goals really is to inspire people to be creative with what they already have...we don’t want minimalism to be just a trend,” she added.
3. Dilag Clothing PH
Felicity Aguilar, a 19-year-old senior high school student from Malayan Colleges Mindanao, has no fashion education or business background whatsoever when she decided to start Dilag Clothing PH. However, the values on businesses taught to her by her business owner parents have molded her to be equipped in starting her own business. Not to mention Felicity has a great eye for fashion herself and puts a lot of effort in research and trial and error.
“My advocacy is women empowerment through clothing. Through clothes, I want women to express themselves with comfort and style. That’s why most of my clothes are stylish, easy-thrown and basic,” said Felicity who added that for her minimalism is one of the most efficient forms in fashion and that it takes a long time before it gets out of style.
“For me, I wanted to start in the business as young as I am to get learning via first-hand experience as early as possible,” she added.
4. Jean & Jane
The mother-and-daughter tandem of Ceejane Albano and her mom Jean is apparent in the collection and business performance of Jean & Jane. Like many Dabawenyos, the community quarantine has triggered Ceejane to start her own business, also with the encouragement of her mother -- a businesswoman herself. Like Ceejane, her mother is also very much fond of fashion. This business has become their own bonding moment.
“We source our fabrics internationally the same goes with producing our products for Jean & Jane. Most of the fabrics from my first collection ‘Summer Elegance ’21’ are linen-blend. Not only are they trendy nowadays, but I also love how durable they are, eco-friendly, and surprisingly comfortable to wear despite the humidity. As per color selection, I opted for wearable and versatile colors, such as black, white, beige, blue, etc. I believe these neutral colors are essential to build any woman’s wardrobe and will always look classy,” shared Ceejane.
“The style of my clothing would best be described as a romantic and feminine-chic style. I would say that it is perfect for date nights, romantic afternoon walks or simply when you just want to look good and feel good,” she added.