Feel ‘hayahay’ with Benjie Panizales's designs

Feel ‘hayahay’ with Benjie Panizales's designs

WHEN at home, you surely look for the most comfortable clothes to wear, right?

This must be the reason why Benjie Panizales’s The Hayahay Series has become a popular choice, especially during this quarantine period.

In the dialect, “hayahay” speaks of comfortability. Thus, when you are wearing the Davao-based designer’s creations, you are assured of comfort while staying at home.

For Benjie, his name is synonymous to clean lines and classic impeccability. Likewise, it resounds a kind of disposition that is light and pleasant.

When asked why his designs stand out, Benjie humbly shared that standing out is unintentional.

“If I do stand out then thank you. It’s an honor and it gives me a sense of persistence to do what I do. I really can not tell why but if I may I think it’s my relatability as a designer that transcends towards my pieces and I guess that’s what people see,” he said.

He further noted that his simplistic approach to a wardrobe given this time of pandemic could be another reason why his creations stand out.

Amid the pandemic, Benjie opted to be responsive. With people practically staying home most of the time, he really contemplated hard and thought of ways to survive this crisis.

While cracking his head on how to innovate and stay “relevant”, he realized that clothes have not been considered an essential anymore. However, this gave birth to a brilliant idea.

“So that triggered the idea of making a pambahay an essential as well. Something that’s going to make people look good and feel good at the same time about themselves even if they’re just within the confines of their homes,” he recalled.

Part of The Hayahay Series is the Pambahay Essentials which includes not just sleepwear but also house dresses, kimonos, caftans, lounge wears, and boxer shorts for men. It also has the cardigan robes, which Benjie referred to as his “first baby.”

“As soon as we were on MGCQ, I immediately started working on this plan and luckily it got a very good response. I felt that they liked it and that’s what keeps us occupied up to this time,” he said.

For him, being a designer is not just about “illustrating something and making it to life.”

“Sometimes, one should be more sensitive about what’s really needed in a given situation,” he pointed out. “And the very comforting ensembles, such as sleepwear and other pambahay for that matter, are what’s really needed these days. Not to mention the humidity, I think that a nice set of pajamas or loungewear could suffice the excitement and color one longs for everyday while going through self-quarantine. That to me is essential.”

With the pandemic, Benjie disclosed that the biggest lesson he learned is the value of saving and the importance of being resilient. This could equate to preparing for the unseen challenges and striving to be “the heart and allow others to be the backbone.”

“I have to stick to my guns and create positive ripples in the industry I belong to. This is already beyond my own survival. I want the industry to still thrive though events came to a halt temporarily and so that everyone, not just my team, will have something to do for them to get by while we are still battling the virus,” he said.

Kudos to you and your team, Benjie! Keep inspiring!

Photos used in this column were provided by the designer.


If you have special events and fashion tips to share, or just want to discuss any fashion-related concerns with me, you are always free to reach me at mendoza.jennygrace@gmail.com. You may also follow Purple’s Nook on Facebook for more updates.


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