Philippine summers are the worst—the sun is blinding, the heat is insane, and it’s amplified by climate change.
It’s extra terrible for office workers and city dwellers who can’t take at least a weekend off to go to the beach. We mean, it’s bad enough our armpits are on fire thanks to the heat, imagine having to wear thick and stuff corporate and/or business attire on a daily basis?
Enter these five local brands that seem to have not just summer, but summer in the city in mind. While still very smart, their designs are also very presko, forgiving, and chic.
Launched in February 2016, Anika’s aesthetics revolve around three things: fuss-free feminine, casual cool, and effortlessly put-together. The brand is a passion project of Anika Martirez, a graduate of merchandise marketing and fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. “I was inspired by the Cali-cool lifestyle and fell in love with uncontrived dressing,” she says.
Anika releases a new collection of about 10-14 styles every three to four months, with a capsule collection containing 4-5 styles in between. “Smart, confident, stylish, on-the-go, and driven are the types of women I dress. While they want to look and feel chic throughout the day, clothing is the last thing on their minds.” Shop Anika
“Vintage inspired tropical basics” is how Araw describes itself and with its jumpsuits, the “presko shift” dress, and apron tops, we can’t help but agree…and scroll through, and over and over again its online shop that’s proving to be bitin. Araw is the brainchild of Carla Sison, who after she arrived to the Philippines after a stint in Berlin, found that she had nothing to wear. “I needed to overhaul my wardrobe but found it really difficult to buy clothes that suited my style,” she tells Preview. Inspired and influenced by her time spent in Berlin and growing up in Australia, she together with three other friends started designing clothes that were laid-back, made with fabrics suitable to the climate, and colors complimenting our Filipina’s olive skin. Shop Araw
3. Pio Pio
Quite possibly the newest of the lot, Pio Pio repurposes traditional Filipino fabrics into very current and very hip designs. Inabel, for instance, which Ilocanos traditionally use for blankets, have been made into tunics and incorporated into denim jackets. Bahag worn by Igorots have inspired a cute pair of shorts for women, and weaves from La Union have been made into dresses. Paloma Zobel, the force behind Pio Pio, is joined by two other stylish women: Ina Estacio and Therese Tiosejo. There isn’t an online shop yet, so people can get Pio Pio goods at the numerous pop-ups the brand holds. Check them out on Instagram
Dainty and fresh, Georgine is a passion project of two sisters, Gai and Genna, that proved to be so successful, that they both left their corporate jobs, took lessons at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, and devoted their time and effort to the brand. It started in 2012 as a line of clutch bags. Four years later, they ventured into women’s clothing. “The brand aims to bring effortless style and fun in everyday dressing. We also want to empower women to live life to the fullest and pursue their passions,” the sisters told us. Shop Georgine
While the vice president wearing Filip+Inna pieces to her functions signals just how business appropo the brand is, Filip+inna also has casual pieces that perfectly mask the laziness that lords over you on summer afternoons. It started in 2011, with the aim of promoting Filipino indigenous crafts. As such, it’s not a surprise to see T’boli, Tausug and Maranao weaves in the brand’s very modern—and very smart—designs. Len Cabili, the woman behind Filip+Inna, is a graduating of Clothing Tech from the University of the Philippines. She works closely with the country’s indigenous folk, and has such translated the weaves into city—and summer—chic fashion. Shop Filip+Inna