This Thrift Store in Makati Has All Your Vintage Needs

Have you been to Glorious Dias?

Before the birth of Glorious DiasJodinand Aguillon was almost ready to let go of his personal collection of vintage clothing... But how exactly does one get rid of trunks filled with history and memories? So being a fan of thrift shopping himself, Jodinand figured he might as well turn them into an experience. He wanted to share to others the joy and thrill he feels whenever he's on the hunt for vintage goods. Thus, Glorious Dias was borna warm and inviting retail space for vintage shoppers and Filipiniana lovers.

Get to know more about this hidden retail gem in Makati as Aguillon talks to Preview about vintage shopping, all things local, and the importance of upcycling. Afer all, he's the guy who gave this store a real push under Pineapple Lab, a creative space and gallery in Makati.

"Coincidentally, I was finally ready to start letting go (slowly) of my personal collection of vintage clothing and deadstock Filipinana," Aguillon starts. "Building fixtures made from salvaged wood, metal, and other repurposed items, we decided to test-drive our new retail space by highlighting locally made goods alongside an eclectic selection of world vintage and Filipinana. We wanted to create a warm, welcoming environment that wasn’t 'too cool' or overwhelmingly stocked," he says.

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Right from the name, which is a nod to the Philippine's first ever Miss Universe, Gloria Diaz, it's clear the shop has high standards especially when it comes to its pieces. "Originally, I was torn between Pakipot (hard to get) and Victorious Secret, but then Glorious Dias suddenly popped [into my head] and it kinda just stuck. It’s an ever-evolving celebration of our glory days and we’re always on the hunt for vintage clothing fit for a queen," says Aguillon. 

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In line with this homage to Philippine beauty, Glorious Dias promises to bring Filipino nostalgia back on the fashion scene. 

"Our shop is a sweet halo-halo of kitsch, nostalgia, and 'bonggaciousness.' We try to find items that are easy to wear but we also have precious goods that are actually too delicate to wear," describes Aguillon. To him, this allows

"By bringing these beauties out from the bauls and into the spotlight, we highlight the incredible craftmanship that goes into creating the magic of what makes Filipinana so unique. By taking things that are often seen as mundane and bringing them into the shop, we’re re-contextualizing and perhaps elevating the status of these once overlooked, discarded, sometimes even described as baduy pieces. It’s a way of rediscovering the potential in the has-been."

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Aguillon's love for nostalgia isn't just for local fashion pieces though. "I’ve always had an affinity for vintage clothing and a fascination for old photos of Filipinos I don’t even know. I used to have a little vintage shop in Toronto. But a few years ago, I decided to close that chapter to focus on settling back into the Philippines. When I moved back to Manila, I swore I’d never jump back into the vintage world again. Now here we are," he says. 

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He goes on to describe: "There’s a certain kilig feeling of coming across objects from the past as well as meeting other friendly folks who share the same interest. There’s a lot of exciting things happening in Poblacion and there’s still plenty of room for more independent retail options. It’s been another great way of welcoming the neighborhood into our space."

Every piece in the shop goes through a special process, especially since each one is more than just a monetary investment for the store. Aguillon describes his process: "I handpick each item, gravitating towards certain materials, patterns or color stories. We sometimes purchase from locals who bring in bundles of clothing for us to pick through. Or I’ll get invited over to someone’s house to look through their tita’s fabulous closet. Thrifting is definitely a hobby of mine but it's certainly not the most efficient way to hunt down the good goods. Private sellers, collectors, people cleaning out homes and other vintage shops liquidating inventory are also ways we’ve been able to find unique inventory."

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His team takes note of  imperfections like holes, stains, missing buttons, and broken zippers. Depending on the piece, one can see beyond these slight 'flaws'. "When it comes to vintage, it’s important to embrace perfect imperfections," he says. "Each piece is lovingly rescued and given a second chance. Some items are machine-washed while others are washed by hand. From there, we’re always re-merchandising the shop. It feels like we’re constantly balancing chaos and harmony while arranging a backdrop for a snapshot or framing a still life." Aguillon acknowledges that it takes a lot of work, but treasure hunting is his favorite part of the process. "Some items, we’ve made slight modifications to or simple repairs. But for the most part, the items on the rack are left as is, often a 10/10. Eventually, we’d love to expand to reworked vintage."

Aguillon's connection with thrifting actually goes way back before the shop, with the importance of reusing items taught to him early on as a kid. "My mother was a big fan of buying used items with personality. She collected everything from elephant figurines, to jewelery, and fun hats. When it comes to recirculating items, it’s definitely part of my every day," said Aguillon. "From the clothes I wear to the furniture in my home to the fixtures we build for the shop. We live in a world of overproduction and overconsumption and a lot of it is not only terrible for the environment but also just really ugly. Recirculating items is relevant, sustainable, and absolutely necessary."

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And no, Aguillon definitely doesn't believe thrifting is dirty. "Some people think vintage clothing is filled with ghosts and nasty smells, which isn’t entirely false. But there are proper ways get rid of that 'vintage' smell. And well, who doesn’t love a healthy fashion-exorcism every now and then?"

Glorious Dias is more than just a thrift shop, too, so expect way more when you visit. There are hand-hammered brass rings by Alaala Sala, soy candles by Saan Saan PH and Wicked by Will, all-natural beauty products by Daniela Calumba, and they also have a small collection of Filipiniana reference books in the store. Those who want to get their hair done by Pineapple Lab’s Artist in Residence Leslie Ferer Espinosa, who is the co-founder of Burlesque PH. 

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Aguillon's true purpose for this shop goes way beyond what the usual thrift store does. "A portion of each sale at Glorious Dias goes towards the sustainability of our Creative Hub, Pineapple Lab, which allows free programming and more opportunities for community engagement. What was supposed to be a week-long pop-up quickly grew into a glorious community of vintage purveyors, eco-conscious consumers, and just really friendly fashionable folks. It’s a feel-good retail experience on so many levels."

Glorious Dias is at Pineapple Lab in Makati. They're open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 n.n. to 6 p.m.

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