10 Cebuano Streetwear Brands You Should Know About
Some of them have branched out well beyond the Queen City of the South.
(SPOT.ph) Streetwear is very much representative of the local scene. From skateboarding to surfing, motorbiking to cycling, plenty of subcultures have all come to develop loyal followings of their own streetwear brands. International labels even capitalize on this by creating shirts that are city-specific. But when there’s this much culture alive locally, there’s no need to look that far.
Streetwear in Cebu is very much alive and kicking; here are the shops to check out, stat:
Deadways is one of the names that’ll instantly come up when talking about Cebuano streetwear. Their flagship store Pacific Originals is always buzzing with people. Their product line covers the usual streetwear staples of T-shirts and tube socks, but also extends to motorcycling gear. The pieces are usually emblazoned with the logo in various typefaces while others have Americana-inspired illustrations. The star of the brand is the Relic tee, which is only released every December and in limited quantities, making it a kind of collector’s item.
Established in 2013, Strap was founded by Edel Tribiana to represent skateboarding culture in Cebu. To this day, they remain faithful to their roots and are heavily active in the scene. Design-wise, their graphics often incorporate their logo, either on its own or as part of a cheeky illustration. They also make loose-fitting straight-cut pants, which Tribiana counts as fast-moving merch.
Chris Fussner named his brand Tropical Futures because the tropics “is so often neglected as a place, [but] where the future is actually happening.” Their designs express this idea by presenting the tropics in a way that’s not just a vacation spot—no unironic gumamelas here. Even their online presence looks more like a zine that keeps in step with global themes like glitch and nostalgia, rather than a product catalog. They have everything from T-shirts to sweats, hoodies to beanies—all with that cutting-edge experimental flavor.
Created by graphic artist Nicolo Nimor, that Nick Automatic cartoon head has been around since around 2009 and has branched out well beyond Cebu. While they still carry designs that play with the vector graphics and bold colors that reflect their beginnings, they’ve also evolved to carry more bike-centric styles.
Nick Automatic is available at The No Good Crew with branches at B.B. Cabahug, Mandaue City and 1010 Wharf Plaza, Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City. For more information, follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Available online at Lazada.
Rhipstop is one of the OGs of Cebuano streetwear. Kaz Onozawa, with friends Martin Sitoy and Kurt Ebarita, came together as high school kids who just wanted to wear something that set them apart, and the brand was soon embraced by the skateboarding community. Most pieces are closet staples that are easy to wear and integrate into your wardrobe. The logo shirts come in a range of colors, but black and red dominate most styles. These, along with the waterproof five-panel caps, continue to be their bestsellers.
Killing It Daily
Killing It Daily makes everything in limited batches only. So if you find a graphic tee that you like, you better jump on it fast. They make a lot of cool shirts, but the vibe changes depending on the theme of the collection. Previous collections have been inspired by things as diverse as Memphis design, sailor tattoos, and surf wear. The current one looks like it takes bits from each but makes them more contemporary. Unlike other streetwear brands that are rooted in a single subculture, Killing It Daily is about the hustle and, well, making a killing.
Killing It Daily is available at The Neighborhood Goods, 91 North Escario Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City. Available online through their Instagram page or Facebook page. For more information, follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
Know the Culture
Know the Culture has a clear point of view, and it’s all about sports. This is immediately apparent in the references of their prints as well as the type of clothes they make—basketball shorts, anyone? But what’s more important is that there’s a palpable sense of pride in their merch; a lot of it features people they look up to—and no one wants to do their idols dirty.
The Hidden Ones
The Hidden Ones is inspired by “the local street dance culture in The Philippines as well as rap artists worldwide,” shared owner and founder Kevin C. Torralba. It’s about embracing your individuality, so it only makes sense that their design vocabulary is quite diverse. You’ll find references to pop culture, like Scarface and No-Face, as well as photorealistic prints here.
Owner Caryl Tello opened the brand in 2019 by making films about skateboarding with friends in Cebu. Post-pandemic, he still publishes videos but he’s also adapted by selling T-shirts that have fun and playful designs that aren’t cliche. One T-shirt in particular has isaw printed on it but when you look closer, it actually spells the brand name—novel and tongue in cheek.
Narthatic gets its name from an actual skate crew. Owner Vicente Conception says that the products are tailored to the clients’ tastes, and the best example of this is their bestselling pants. They come in a variety of colors and are roomy enough for you to comfortably move in. Just grab your skateboard and go.
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this strange new world.