03 October 2016

Mr. Manileño is set to influence Filipino Men's Style and Culture

In the absence of a dynamic competition in the men’s style blogging and journalism locally, we are left with Tumblr-inspired, Instagram-influenced, and worse, showbiz-driven outfits and trends that seem to be almost always late compared to our neighboring countries. Although, even with this gloomy scenario, I also believe that we are currently strolling to sartorial betterment as a society. Local streetwear heads outgrew the graphic tees and exchanged it for monochrome oversized ensembles. And for some of those who wanted nothing of the “in” trend, they found their cup of tea in the aesthetically simpler, yet rooted, refined menswear variety. Just a few types of the ever-growing collection of Filipino men’s style preferences.

Photos by JL Javier from Mr. Manileño

It’s fascinating however to see that even with this exciting development in the men’s style industry, we don’t have enough men’s style authorities who cover or capitalize on it. But yes, of course we can’t discredit those who are in the field; the multitude of male fashion bloggers, and a few notable men’s style and culture magazines. They have definitely done a decent job in propelling the Philippines’ style status today. However, personally, I always thought, where or who is the GQ of the Philippines? Or Fantastic Man? Mr Porter? Articles of Style? Men In This Town? I may have a bad habit of comparing our local industries to international ones, but come to think of it, maybe it’s not always bad. Benchmarking has its pros and cons, and I’d want to focus on its pros on this one.

Media brands and companies have a knack of influencing its readers. That’s a no-brainer. But why do I feel like there’s still not enough better fashion going around. I’m sure there are people and brands talking and doing something about it, but why do we still generally look at better dressed men as outliers? A friend once told me while seeing the line of people waiting for the next Yeezys, “It’s funny how all these streetwear-enthusiasts in line somehow dress and look alike”. I realized immediately after – we usually point out how streetwear, skate, and other niche trends breed identical looks, but we fail to recognize that outside these trends, we all don a common – most of the time, less inspiring – outfit that’s more of a uniform than anything else fashion has to offer, really.

So with these thoughts, it’s definitely thrilling to know that amongst the people who want to do something about this is Jericho Rosales. Yes, the original “Pangako Sayo”, gentleman. But kidding aside, with his clout and ability to create, I’m looking forward to what he’s capable to do, and what he will do. Though the recently launched Mr. Manileño (mrmanileno.com) is set to be a culture and lifestyle centric website, I’m most especially excited about the opportunity of influencing Filipino men’s style that’s knocking at their doors. If there’s someone who can do it, no doubt that it can be Mr. Manileño himself. Everyone wants to look good, I’m sure, but sometimes there’s just no place to learn how to do it, or a person to learn it from. So a good balance of style and Mr. Manileño's lifestyle interests sounds really interesting. Nonetheless, whichever path they go, I’m curious and excited of what this new project entails. A chance to influence more Filipinos to look at life a little differently.


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