Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Let's Get Lei'd!

It's really a relaxing sensation when we think of cool summer breeze or imagine the soft gentle feel of the smooth sand on our feet. The perfect partner during summer? Flip-flops! And when we say flip-flops, I am not settling for anything less than the best - that is no other than Havaianas!

Summer isn't just my favorite season, it's also my favorite Havaianas season - a time for customization and personalization, the time for Make Your Own Havaianas!

The first ever Make Your Own Havaianas or MYOH was launched way back in 2006. It was a really memorable time, when Filipinos first got to express their own fashion and style through flip-flop customization - from the straps, to the soles, and to the decorative pins! Back then it was just an exclusive event, but it was such a big hit that it was opened to the public in 2007. And now, 10 years later, MYOH is bigger than ever!

This 2015, Havaianas will once again bring us the fun and delight of having to express ourselves through our footwear in Make Your Own Havaianas 2015, opened publicly from May 7 to 10 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.

What makes this more exciting is that for the first time, MYOH will be available in selected All-Flip-Flops stores nationwide, and all at the same time! These are located in: Bonifacio High Street, SM Manila, SM Megamall, SM Mall Of Asia and Trinoma. For All-Flip-Flop stores in the provincial areas: Abreeza Davao, SM Bacolod, SM Bacoor Cavite, SM CDO, SM City Cebu (May 7-17), SM Iloilo, SM Lipa, SM Pampanga, SM Tarlac and Robinson's Ilocos Norte.

I'm really excited for this year's MYOH. Do you know "Havaianas" is actually a Portuguese word for "Hawaiians"? Hawaii's hang loose island culture was apparently the main inspiration in the creation of Havaianas way back in 1962. And this year, Havaianas is going vintage Hawaiian to pay homage to its parentage! Guess I should prepare my most Hawaiian outfit now!

Lovely choices!

Can't wait to get my hands on them!

And how cute are these pins??!

Thanks for the invite, Havaianas!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Art for All: Googoo&Gaga x Thread 365

Wearing your art on your sleeve takes on a new meaning when graphic design wonder AJ Dimarucot teams up with Thread 365, the homegrown brand of basics you wear everyday

Art. It’s a little word. And it gets thrown around a lot these days. But this small word encompasses all the wonder, whimsy, wit, and wanderlust of the human experience. For a long, long time, art was almost a synonym for “elite” and yet in this 21st century, art has become much more democratic, and in a way, indefinable. Fashion, art, and pop culture are colliding and cross pollinating in every way possible, and we can only count ourselves blessed to be part of this cultural explosion.

AJ Dimarucot is a legend in the local graphic design field, having designed for Nike, Adidas, Manny Pacquiao, and Michael Jordan among others. But all his life, his family was his first inspiration, starting with his mother who encouraged him to draw, and to the present day, with his partnership with his wife Audrey and their three kids. And so a joint enterprise with his wife was a natural extension of his love and devotion to them. AJ designs all the prints for their children’s line googoo&gaga and Audrey does everything else, meaning logistics, operations, and marketing. AJ quips, “googoo means crazy, and that’s me, and gaga means love, and that’s her.” Their tagline goes, “quirky clothes for kooky kids” and some of their bestsellers are their camo and tattoo print onesies, which are now distributed in Tokyo and Paris. And now our story becomes a little more interesting.


“It was really all serendipity,” admits Audrey. At an entrepreneurship seminar, AJ and Audrey just happened to sit next to Anne Gonzalez, the moving force behind Terry SA, the business group that handles Havaianas, Bensimon, and Thread 365. They all ended up chatting and it was a pleasant encounter. And then, googoo&gaga and Havaianas also just happened to be at a very exclusively curated children’s pop-up organized by Mavis Manotoc Fuentebella. Anne says, “I bought some clothes for my daughter. I remembered that I loved just how ‘buhay’ (lively) their prints were, and that stayed with me. Then I was meeting with the design team for Thread 365, and they suggested that it would be a fun collab to work with them. We were adamant that we wanted to work with a brand that was homegrown but had international cred. We love that the pattern is not a literal take on local symbols. It's a creative and intelligent approach. For us, googoo&gaga was not just the most obvious, but also the best choice. With Thread 365, there’s a lot of puso (heart) in this brand. It’s homegrown, and we are making basics, but in an updated, upgraded way. We use 100% cotton that feels nice, and so we are very proud of this brand.”

Audrey confesses, “We do very colorful, and sometimes wild things, and so with this project, we have something to offer the market that prefers simpler, more basic things. We were ready to do something that could appeal to more people.” Anne interjects, “But we did use a lot of color! We even had to stop counting how many colors we used in the end. It is clever how we put it on the cuff, so it can be shown when folded. We also did some shorts, where the prints come out so cute.” AJ says, “In the Philippines, everything is like a fiesta, we are inundated by color and so we were able to convey some of that.”


When it came time to present this collaboration, AJ, Audrey and Anne all knew that they wanted to go an unconventional route. The most logical choice: kindred artistic spirits. Art world wunderkind Leeroy New, who has installed public art in Singapore and designed concert outfits for Lady Gaga, was honored and thrilled to be among the first to proudly wear this collab. Leeroy says of AJ, “He is definitely part of this generation of artists. He is an independent and I relate to that; I believe in the dissolving of categories, in creativity as a hybrid.” When asked of his style, he reveals, “My style will always be a reflection of my art.”

Calligrapher Fozzy Castro Dayrit discovered her passion for lettering while she was planning her wedding and it is now her full time career. She is an avid client of googoo&gaga, and a big fan of their prints. “Somehow, you can sense, that in all their prints, they put a love into them, and I am the same with my work. And I love that no matter how colorful it gets, the work is still somehow grounded. It is always well-curated.”

In the old paradigm, art was left on a wall. But in our new, limitless existence, art can also be a well-loved, well-worn t-shirt. That you will want to wear everyday.

Had a nice chat with googoo&gaga's Audrey and AJ Dimarucot and Terry SA's Anne Gonzalez!

Love the athletic vibe in this shirt!

Isn't this a lovely rainbow skirt?

With renowned calligrapher Fozzy Castro-Dayrit.

Who would've thought Leeroy New is actually his birth name?

Pegs for the shoot.

The people behind the brands – Anne Gonzalez, managing director of Terry S.A., with Audrey and AJ Dimarucot of googoo&gaga

Contemporary artist Leeroy New

Calligrapher Fozzy Castro-Dayrit

Do the twist: The sleeves are lined with printed jersey that you can turn up for an unexpected twist. Available in Raspberry, Orange Zest, and Turq.

Hues corporation: Thread 365's plain tees and googoo&gaga's signature Spectrum print make a perfect combination.

In the pocket: Swap your basic pocket crew with this contrast pocket tee that features an exclusive googol&gaga print. Comes in Orange Zest, Coastal Green, Heather Grey, Harbor Blue, and Basic Black.

Philippine Star today, April 15!