Fashion talks. It is, in fact, an extension of ourselves — the clothes that we wear say a lot about us: how we feel and how we want people to perceive us. Today, the world’s talented designers have been continuously innovating pieces that will cater the varying demand of the fashion market. One of the most significant affairs in the industry is the gender-neutral style aesthetics which deliberately elevate diversity and individuality in fashion, especially for LGBT+ community and beyond.
We recently came across A&M Clothing, a local fashion line owned by real-life friends Mikayl Trinidad and Ace Sapit. The brand is barely new in the industry, however it has started to offer pieces of non-gender clothing that are totally stylish and comfortable. These two college friends-turned-business partners shared that it has always been their dream to put up a clothing brand for people who want genderless outfit.
“We’ve been dreaming of having our own clothing line ever since and we guess that dream is still a dream even though we have already launched our first collection. It’s not basically about selling the garment. It doesn’t end that way. What we want to see is the number of people who are willing to wear genderless outfit and the courage to come out of their comfort zones,” Ace shared.
“As part of a growing fashion community, it’s very difficult to come up with a different brand and unique selling point. A&M Clothing will focus on bringing out some unlabeled styles as we don’t want to put boundaries between men and women’s styles. Let’s practice saying, “Do you have a size for this?” and not, “Is this for men?” It might be a tough branding but we will give it a try,” Mikayl added.
For their first-ever collection, they introduced edgy cropped top jackets in three colors — black, royal blue, and neon orange. Mikayl, who is in-charge of their designs and creatives, believes that jacket is one of the most important pieces to every stylish Filipino.
“I (Mikayl) have done so many sketches before we came up with this cropped top jacket. It’s very difficult especially this collection has to support our branding and the situation we are in. Jacket is one of the most common garment being worn by both men and women. A garment that don’t define genders. So, we started our clothing line by selling cropped top jacket which everyone can wear regardless of your gender.”
In the Philippines where conservatism has always been the norm, genderless fashion brands can be hard to find. However, there are brands like A&M Clothing that are redefining the game and it won’t be long until this wave makes it into the mainstream.
“Don’t get scared of exploring your own sense of fashion. Some people might don’t understand the way you look but that shouldn’t stop you from building your self-brand. You like wearing skirts as a man? Then, go for it. It’s already been done many times so don’t get scared. For years, you’ve been wearing oversized shirts and loose pants. That’s your brand, so keep your heads up. As long as you are comfortable wearing those garments, just wear it with pride and courage,” Ace sending a message to people who want to innovate their style.
As a fashion animal himself, Mikayl affirms that fashion is a state of mind. It is a language which tells a story about the person who wears it.
“Fashion is a form of identity. Some people want to establish their self identity by means of wearing clothes that fits their personality and how they live their everyday life. Others think that fashion is risky as it changes from time to time.”
Italian fashion icon Alessandro Trincone and Filipino fashion influencer Sef Loseo are two of their inspirations in pursuing genderless clothing.
“Alessandro Trincone is one of the main reason why we love genderless fashion. Most of his works involve men wearing garments made of tulle and silk fabric. He mastered the art of conveying stories in the form of fashion,” Ace shared.“Sef Loseo, a local fashion influencer is also one of the reason why I (Mikayl) have the courage to go out of my comfort zone and embrace my authenticity. These people don’t fear social judgement instead, they embrace it and continue on flourishing their fashion aesthetics,” Mikayl said.
“Doing business in general is very difficult. You need to give all your time and effort to make it work or else, you’ll fail. I quit my job without knowing what lies ahead. All I know is studying fashion design and building our own business will be the start of our new career,” Mikayl emphasized.Ace left a piece of advice: “Building your own clothing brand means building your career and passion. Yes, it will never be easy but you have to try. Do some research about the clothing trend these days, analyze your market and work on your branding. It’s never too late to work on something that you want to do. If you want it badly, then start.”
For more information about A&M Clothing, visit their official Facebook page.