When Asian streetwear comes to mind, one typically envisions Harajuku’s obscure fashion or Hong Kong’s effortlessly cool street style.
“When people think of streetwear in Asia, people always think, ‘Oh, it’s Hong Kong. It’s Japan. It’s Taiwan.’ No one thinks, ‘It’s the Philippines.’ Which is ironic because we’re the most Americanized country in Asia,” Kyle Concepcion, co-founder of The Nines, shares.
Streetwear, known as casual apparel typically worn by urban youth subcultures, is rooted in the surf and skate culture of California. Considering the long-standing Western influence that remains prevalent in the Philippines’ culture, the nation oddly falls behind in the top-of-mind Asian locales of streetwear.
Despite this phenomena, the local streetwear movement’s present landscape is shifting promisingly.
Today, the Philippines’ streetwear culture is undoubtedly emerging. Armed with the power of social media, creatives behind the movement, such as independent designers, photographers and influencers are able to promote the culture by reaching a wider audience. This is where The Nines, a lifestyle brand with an impressive selection of high street labels and coveted artisanal brands, enters the picture.
After working for Procter & Gamble and being well-versed in distribution as early as college with the Atenean brand GetBlued, Kyle decided that it was high time for him to take the leap from corporate to retail. Now a founder of distributing company Regain Philippines, Inc., delving into the retail industry to Kyle is not just a lucrative endeavor with an end-goal of selling the most number of shirts.
Of all the types of retail outlets, streetwear, although new to Kyle back then, came naturally as it answered a typical problem that a male post-college graduate transitioning to full-fledged adulthood face.
“Right after I finished my corporate career, I only had two looks. I had my college look and I had my preppy corporate look. So it was awkward. How does a guy like me – I was 26 or 27 at the time – how do I dress?”
What’s compelling about streetwear is how every article of clothing tells a unique story and how each item can fit your personal style. May you gravitate towards a minimalist, preppy or athletic fashion aesthetic, or anything beyond and between those genres, streetwear pieces can express your individuality and adds that extra edge to your look.
When it comes to The Nines’ brands, Kyle is adamant about quality being king. Along with his partners, Kyle and his team work hard in selecting top-quality brands that uphold a strong vision. Currently housing popular street wear labels such as Black Scale, Thrasher and Rastaclat, they intend to expand their roster and will soon be distributing brands such as Stampd, I Love Ugly, Odd Future and Champion.
With the flagship store’s exceptional interiors and store functionality (it doubles as a studio where you can take a stylized shot of yourself and post it online), The Nines provides an offline and online streetwear experience that’s one-of-a-kind. Add that with coveted brands that are stirring up the fashion industry and you can expect a stronger local streetwear movement, all the while influencing individuals to dress to the nines.