3 new Pinoy brands to be proud of

Victoria Herrera
Proud Race, Loudbasstard and OS Accessories make heads turn at the Platform Showcase with their great products and Pinoy Pride

LOUD AND PROUD. Pinoy brand Loudbasstard uses bamboo as electricity-free iPhone sound amplifiers. All photos by Victoria Herrera

MANILA, Philippines – Platform 360, an independent creative company launched last year by Banjo Albano, presented their latest “Platform Showcase” last April 20.

“Platform 360 is a creative collective. Our goal is to create and inspire through fashion, music, art, & culture,” said Albano.

The Platform Showcase is the group’s 3rd event to date, bringing together independent Filipino brands and artists to promote their passion products. The first two events were held at Greenhills’ massive Ronac Center, while April’s showcase took place at the more intimate M Café at Greenbelt 4 in Makati City.

The twice-yearly event is where independent brands can network, sell, and market their brands professionally.

“We create avenues for passionate individuals,” said Albano, “and enable them to share what they love to do with others. We want to support local brands, artists, and creators and get them on a global ‘platform’ to be experienced by the rest of the world.” 

Among the local brands showcasing their products, 3 stood out with the clarity of their vision, product quality, and potential for selling well in both the local marketplace and overseas.

Rappler spoke with Proud Race, Loudbasstard, and OS Accessories about starting out and growing their brands.

1. Proud Race founded by Rik Rasos and Pat Mosby 

PASSION PRODUCT. Bags and accessories by Proud Race are far from conventional

Tell us why you decided to start Proud Race.

Rik: As clichéd as it may sound, we started the label to make clothes for ourselves and our friends.

Why Proud Race? What made you choose your brand name?

We’d like to think that our customers are a rare breed. They are from a proud race.

What products are you focused on creating?

Mainly separates to give people more options. And bags, everyone needs a bag!

I noticed a lot of Egyptian prints on your shirts. What was the inspiration behind this season’s collection?

We were inspired by ancient hieroglyphs, but we wanted to translate it to a modern style so the idea of graffiti-like print is from Keith Haring’s iconic artwork.

Why does it say “sad girl” on a lot of your products as well?

It’s from a movie that came out in 1993 called Mi Vida Loca. There’s a character named Sad Girl. It’s an homage to her personal style in the movie.

ECLECTIC DESIGN. Proud Race takes inspiration from Egyptian hieroglyphs for its product designs

While trends come and go, you’ve managed to carve out a unique look for your brand. How would you describe the personality of your brand?

We’ve always maintained minimal, tough and street sensibilities, and we always keep it tongue in cheek.

What countries do you export to? 

Right now we’re being sold in Japan, Taiwan, Los Angeles, New York, Australia, New Zealand, some countries in Europe. We’re excited for the future of the label. 

What is your proudest accomplishment with the brand so far?

Creating collections without any investors. It’s just the two of us. We’ve created the brand from our own blood, sweat and tears.

Future plans for your brand?

Just to continue what we are doing now. The label is rooted from the underground. We want to keep that appeal, but we also want to expand our reach. What’s exciting is to see how we can do that.

PRIDE ON YOUR SLEEVE. Proud Race products like this jacket are sold in different parts of the world

To know more about Proud Race:

Twitter: @proudrace
Instagram: @proudrace
Available at Backstage Store, 2F Serendra, The Fort. 

2. Loudbasstard (for the love of music) founded by Koh Onozawa and Franz Ignacio

ALL NATURAL. These bamboo sound amplifiers by Loudbasstard are hand-crafted

Tell us why you decided to start Loudbasstard?

Koh: A little background. Franz’s history is in manufacturing and exporting furniture and Franz himself studied in Pratt Institute, New York. For one of his table designs, he was invited to participate in Art Basel, a premier furniture show in Miami. I have a background in anthropology and come from a family of architects and product designers from the Philippines and Japan. I really want to incorporate a social aspect and Cebuano community empowerment into our production, which is a goal the entire team has adopted and now shares.

Both Franz and I were on vacation in the Philippines and were introduced by our mothers who are originally from Cebu. After meeting, we realized we share a common goal, which has carried over into our mission of creating and designing products that cater to an environmentall- conscious lifestyle for consumers of all generations.

Shortly after that, we set out to put our goals into action and came back to Cebu to collaborate, leaving our 9 to 5 jobs in USA and Japan behind to live in Cebu. We founded the company that year.

What made you decide to use bamboo as your main material? 

Franz: We knew we wanted to use wood for its sound conducting quality. But we also wanted to focus on sustainable materials in all our designs, as well as something that reflected the Cebuano culture.

Bamboo is used for many livelihoods in Cebu from agriculture to furniture. It is that heritage plus the hand craftsmanship techniques of the artisans that are incorporated in the loudbasstard music amplifier.

What is your design philosophy?

Franz and Koh: Our design philosophy is simplicity. We believe it is such a pure form of sophistication. With that, we strive to create products that merge modern technology, industrial design and utilize the abundant resources here in the Philippines. I love working with different raw materials and we really want to share the culture behind each product we create.

What countries do you export to? 

Koh: As of now we are in Solothurn, Switzerland and in Italy (specifically Rome and Milan), and we are just starting to test the waters in Canada and the US. Our goal for 2013 is to have distributors in at least two key countries. This way we’re able to focus on a market and not spread ourselves too thin. 

BACK TO BAMBOO. These wooden iPhone cases merge technology and nature

What is your proudest accomplishment with the brand so far?

Franz and Koh: There are two major accomplishments that were and still are a bit surreal for us. One would be our recent collaboration with Kenneth Cobonpue, wherein we worked together to get the right finishing and quality for the product which eventually led him to use the product as gifts for VIP’s at two recent events that he participated in–DIFFA Dine in Design and Voce Di, both in New York City.

To have a designer of his stature have enough confidence in our product to use for gifts was and is very reassuring. The second would be our feature in Wallpaper Magazine. Franz being a designer and very familiar with the magazine, this feature in particular came as an immense honor.

Future plans for your brand?

Koh: We are in constant research and development for new products. Plus, as mentioned earlier, Franz loves working with raw materials, so the next few months are looking very exciting for us and is something we are looking forward to sharing with everyone. But in the meantime for 2013, we will continue pushing the amplifier and this homegrown, Cebuano brand to other territories in the world.

In July, we’re joining Bread & Butter in Berlin, a trade show for selected brands around the world. That too, is an honor for us to be part of, as we take with us not just Loudbasstard, but a Filipino-born brand.

To know more about Loudbasstard:

Youtube: loud basstard
Twitter: @loudbasstard
Instagram: @loudbasstard / #loudbasstard

Available online at mymarquee.ph, and Bungalow 300 in Alabang, Republik in Cebu City, District Voyager and District Emporium at District32 in Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Nothing But H20 Boracay.

3. OS Accessories founded by AJ Omandac and Paul Jatayna

BONE BEAUTIFUL. The austerity and beauty of bones is the inspiration for jewelry by OS Accessories

Tell us why you decided to start OS Accessories.

AJ: It was all accidental actually. Back in 2010 we were vacationing in Baguio when we saw tribal necklaces with snake and shark bones in Session Road. We paired them with our layered silver chains and there you go!

What made you choose your brand name?

OS is literally Latin for bone. We thought OS would be concise, catchy and contemporary enough to stand out in a sea of brands. OS is all about bones, it is beautiful and macabre at the same time. 

BOLD ACCESSORIES. OS Accessories retain a street sensibility to their unconventional jewelry

Do you guys plan to expand from accessories to other products?

Vol. 4 will introduce new accessories in to our line like bags and other wearables.

What countries do you export to?

Our main markets are in Australia, Japan, and Taiwan. Also, stores in Singapore, Malaysia, The US, Germany and pretty soon Hong Kong and Thailand!

What is your proudest accomplishment with the brand so far?

Survival? Haha. But seriously we are proud of our Asian following. We never thought we would be supported outside Manila.

Future plans for your brand?

We want OS to grow into a global street brand from Manila. We are also exploring the possibilities of a home line and a luxury (upmarket jewelry) line in the future.

To know more about OS Accessories:

Twitter: @OSaccessories
Instagram: @OSAccessories 
Available at AC+632, Greenbelt 5, Makati

– Rappler.com

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