‘Jeepney’ now stands for Pinoy urban fashion
LIVIN’ AND LOVIN’ - Tetta Ortiz Matera (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2014 - 12:00am

Wait ’til you see what fashion designer Jeffrey Rogador did with Manila street names via his latest design brainchild, JPNY 306, which was wholly inspired by the jeepney.

 

If you thought putting the Philippine map on clothing was a stroke of fashion genius, wait till you see what fashion designer Jeffrey Rogador did with Manila street names via his latest design brainchild, JPNY 306, which was wholly inspired by the jeepney.

Jeffrey Rogador, the soft-spoken Mega Young Designers Competition 2013 mentor alumnus, found a veritable fashion goldmine in his first-ever foray into online retailing with a stunningly simple design concept — utilize and stylize popular Metro Manila destinations and street names, then incorporate them into fashionable urban-wear designs.

Buoyed by the positive feedback he received from the national costume he designed for a Binibining Pilipinas contestant this year, he translated the jeepney-inspired, brightly colored short denim terno with hand-painted jeepney stops into what I envision will become the trendsetting urban ready-to-wear JPNY 306 line.

JPNY 306 brings together the key elements necessary for a brand of clothing to succeed: commercial viability, affordability, a dose of cheekiness, an appeal to our sense of nationalism and wearability with downright fashion flair. As a teaser, Jeffrey Rogador presented a 10-piece JPNY 306 menswear capsule collection during the latest Philippine Fashion Week. The succinctly curated collection was met with rave reviews and voted one of the top 10 collections for the holiday season by the magazines Mega, Metro and Preview.  This validation from his fashion peers and industry pioneers gave him the final boost to create a larger JPNY 306 collection that came out last week.

JPNY 306 rolls out its initial 20-piece collection for men and women with the formal launch of the online site jeffreyrogador.com. The tops, jackets, pants, skirts and shorts in cotton, twill, denim, leather and neoprene with vandal graffiti prints of familiar jeepney stops like Escolta, Pateros, Fairview, Quiapo, Divisoria, Monumento, Libis and Ayala come in black and white and variations of red, blue and yellow — the designer’s homage to the colors of the Philippine flag. The bold graphics in black or white juxtaposed on solid colors are dramatic, fun, and stylishly chic. All the easy-to-wear, mix-and-match pieces come in sleek designs with subtle detailing like leather knee patches and trimmings — just the right amount to give the whole line a fresh, modern and relevant look. The product lineup will be updated with four collections per year.

I asked Jeffrey, whom I got to know rather well during the course of the Mega Young Designers All Stars competition last year, why the jeepney? He told me that he wanted to bring pride to our national iconic mode of transport: “Hindi kumpleto ang pagiging Pinoy mo kung hindi ka pa nakakasakay ng jeepney.”

Showing a keen interest in design from the age of 13, Jeffrey graduated with a degree in fine arts from the University of Santo Tomas before taking up fashion design at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. A true patriot and passionate artist who always dreamt of incorporating Filipino heritage into his designs, he never apprenticed with any of the established local designers but counts the late Boying Eustaquio and Richard Papa as “teachers” throughout his fashion design career. It was Richard Papa who stood as his mentor when he joined the Mega Young Designers competition in 2004.

Back when fashion designers kept their business close to home, so to speak, Jeffrey ventured into the commercial retail side of fashion in 2006 and opened two stores, one in Podium and another one in Rockwell. He kept them going for several years but due to increasingly unsustainable costs, he closed them in 2009. He continued his craft, accepting made-to-order clothes, participating regularly in Philippine Fashion Week and taking on smaller projects and collaborations until the opportunity for JPNY 306 came up.

Learning from past experience, Jeffrey along with his business partners from Captured Dream Company, decided to go straight to the consumer and sell the JPNY 306 brand online; they wanted to ride on the massive appeal of the Internet and be part of the ever-growing business of online shopping.

“We strongly felt that digital was the way to go; everyone now has access to the Internet and everyone is always on their gadgets, whether they are smartphones, tablets or laptops. With online shopping, we will also be able to access the international market so we are confident that this is the viable approach; it will also definitely be cheaper than keeping a physical store,” explained Jeffrey.

Their prices are slightly higher than retail stores but lower than designer/ brand products, a smart move when identifying your niche market. The brand name and logo are catchy and the packaging is brilliant, as well as luxe.

Rogador built a solid reputation from his denim designs but for JPNY 306, he went beyond his love for working with the fabric and challenged himself to experiment with other materials. He wanted to effectively and fashionably translate ordinary Metro Manila street names onto clothing that consumers could incorporate into their daily wardrobe and combine with high fashion regardless of their gender, age or race.

Gauging from the initial response during PFW and the excitement building up on social media towards the launch, Jeffrey Rogador has clearly hit his mark.

Next up, he is setting his sights on showing at Tokyo Fashion Week. Clearly there is no stopping this jeepney ride.

* * *

Visit Jeffreyrogador.com to view and purchase JPNY 306 clothing; you may follow the brand on Instagram @jpny_official.

* * *

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @tettaortiz.

BINIBINING PILIPINAS BOYING EUSTAQUIO AND RICHARD PAPA FASHION JEEPNEY JEFFREY JEFFREY ROGADOR JPNY METRO MANILA PHILIPPINE FASHION WEEK
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with