A Designer’s Story



Here’s a designer’s story. It started with bouncing from one idea to another in trying to establish a single design concept. From pirates, to sea creatures, to the aesthetics of historical sailing expeditions, each idea didn’t give us the light bulb of inspiration that we needed.

We then decided to stay true to the tropics. Reminded by a visit to Zamboanga City to check out the colorful sailboats called vinta (VIN-tah), we struck concept-gold. And then the fun began.

Striking and colorful, vintas are found in the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines. They are associated with the Moros and sea gypsies called sama-bajau (SAH-mah BAD-jao), a nomadic ethnic group. Traditionally, they live in house boats and have dedicated their lives to the sea. They are known for their free diving abilities, boat-making, as well as their unique woven mats called tepo (teh-poh).

Tepo are intricate hand-woven mats (generally called banig (BAH-nig) that use the leaves of the pandan plant, a type of sturdy grass. The designs showcase a lot of colors and patterns that are unique to their culture. The complex geometrical patterns are woven from memory or done freehand.

Let’s Talk Patterns!

To pay homage to the tepo, we created the “Banig” Collection which is loosely inspired by the chevron pattern that is commonly found in the hand-made mats. As designers, it was a no-brainer. It was difficult not to be inspired by those intricate patterns.

Design is an important part of our company. We spend most of our time engineering and innovating our products because we want to offer our consumers the best quality items that fits their lifestyles. So another part of a designer’s story involves creating cuts and contours that cater to the needs of our customers. This also means providing different stylish selections for our broad range of consumers.

We noticed that black is still the most sought after colour for a number of products that we offer. So we decided to designed garments tp specifically target all the black apparel enthusiasts. For one set which is composed of a rash guard, a hooded rash guard, and leggings, we borrowed from the lines and shapes of the colorful vinta. We then used black as the backdrop for the white and green highlights to represent the angular details on the vinta’s sail.

Mixing and Matching!

Aside from the colour black, people have constantly asked us to produce camo-printed apparel. And, since we aim to please, we are releasing our new line of aqua shirts in our original camo print. Men and kids, rejoice! The prints will come in three camo colour choices—red or blue for the adults, and orange for the kids.


We interpreted the bold colours found on the vinta  into solid colourways for other items in the collection. Not everyone is a fan of prints and patterns. So we created solid-coloured designs like the large but fairly subdued dotted pattern of the Blood Red logotype.

After months of constant product development and product testing, we finally achieved the perfect cut, fit, prints and patterns that have ended up in the final collection. But a designer’s story doesn’t end here. It merely starts again at the next designing cycle.

Be sure to hit us back with some feedback!

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