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Sunday, May 18, 2014

THERE used to be a phase in the local underground apparel landscape when kids would line up from sunup to sundown for the latest release of their favorite brand.

That’s how it was when independent (indie) clothing lines were still struggling to stamp their tags to a faithful following. Back then, it was a saturated circle of fresh names and inevitably, of copycats, which actually didn’t matter. That was, when? Six or seven years ago?

Fast-forward to today: Players are starting to “loosen” their threads. Why, because indie has become a dangling thought in the head of every fashion savvy creative.


Everybody has learned the game. Design, print, sell, repeat. This perhaps is the aftermath of the boom. It used to be fun until it got boring. It takes innovation to survive. Every clothing line that happened to be there since day one would agree.

Think Positive (TP) Wear does. That’s why it’s still around the corner, constantly “stitching” its way into the scene.

It’s just one of the many tee and printing brands in the metro; a thriving venture pulled by Stanley V. Villavicencio Jr. from the “ashes” of his previous business. When the man lost his Internet café to a fire seven years ago, he knew he had to “think positive.” And he did.

Years of established tee retailing and an official trademark later, TP Clothing Store was finally put up last March 28 on Osmena Blvd., Jones Ave., Cebu City; along that stretch of road where kids on wheels roll the night away; the same flock who frequents the shop, actually.

What makes TP Wear undisturbed by the ebbing of the “indie” clothing line industry at present? It’s not even a matter of gloating over the demise of then-performers in the industry.

“People get tired of the same old offering. Reinvent. Don’t stick to one design just because you like it. After all, you are not your target market,” Villavicencio said.

In collaboration with a bunch of freelance designers, TP Clothing Store is projected as a rented “canvas” of ideas maintained to depict the music and skateboarding cultures; an exclusive one-stop shop for TP Wear and affiliate products—TP Thirdee,
The Mudness Clothing and Positive Skateboarding, and wearing.

A separate mini-factory in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City, produces a wave of about 300 to 400 tees, raglans, tanktops and hoods that will make it to the stalls of TP Clothing Store in a month. The volume is broken down to six to eight designs of 30 to 40 pieces each.

There’s a discharge of orders across the board. Not to mention TP Wear’s strong online presence here in Cebu, in Manila and Davao. Villavicencio said they’re also revisiting the Cebuano flavor with the launch of their recent outing, the Bistee Clothing (Bisaya T-shirt) aptly positioned for bisrock bands (outfits playing in the native dialect).

Everyone’s going imported. Why not tweak the native concept for a change?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 19, 2014.


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