Arts & Leisure

By Maya M. PadilloCorrespondent

Davao’s Fashion Nomads set up a home

Posted on February 29, 2016

DAVAO CITY -- They know that they are taking a big risk setting up what they consider a “trendy” shop here in their hometown where the people, they acknowledge, are not exactly stylish.

MILLENNIAL DESIGNERS (L-R) Andi F. Amora, Mandy F. Velasco, Jun O. Artajo, Ian T. Manglicmot, and Bianca G. Sabellano are among the 10 who are daring to introduce trendy fashion concepts to the Davao City market through their shop Nomads Davao. -- LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.
“We started with 20 designers, but only 10 survived. Only 10 took the risk because those who quit were afraid to invest and scared that their designs would not sell,” said Jun O. Artajo, a local fashion designer who is among the 10 behind the newly opened Nomads Davao shop located at the SM Lanang shopping mall.

“Ten of us are all dreamers and we are looking forward that this concept will grow and will contribute to Davao’s fashion scene,” he said in an interview with BusinessWorld.

The small corner shop at the mall’s second floor carries 10 different brands of clothes for different ages and tastes, plus fashion and home accessories, and bags.

The Nomad 10 -- all millenials and working in design-related professions -- are Mr. Artajo, Andi F. Amora, Jozel Ignes, Joey Hambala, Frances Tendencia, Ian T. Manglicmot, Wilson N. Limon, Bianca Sabellano, Mandy F. Velasco, and the tandem of Denise Guirgen and Kethley Uy.

“It was Ian (Manglicmot) who designed our store. I custom-make bridal dresses and am currently working in Dubai as a designer of shoes. Mandy (Velasco) has her own custom-made services. All of us have different professions but we always do our best to be part of Nomads, even tending the shop [as] we are on shifts,” Mr. Artajo said.

They each shelled out between P20,000 to P30,000 to cover rent and expenses to set up the shop that they are still struggling to fill with more products.

“Hopefully we will be introducing new designs every month. Almost every week (since the Feb. 7 opening) we are replenishing the rack. We do sizing and in our store there’s only one piece per design,” Mr. Artajo said.

The designs range from classic black pieces to 1980s funk, sporty, patterned, elegant, and ethnic.

“People here don’t follow trends, they prefer to wear (just) shorts and jeans, so as much as possible we want to cater to (new) trends and give it to Davaoeńos,” said Mr. Manglicmot who describes his label The Skip as “raw urban clothing for men and women” with items such as 100% cotton shirts, stone washed/acid washed/torn denim, and others items using cow hide leather.

Mr. Manglicmot said while each member of the Nomad team has distinct designs, they collectively aim to position the shop as one that is deeply rooted in the Davao culture -- “ethnic with a modern twist.”

Mr. Limon, for example, is using “digital sublimation of tribal fabrics” in his clothing line.

“We are trying to push designs that are already ‘in’ in Europe, but we also do something that is marketable here,” Mr. Manglicmot said.

And to give a further push to their products, Mr. Manglicmot said they are planning to hold talks and workshops about trends and styling.

“Soon Davao will have its mark,” Mr. Artajo said.