Streetwear may be an easy way to get yourself into that Instagram-worthy OOTD or making you look fashionable yet comfortable with casual tees and jeans, but it has become more than comfort and simplicity. Local and independent streetwear brands, in particular, have turned this style into a way of raising awareness of music, arts, and culture through fashion. One example of such clothes is newly-launched streetwear brand, EastCo.
With their first designs just released in October of this year, EastCo’s focus on combining Asian culture with hip-hop through streetwear proves to be very promising in terms of its potential in the independent fashion scene.
Started by three college friends from the Ateneo de Manila University; namely Reginald Alejandro, Junen Narito, and Carlo Villanueva; EastCo emerged out of their shared interests in streetwear and hip-hop culture which are both very evident in their designs.
East tee in grey // PHP 500
When asked about the reason behind their concept, Reginald Alejandro answered, “We wanted to represent hip-hop through streetwear from the lens of our context as Asian founders and fans of hip-hop culture. We aim to bring an appreciation for this lifestyle into the local rap and hip-hop scenes here in Manila and anywhere else in the country where the culture resonates with people.”
Patrón tee in classic // PHP 500
While there’s no shortage in international streetwear brands that draw their designs from Western rap and hip-hop artists, it’s quite rare to find one that solely brings our Asian heritage into the fashion limelight–especially in the country. In a place where our very own hip-hop artists seem to be overshadowed by those from the West, EastCo does its part by focusing on translating Asian hip-hop into fashionable apparel designs that can spread awareness on the hidden treasures of the local hip-hop culture.
Torii tee in red // PHP 500
Looking into the country’s independent music scene, we have rap and hip-hop artists that can easily be up there among the world’s most recognizable names in the genre such as RnB artist Jess Connelly and rapper Curtismith, and these are the artists that EastCo aims to work with in order to reinforce the representation of our culture through music, arts, and fashion.
“The representation of culture is in the people wearing, modeling, and representing our apparel,” says Alejandro.
Torii tee in red // PHP 500
As of this writing, EastCo’s kick-off collection consists of three shirt designs in various colors. While there may only be three, their designs are actually enough to show that this new brand could be making a lot of noise both in the streetwear and hip-hop scene. Fans of hip-hop, streetwear, and Asian culture should definitely be looking out for more of EastCo’s creations.