Words by Marielle Balmores
Graphics by Althea Catipon
9 years ago today, it only took 10 minutes for English television judge and producer Simon Cowell to form a band that had the world wrapped around their fingers. One Direction was one of the bands that made up a huge chunk of our elementary and high school lives. Not gonna lie, I miss them a lot and a lot of Filipino fans do too. Their fandom in the Philippines was a big one back in the day, having fan events and such. Even though the boys only got to pass by Manila once in 2015 for two shows, and they were not even complete.
Aside from their music–whether you bought their albums before Spotify became a thing or downloaded them to save cash–you can’t lie and say that you didn’t own any merchandise of theirs, official or not. So in line with their 9th anniversary, I asked their Filipino fans or the Directioners (current and former) online about the cringiest item of One Direction merchandise they have ever owned. Together, we reminisced the fun times on how we used to take pride in those items, only to feel embarrassed years later.
Here are the best and funniest responses I have received. Trust me, they are worth the laughs.
[I got] 1D earrings from Claire’s. They were given to me as a gift by my friend, and they were big earrings with the 1D logo which look kinda weird when they’re on your ears. – Mia, 22
A long sleeve shirt saying “keep calm and love one direction”. The long sleeve style was on trend at that time and i wanted one, then i saw a shirt saying that and i was like “ omg its on trend and its about 1d”. Never got to wear it tho because immediately after I realized its cringey haha – Claudette, 20
I bought this jacket from Penshoppe because 1D were the ambassadors at the time and I just cringe about it coz i barely used it since it didn’t look good on any of my clothes like i legit just bought it coz Zayn was wearing it HAHA – Anonymous
I was once gifted a pillowcase of 2011 One Direction with my name on it. – Gabbi, 19
A One Direction red hoodie that I wore to their concert here which is super ugly and thick smh and it got wet because it was raining so i was sweaty and wet LOL – Anonymous
As a homage to my love for one direction, I bought a shirt with a graphic of the British flag with the words I heart British Boys plastered in big bold letters. I wore that shirt un-ironically when I [went] out. – Sofia, 19
I think the cringiest merch of One Direction I’ve ever owned was the unofficial fake nail art that had their logo and faces on it LMAO. – Bettina, 19
My uncle from Denmark sent me loads of unofficial merch with books, photo cards, and posters. But I was most surprised to see that there were also those multi-point pencils everyone was crazy about. – Paula, 19
I have an official Harry Styles doll (still with me rn) which I realized now that it looks NOTHING like harry :( – Anonymous
I bought their sponsored chocolates and just threw the chocolate and kept the wrapper until today. – Niña, 18
A full size standee of every member (official) + 1 full size standee with all of them (unofficial). Up until today, even I’m not a fan anymore, I still have them inside my bedroom. – Anonymous
I have a watch from the concert and I still keep the OTRA [On the Road Again] 2015 ticket card inside my wallet and wave it around in inuman places when their songs play. – Airi, 21
Niall Horan singing doll. The box only got opened once by accident, and I’ve pressed the sing button so many times over the years that it doesn’t anymore. – Mario, 22
I have a necklace with Niall’s face on it that I would wear everyday even though na-aallergy na ako. – Louise, 21
Varsity Jacket with “Directioner” at the back omg hahahaha :(( varsity jackets were a thing back then so i had one made. – Anonymous
A Harry Styles pillow HAHAHAHA it was given to me by my best friend in highschool and I LOVED IT – Xian, 20
I had a 1D boardgame that my ninang bought for me from the US. I was so proud of that thing. I even brought it to school to brag! – Anonymous
My TOMLINSON letterman jacket – All my friends that were into 1D back then got the letterman jacket with their fave’s name at the back. – Bella, 20
Infinity necklace with one direction’s name on it. – Anonymous
A magazine dedicated solely on facts about the boys e.g. Louis likes carrots. It had a poster of the WMYB days. – Chyna, 18
It was a leather bracelet that had these little button things with the members’ faces and the 1D logo which you can replace or interchange. I actually bought it during a 1D fan event just because it’s an official merchandise and i wanted something “official” cuz at the time i felt like it was like being one step closer to them LMAO. I actually still have it in my “fangirl collection” and by far that is the ugliest merch i have. I cant believe I willingly spent Php 1500 for that! – Sabrina, 20
My friend and I had matching shirts made to wear to their concert. At the back it says, “in fact don’t even breathe next to me if you’re not Niall Horan good day goodbye”. – Princess, 21
Even with these cringe stories, there are still so many things to be thankful for with One Direction. All the inside jokes, entertaining content (like the ICONIC video diaries), new friends we made, and a sense of pride whenever we just hear anything good and successful about them online, it all made us happy and nostalgic. Also looking back, their individual humor and personalities worked well when they were together, and it shows in the maturing sound of their music as they got older. Even if things got really rocky especially during the start of 2015 (you know what I mean), we still support them and stream their songs every now and then, group and individual.
Happy 9th Anniversary, One Direction. Yes, you guys said you are on hiatus, but if not, thank you for making our childhood and teenage years so exciting. If there is still a chance though of a comeback, expect a whole lot of support from a much more grown fandom with open arms. Though seeing all your individual successes reassures us that you are happy where you are, and that is all that matters.
Let us all treasure those good times and jam along to their last released single sans Zayn, History.
So are you a directioner who missed them too or not? Share it with us!