These Filipino-Made Photo Shorts Are Ready for the Beach
For many men, shorts have become a versatile fashion staple. What was once only worn at home or on the beach has now crossed over to casual daywear and even nights out, especially here in the sweltering heat of Manila. A few brave souls have even started wearing shorts to the office, but we don’t recommend that, unless your company has a very relaxed definition of casual Fridays.
Guppy is a local line of beach-ready clothes
Still, for a tropical country like the Philippines, shorts are still most frequently seen near the water—lakes, oceans, seas, and even the neighborhood pool. This probably explains the success of Guppy—a local line of summer-ready shorts created by an enterprising college student Anton Punzalan. He was a sophomore at the Ateneo De Manila University in 2015 when he first started selling fun, colorful beach shorts. When the initial batch of 30 sold out pretty quickly, he knew he was on to something.
Fast forward to today, Punzalan is on his fifth year in college and Guppy now also counts a full line of tropical shirts in addition to its shorts. It also offers funky collared shirts made of terry cloth (for when you miss your towel during the day, I guess), as well as what they call Boogie Bands, or multi-functional kerchiefs.
Their new photo-shorts feature images from paradise
But its shorts are still Guppy’s main focus and to prove that, the fledgling brand came up with a special collection called Destination, a line of “photo shorts” that are exactly what they sound like—shorts printed with exclusive photographs of some of the country’s best beach destinations from a few up-and-coming shutterbugs.
At a special pop-up event at Pineapple Lab in Makati one Saturday in September, Punzalan and his small gang of believers presented the shorts that are meant to jazz up the wardrobe of surfers, beach bums, and everyone else who likes to show off their legs. There was also an exhibit of the photographs that inspired the collection.
“All the designs from this limited collection feature photographs of the Philippines,” Punzalan said. “Some of the photographers we contacted through Instagram, some are friends of friends.”
The featured photographers are Mark Roa, Arturo “A” Dedace III, Gab Mejia, and John Oranga. All are in their early 20s and all are passionate travelers.
The shorts are decidely modern
The shorts themselves are colorful and stylish, cut to a contemporary, decidedly un-tito length (you can throw those below-the-knee board shorts away). And the photographs are sure to be conversation-starters on the next beach trip.
My favorites include Vacation Leave, which features a bikini-clad woman resting on a coconut tree against a pale blue sky and golden white sands; Ocean Drive, which is a bird’s eye view of a cobalt-blue sea and a solitary swimmer on his back in the water next to a wooden raft; and Summer Soldiers, featuring a snapshot of a group of surfers in the line-up, waiting to catch that perfect wave.
Punzalan says the goal is to turn Guppy into a full lifestyle brand focused on casual, locally made apparel and accessories with a definite Pinoy flavor. Judging by the success of his initial ventures, he’s definitely on his way.