Fashion

How Designer Kelvin Morales Is Redefining Modern Men's Style

The young designer talks about his latest collection, his preference for the color blue, and innovation.
IMAGE KELVIN MORALES
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Menswear is fashion's last great frontier. All over the world, brands and designers have been going against the grain by questioning what it means to be masculine. In the Philippines, however, it seems there's still a lot of work to be done. And it's something that designer Kelvin Morales has made his mission.

Here, the young designer, who describes his eponymous brand as contemporary and experimental, talks about his latest collection, his preference for the color blue, and innovation.

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Kelvin Morales
Photo by INSTAGRAM/@KELVINMMORALES.

ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES: What's your creative process like?

KELVIN MORALES: I start by creating a story and characters based on my own illusion. But, the real process starts with browsing the web, scanning my collection of books and magazines where I draw inspiration from. I then collate what I have on my mood board. While searching for inspiration, I also look out for ideas for my garment silhouettes, as well as possible materials and techniques that I can put to use.

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ESQ: Tell me about your latest collection.

KM: My latest collection, called "Penetration," is about promoting and giving awareness to our Filipino identity, culture, and history in the modern, digital era through classic silhouettes and color.

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ESQ: How did it come about? What were you inspired by?

KM: I'm mostly inspired by my childhood memories. The rooster, one of the recurring elements in my collection, was inspired by all the times I saw my neighbor leaving his house with a rooster tucked under his arms.

ESQ: Why did you decide to focus on the color blue?

KM: Blue is strongly associated with calmness and sincerity, and it's something that's reminiscent of my childhood. I like the calmness of it, similar to the heavens and the sea.

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LOOK7: TAHO Relaxed fit embroidered shirt, Utility denim pants.

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ESQ: What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?

KM: The Taho and Dalaga Pilipina embroidered shirts are two of my favorites because of the way they both portray our identities as Filipinos. They do so through images that spark nostalgia, and I combined that with modern techniques and silhouettes.

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ESQ: What makes your brand different from the others in the market right now?

KM: It all comes down to innovation. Another thing that sets it apart is that it doesn't conform to idealized standards of beauty.

ESQ: What else keeps you busy apart from your brand?

KM: At the moment, I'm focusing on my brand but I also have collaborations with different young artists in the art industry coming up.

ESQ: What are your future plans?

KM: I'm planning to extend my collection to cater to women’s ready-to-wear. Aside from that, I'm also looking into releasing accessory pieces.

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
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