As they exchange their high-fives and hellos, the scene looks like any other group of friends hanging out in school. But little do those around them know, these boys aim to take the local streetwear industry by storm–and they’re more than excited to share some of the things they’re hiding up their sleeves.
“The idea was to be able to curate an entire experience based on the identity of the boy,” says San Pedro. “Coming from that, we tried to recruit people who we felt shared the same vision or who we could vibe with to make sure our work would be cohesive and effective.”
Touted as a multi-brand retail concept, Boy In Transit is a collection of laid-back basics that incorporate different aspects and facets of pop culture. Their label aims to eventually bring together foreign and local brands through the group’s careful curation in order to diversify streetwear options in the Philippines.
The team shares with Vantage what influences their personal style. San Pedro draws inspiration mostly from things he grew up with, such as sports and hip-hop. Puentespina’s style, on the other hand, is heavily influenced by ‘70s/‘80s California skateboard culture, and takes after the likes of Toney Alpha and the Z Boys.
Portillo meshes his love for basketball and Japanese culture together because they both hold a sense of nostalgia. Aiming to add that element to the line, he also mentions that he admires how Japanese clothing brands focus on workwear and the Americana aesthetic. Bautista shares that music is his biggest inspiration when it comes to his taste and sensibilities—whether it’s what musicians wear or the different album art that comes out, it’s these subcultures that he focuses his attention on. Lastly, Cuevas adds that he’s inspired by his girlfriend and the team, because of their shared passion for personal style and how they motivate him to perform better. It’s difficult to encompass what exactly streetwear culture is as a whole, but what each of these boys brings to the table is their passion for different facets of this lifestyle.
Girl meets world
Their first collection, Girl In Transit, was launched last March 31, 2016 via their website (www.boyintransit.com). Girl In Transit is the group’s in-house brand which aims to juxtapose the female experience alongside different types of media such as film, television, and music. “We saw a lot of girls going in the stores and not finding a brand that sort of fit their body type or styling sensibilities,” shares Bautista. “And we [tried] to draw from an era [where] we felt like women tried to redefine their identity.”
Pieces of pop culture like the black comedy, “Heathers,” and Josie and the Pussycats are just some of the many influences that can be found in the collection. Aside from this, the group shared that they gathered a team of female collaborators whom they believe personified what “The Girl In Transit” was. The team worked alongside talented women such as Czari Domingo, Jess Connelly, and Kara Chung in order to make their vision of “The Girl In Transit” come to life.
Within the first few hours of the launch, the website was met with loads of online traffic and new order requests. Bautista admits that they didn’t intend to release the collection that early but, because of the market need they saw, the group was able to quickly crank out a few of their ideas to get the job done. With the success of their first launch, the boys are even more driven to work on their next project, to be launched late 2016.
The think tank
Beyond the common interests in pop culture, art, and fashion that the group shares is a friendship that many of the members attribute the brand’s success to. San Pedro explains that it was because of this very familiarity with each other that they were able to immediately delineate everyone’s roles within the team.
The team’s pre-existing friendship with one another may be to thank for their decidedly efficient group dynamic, but it is also probably the same reason why, despite all the sleepless nights and hard work they’ve all put into Boy in Transit, it’s never felt like work but more like a passion project. Puentespina adds, “[Our creative process is] very organic in a way that it reflects itself in the final products that we release.”
A scarcity of ideas has never been a struggle for the team behind Boy in Transit—as is usually the case for any group of friends talking about their passions, plans and ideas are easily made manifest. Which is why, when asked about what they have lined up next for the brand, it comes as no surprise that San Pedro easily lays out their plans for the next two years. Apart from the release of the Fall/Winter collection for Girl in Transit, they’re planning a launch party as well as opening a store/office within the next few months. Their in-house brand, Boy in Transit, will be released in 2017. Puentespina adds that they’re also contacting international brands for multi-brand concepts.
What makes the boys behind Boy in Transit compelling is the unmistakable sense of reverence that permeates the way they talk about the brand. To them, the brand is no mere business venture, sideline, or something to beef up their resumes–it is a manifestation of their shared passions and a testament to their friendship.