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22 Local Designers and Brands Making Everyday Protective Gear

Prepare for the new normal whilst supporting local enterprises.
22 Local Designers and Brands Making Everyday Protective Gear
IMAGE INSTAGRAM @mosaicph @mlbymichaelleyva @vaniaromoff
Prepare for the new normal whilst supporting local enterprises.

Fashion always evolves over time. Now that we’ve entered general community quarantine, the way we dress won’t be what it used to be. Protection, healthy, and safety, will be the top priorities when selecting what clothes to wear outside. This is where the idea of everyday PPEs came from.

The term PPE stands for "personal protective equipment" and is commonly used to refer to safety gear worn by hospital workers to prevent contact with any infectious liquids. The PPE shortage in hospitals resulted in numerous fashion designers and brands pitching in and producing their own PPEs. While most of them still continue to do so, others have simultaneously started to think about their own consumers, and what they could do to provide for them during these trying times.

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During the first Fashion Forward Dialogues held last May 6, Pauline Suaco-Juan discussed with designers Rajo Laurel, Roxanne Farillas, and Amina Aranaz what their business plans are. All designers posited that in order for their businesses to pivot during this pandemic, they would have to come up with pieces that are relevant to consumers while staying true to their brand. “Now, you know, fashion, by its very nature is really a means to protect ourselves, whether it be physical, mental, and whatnot. So, what we're actually doing right now is creating an immediate connection for people to actually feel safe to go out of their homes [in a way that’s] comfortable, fashionable, and washable,” Rajo said. At that time, Rajo was already creating prototypes for everyday protective gear.

Amina also echoed his sentiments: “We really do have to evolve, we cannot expect that we're gonna go back to the old way of doing things—producing the old products, the same products that we do,” she said.

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Research says that one does not need to cover up when heading outside because staying healthy depends on how thoroughly you sanitize yourself upon returning home. Covering up (whether in protective gear or not) simply shows everyone around you that you are being cautiousnot only for your sake but for theirs. It shows that you are being considerate. And maybe for some, being covered up gives them peace of mind. 

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Whether or not this new way of dressing will last long, what we know is that protection is now the new standard. And, these PPEs are the fashion industry’s way of providing for their consumers and supporting their employees.

Below, we’ve rounded up the designers and brands that have created their own versions of protective gear for the new normal. These include face masks and non-medical grade outwear sets that are suitable for everyday use.

1. Rajo Laurel

    House of Laurel now creates protective outerwear such as trench coats and jackets in 100% polyester microfiber fabric. There are also face masks with long ear straps to ensure they stay put.

     

    PHOTO BY COURTESY OF RAJO LAUREL
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    Inquire through Instagram.

    2. Vania Romoff

      Vania’s VR Essentials line offers reusable protective outerwear that consists of a lightweight coat and pants. There are also face masks that come in sets of two or three. These are rendered in romantic colors like nude and blush.

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      Order here.

      3. Michael Leyva

      ML by Michael Leyva offers PPE separates made of lightweight, water-resistant, washable fabrics that can be mixed and matched to create different ensembles. They come in wearable colors like black, navy blue, and cream.

      Email mlbymichaelleyva@gmail.com for more details, or cel. no. 0917 102 4050.

      4. Newniform.ph

      Newniform.ph creates vibrant everyday PPE sets that include a bunny suit and a face mask. They come in bright colors like cherry red, lilac, and pink.

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        Order through Instagram.

        5. Mark Bumgarner

          Designer Mark Bumgarner injects his modern, edgy aesthetic into protective gear by way of bomber jackets and utilitarian-inspired pieces. The collection, called “The Armor Project,” also includes face masks in fierce prints that come in sets of three.

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          Contact through WhatsApp or Viber at cel. no. 0917 521 9938, or email info.bumgarner@gmail.com.

           6. Kelvin Morales

          Designer Kelvin Morales released hand-embroidered face masks with a moth motif. A portion of the sales will go to a charity supporting out-of-work employees as well as hospital frontliners.


            Order through Instagram

            7. Rosanna Ocampo

            In order to support her team of skilled artisans as well as donate to frontliners, designer Rosanna Ocampo-Rodriguez started her Con Amore series of hand-embroidered masks. Each unique piece is made with the same fabrics used in her collections, and you can order a top to match once her atelier resumes operations.

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            Inquire through Instagram. 

            8. Debbie Co

            Fashion designer Debbie Co reinterpreted PPE with her whimsical sensibilities. The result is face masks in floral and chinoiserie prints, as well as chic protective outerwear such as coats, jackets, and hooded dresses. 

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            Inquire through Instagram. 

            9. OJ Hofer

              OJ Hofer is creating bespoke PPEs in clean, streamlined designs.

              Inquire through Instagram.

              10. Jo Rubio

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              Designer Jo Rubio is crafting stylish protective trench coats, and has even created one for Heart Evangelista, with hearts all over it

              Inquire through email jorubiocouture@gmail.com. 

              11. Happy Andrada

              Happy Andrada breathes new life to isolation gowns through hand-painted trompe l'oeil designs. 

              Contact 0917-524-2779 for inquiries. 

              12. Eika

              Local swimwear brand Eika offers water-resistant microfiber bunny suits that come with shoe covers. The brand also creates washable neoprene face masks in mellow shades. 

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                Order here.

                13. KAAYO Modern Mindanao

                Artisanal brand KAAYO offers hand-beaded jumpsuits and face masks that continue the brand’s thrust of highlighting Mindanaoan weaving traditions. Every purchase of suits and masks donates three PPEs and three face masks, respectively, to hospital frontliners.

                Order through Instagram or cel. no. 0917-622-7713.

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                14. Mosaic 

                Mosaic’s everyday staples have gotten a protective makeover. The brand now offers PPE ponchos in bright colors like red, yellow, chartreuse, and pink.

                Order here.

                15. Seek the Uniq

                  Fashion collective Seek The Uniq now offers protective trench coats that imbibe the brand’s signature boho aesthetic. The set comes with an Intricado embroidered face mask in tropical designs. For every set sold, one protective gown is donated to a cancer or dialysis patient. Learn more about this initiative here.

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                  Order here.

                  16. SHIFT 

                  Minimalism and functionality combine in Shift Clothing’s water-resistant PPE dresses that come with detachable hoods and large pockets. Reusable face masks are also available and come in sets of three, five, or ten.

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                  Order through Instagram

                  17. Wear Frida

                  Youthful everyday essentials brand Wear Frida came up with a “Keep-Me-Safe” set that includes a water-repellant jacket, a bucket hat with face shield, and a face mask.

                  Order here.

                  18. Apartment 8 

                  Apartment 8, known for its ready-to-wear ensembles for special occasions, now creates garb for everyday use in the form of face masks. These come in every color imaginable, and there are even two-tone designs.

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                  Order here or contact 0917-528-2056 through Viber.

                  19. Basic Movement

                  Digital marketplace Basic Movement is selling face masks from PROUDRACE, ḢA.MÜ, Raxenne Maniquiz, Vina Romero, and Randolf Clothing, under an initiative titled “Masks for Masks.” Basic Movement’s commission fees from the sales go to donating five N95 masks to frontliners. 

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                  Order here.

                  20. ZOO

                    Posh and feminine fashion brand ZOO adds its flair to face masks through fresh colors inspired by spring and rendered in silk. 

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                    Order here.

                    21. Kamiseta 

                    Kamiseta's "Safety Meets Style" collection includes wrap dresses and matching sets made with water-resistant fabric that come in a bevy of wearable colors like tan, navy blue, pink, and gray. 

                    Available online. 

                    22. Penshoppe 

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                    Local fashion retailer Penshoppe is making face masks and shields accessible and affordable. The face masks feature a stretchy fabric to avoid readjustments, while the face shields can be detached from the bucket hat.  

                    Available online. 

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