Before the birth of Glorious Dias, Jodinand Aguillon was almost ready to let go of his personal collection of vintage clothing... But how exactly does one get rid of trunks filled with history and memories? So being a fan of thrift shopping himself, Jodinand figured he might as well turn them into an experience. He wanted to share to others the joy and thrill he feels whenever he's on the hunt for vintage goods. Thus, Glorious Dias was born—a warm and inviting retail space for vintage shoppers and Filipiniana lovers.
Get to know more about this hidden retail gem in Makati as Jodinand tells us more about vintage shopping, all things local, and the importance of upcycling.
What is Glorious Dias? What's the concept behind the brand's name?
"The name Glorious Dias is a nod to the first Filipina to be crowned Miss Universe back in 1969—THE Gloria Diaz. Originally, I was torn between Pakipot (hard to get) and Victorious Secret, but then Glorious Dias suddenly popped [into my head] and it kinda just stuck. It’s an ever evolving celebration of our glory days and we’re always on the hunt for vintage clothing fit for a queen."
Could you tell us how you came up with the brand? Who are your founders?
"Glorious Dias was launched as part of Pineapple Lab’s retail experiment, The Hollowblock. We wanted to try new ways of utilizing our spaces during the day while creating alternative revenue streams. Retail, while risky, seemed like an option worth exploring.
"Coincidentally, I was finally ready to start letting go (slowly) of my personal collection of vintage clothing and deadstock Filipinana. Building fixtures made from salvaged wood, metal, and other repurposed items, we decided to test-drive our new retail space by highlighting locally made goods alongside an eclectic selection of world vintage and Filipinana. We wanted to create a warm, welcoming environment that wasn’t 'too cool' or overwhelmingly stocked."
Your brand promises to bring Filipino nostalgia back on the fashion scene. How do you plan on executing this through your clothes and pieces?
"Our shop is a sweet halo-halo of kitsch, nostalgia, and bonggaciousness. We try to find items that are easy to wear but we also have precious goods that are actually too delicate to wear. I fantasize about a museum dedicated to showcasing Filipinana fashion from the past to the present—maybe someday!
"By bringing these beauties out from the bauls and into the spotlight, we highlight the incredible craftmanship that goes into creating the magic of what makes Filipinana so unique. By taking things that are often seen as mundane and bringing them into the shop, we’re re-contextualizing and perhaps elevating the status of these once overlooked, discarded, sometimes even described as baduy pieces. It’s a way of rediscovering the potential in the has been.
What motivated you to pursue this venture?
"I’ve always had an affinity for vintage clothing and a fascination for old photos of Filipinos I don’t even know. I used to have a little vintage shop in Toronto. But a few years ago, I decided to close that chapter to focus on settling back into the Philippines. When I moved back to Manila, I swore I’d never jump back into the vintage world again. Now here we are. Oops!
"I supposed once you’ve been bit by the vintage bug (or perhaps the entrepreneurial bug), it’s always gonna be a part of you. There’s a certain kilig feeling of coming across objects from the past as well as meeting other friendly folks who share the same interest. There’s a lot of exciting things happening in Poblacion and there’s still plenty of room for more independent retail options. It’s been another great way of welcoming the neighborhood into our space."
Could you walk us through the process? Who curates your pieces?
"I handpick each item, gravitating towards certain materials, patterns or color stories. We sometimes purchase from locals who bring in bundles of clothing for us to pick through. Or I’ll get invited over to someone’s house to look through their tita’s fabulous closet. Thrifting is definitely a hobby of mine but it's certainly not the most efficient way to hunt down the good goods. Private sellers, collectors, people cleaning out homes and other vintage shops liquidating inventory are also ways we’ve been able to find unique inventory.
"We take note of imperfections like holes, stains, missing buttons, and broken zippers. Depending on the piece, one can see beyond these slight 'flaws'. When it comes to vintage, it’s important to embrace perfect imperfections. Each piece is lovingly rescued and given a second chance. Some items are machine-washed while others are washed by hand. From there, we’re always re-merchandising the shop. It feels like we’re constantly balancing chaos and harmony while arranging a backdrop for a snapshot or framing a still life. It’s a lot of work but treasure hunting is my favorite part of the process."
Do you also restore vintage things before putting them up on the racks?
"Some items [we have], we’ve made slight modifications to or simple repairs. But for the most part, the items on the rack are left as is, often a 10/10. Eventually, we’d love to expand to reworked vintage."
What's the importance of recirculating clothes?
"My mother was a big fan of buying used items with personality. She collected everything from elephant figurines, to jewelery, and fun hats. When it comes to recirculating items, it’s definitely part of my every day. From the clothes I wear to the furniture in my home to the fixtures we build for the shop. We live in a world of overproduction and overconsumption and a lot of it is not only terrible for the environment but also just really ugly. Recirculating items is relevant, sustainable, and absolutely necessary."
What myths about vintage shopping would you like to debunk?
"Some people think vintage clothing is filled with ghosts and nasty smells, which isn’t entirely false. But there are proper ways get rid of that 'vintage' smell. And well, who doesn’t love a healthy fashion-exorcism every now and then?
What else can we find in your shop?
"Good goods made by sexy locals. Hand-hammered brass rings by Alaala Sala. Soy candles by Saan Saan PH and Wicked by Will. All-natural beauty products by Daniela Calumba. And more! We also have a small collection of Filipiniana reference books for you to peruse through. You can also get your hair done by Pineapple Lab’s Artist in Residence Leslie Ferer Espinosa, Co-Founder of Burlesque PH."
What sets Glorious Dias apart from other thrift shops in the metro?
"A portion of each sale at Glorious Dias goes towards the sustainability of our Creative Hub, Pineapple Lab, which allows free programming and more opportunities for community engagement. What was supposed to be a week-long pop-up quickly grew into a glorious community of vintage purveyors, eco-conscious consumers, and just really friendly fashionable folks. It’s a feel good retail experience on so many levels."
Glorious Dias is located at Pineapple Lab in Makati. They're open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 n.n. to 6 p.m.
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