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Man of the Hour: AJ Dee

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Interviewed by Kolleen Feria
Photography by Jonas Tamayo and Andrei Suleik

If you follow celebrity-fashion blogger, AJ Dee, you’ve probably already seen several of his Instagram posts from Norway. It’s almost been half a month since AJ left the Philippines to be with his family, but right before he flew across the continent, we caught up with The Filo Dapper for a quick chat.

Are you excited?
I’m still tired, actually. I’m about to attend a charity event today, and I haven’t even finished packing. It’s bittersweet because I’m leaving everything behind here but I also feel like I’m finally going home to my family.

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What are your plans for The Filo Dapper when you get to Norway?
My goal is to get big in Europe. The reason I started my blog is because I knew I was going to migrate to Norway, and I was looking for something that could replace acting. It was a blessing in disguise because I never would have thought I could be a successful blogger had I not planned on moving.

I had many apprehensions before I started blogging—I knew I wasn’t good at writing, I didn’t know much about photography, but one day I decided to just go for it. Now that I’m fairly established as a blogger, I want to use what I learned here in the Philippines to build The Filo Dapper up again, but this time, in Europe.

What’s the most valuable take away from your time in the Philippines?
To be true to myself. It’s hard to create something you’re not really interested in. In a larger scale, I want to continue what I’m doing here with a different environment and a different audience, and I think my style will translate well in Europe.

What would you say The Filo Dapper’s impact was to local men’s fashion?
I believe The Filo Dapper showed many Filipino men that it’s still possible to wear suits despite our climate, and it gave men an alternative to streetwear. It brought back the idea of looking dapper, and that well-tailored clothing doesn’t need to be stiff or old fashioned.

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But just as you said, many are still sceptical about suits just because it can get so hot here. How would you advise men to be dapper without wearing a suit?
The idea of dapper is looking sharp and neat, so it isn’t a suit per se that makes a man dapper. You can wear jeans and a clean white shirt, and exude dapper. It’s all about how you carry yourself, and the attention you put to details such as fit, or even scent.

Any parting words?
Don’t be afraid to try doing something out of your comfort zone. It’s cheesy, but it works. I was hesitant before starting my blog, but I went for it anyway. You will only know your capabilities once you’ve put yourself out there.

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Primero

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Felipe and Sons x The Filo Dapper present:

Primero

A first for both our brands.
We collaborate on a suit collection with both classics elements, and playful ones.
We’re not ones to shy away from color or some patterns here and there, but we understand, of course,
everything has to be wearable no matter the season.

Be dapper.
#ReviveManilaSwagger

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The Primero Collection launches for public on Saturday, 28 May 2016 in Felipe and Sons stores.


Photography by: Chio Gonzalez
Assisted by: Chissai Bautista and Jobert Eugenio
Art Director: Jonas Tamayo and Nikki Dy
Models: AJ Dee and Brent Javier
Hair & Make-up by: Leslie Espinosa
Styling by: Kolleen Feria and AJ Dee

The Basics Collection

Introducing Felipe and Sons’s first ever shirt collection. It’s everything a man’s closet should be–straight to the point, fool-proof, and dapper. Always dapper. We tailor according to your measurements, so you get that perfect fit every time.

We’ve got your wardrobe covered.

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The Basics Collection will be available in both Makati and Ortigas branches on Friday, 20 May 2016.


Photography by Cyrus Panganiban (Dark Horse Studio)
Hair and Make Up by Leslie Espinosa
Models: Kenn Bosch and Jeremy Blake

 

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Man of the Hour: Andrei Suleik

Interview by Kolleen Feria
Photography by Jonas Tamayo

Aside from elevating the local indie scene, Purveyr and Sakaling Hindi Makarating have something else–well, someone–in common: rising photographer, Andrei Suleik. For someone used to being behind the lens, Andrei seems just as comfortable being in front of it.

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What’s a day in your life like?
I wake up, take a shower, and then check my schedule. Minsan kasi nakakalimutan ko may shoot pala ako. I also check editorials everyday for inspiration, and then I spend the rest of the day with people in shoots or just hanging out. I love people. My Instagram is full of them–a good mix of close friends and those I just see in the Explore tab of Instagram.

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You randomly look for people to shoot on Instagram’s Explore? How does that work?
I send them a direct message first and establish a friendship. It’s weird if I just ask them right away if I can shoot them. I only get to do that in real life. Occasionally, I’ll be people watching and when I see someone who looks interesting, I’ll ask them if I can take their picture. Most say yes. I feel like it’s because I look young and harmless.

What makes a person look interesting to you?
When a person wears clothes together differently or if it’s a look I haven’t seen before. These are the kinds of pictures I like sharing with others on @visualbasick, a platform I created because I feel like there are many of those who want to experiment and try things out but are unsure. They’re just waiting for someone else to try it first.

What about you? Is there a look you’d like to try?
I’d love to mix up a suit with a bomber jacket or maybe a windbreaker. Perhaps in the rainier months.

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What’s your personal style like?
I feel like all artists have a certain look. ‘Yung di maarte. Kailangan comfortable kami lagi eh. We have shoots that often last the entire day. For me, it’s the shoes. Mine are always dirty, and I like them that way because when shoes are too clean, they attract too much attention. I don’t like standing out, but I also don’t want to look like everyone else. Nothing too trendy. Ayoko lang manggaya, pero alam ko rin naman lahat may pinanggalingan. I look a bit out of date, like Marty McFly.

Do you achieve that look consciously?
Nah, I don’t intend for it. I don’t even look at the mirror when I get dressed! I just wear whatever I think looks nice. Sometimes, I’ll see myself in pictures, and I’ll realize, ay hindi pala maganda! But it’s okay. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, then there’s always next time.

How does your personal style translate into your photography?
I always try to capture a person’s best when I take a portrait. It’s about the subject. Kung may Andrei man dun sa picture, hindi ko pa alam. Right now, I’m just striving to explore more, and when the time comes, get discovered.

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