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Is an OFF-WHITE store coming to Manila?

Yesterday, upscale boutique UNIVERS shared some Instagram stories:

There are two things to infer from these three Instagram story posts: 1) They’re looking for interior architects for a project, or 2) OFF-WHITE is coming to Manila.

Think it’s a reach? Imagine this:

You enter the store, and you see birch trees and mulch dotting the space. You hear the soothing sounds of birds chirping. The latest OFF-WHITE collab is right in front of you. You don’t care to think whether you can afford it now or not; you just feel the feeling of relief to finally cop something for retail. What a concept. The idea of having one of the biggest fashion brands setting up a physical store here is earth-shattering. Think Comme Des Garçons setting up in Rockwell circa 2012).

If you think that’s too much of a reach, consider the following:

  1. OFF-WHITE founder Virgil Abloh has been disrupting the fashion industry by leading the charge of the blurring the lines between streetwear and and the work of many designer houses.
  2. Streetwear culture in the Philippines is having a moment. Many are familiar with international brands, and more than that, they have the cash to afford it. Local brands are also stepping their game up.
  3. There’s a lot of confusion regarding the roots of what influences the way people dress right now (calling you out Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho) but the interest in this wave of fashion is rooted in streetwear, which Virgil Abloh directly influences.

Will Virgil Abloh school the big television networks about streetwear? Probably not. Will an OFF-WHITE store cement Manila’s place as a global streetwear hub? Maybe. Is an OFF-WHITE store in Manila too good to be true? Maybe not.

The thing is, we may be wrong. But what if we weren’t? You heard it first here. We’re calling it: UNIVERS is bringing OFF-White to Manila.


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