It was during the era of No Doubt Gwen Stefani and peculiar music videos by The Chemical Brothers when RJ fell in love with bold and loud fashion. Today, it’s the unspoken nostalgia that lets us see beauty in the weird, unconventional style of his fashion label Randolf. And this is precisely what RJ aims for: to be able to relate to people through clothes.
Despite the big achievements and even bigger dreams, he remains warm and engaging. Working towards the goal of someday putting up a company, RJ includes persons with disabilities in his thoughts. He wants to provide living and a welcoming roof to those often stripped off the opportunity to work.
I won’t lie–it was quite surprising to hear something so pure and community-driven from someone in the competitive fashion industry. Perhaps it’s precisely the kind heart in him that inevitably makes his clothes so cathartic. What’s a child got that RJ retained? Passion and compassion. RJ, with a knack for the reminiscently eccentric teaches us to embrace individuality, observe mindfulness, and have a shit ton of fun.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents and MTV.
What’s your favorite meme?
“Crying Kim,” only ’cause it helped me earn money.
How would you describe Randolf?
Basically, Randolf is about poking fun at pop culture. I find it funny na pop culture can get so obsessive, especially with social media. I developed Randolf to make fun of what’s happening.
What’s your advice to young creatives who also want to pursue fashion?
Just relax. ’Yun din ’yung problem ko before, masyado akong focused to create, create, create. When I finally chose to let it go, to relax and always look back on the reasons why I wanted initially to start this—ideas will eventually come. Don’t rush into it.
Always know your brand. Especially now that there are a lot of brands, young designers, and social media—parang nakita mo na lahat. So ’yung challenge is your branding. You should know how to position your brand, and you should know what your brand is talking about.
What can we look forward to in the following year?
I’m working on my spring/summer collection 2019. More prints. I don’t want that to end. Basically, more skin.
What’s your biggest goal? How and when do you know you’ve succeeded?
Of course, my biggest goal is to have a physical store and to have a company. But my ultimate goal is to be able to actually employ people, provide a living, so I could support more people. I also want to work with people with disabilities like Tahanang Walang Hagdanan.
Interview by Nina Chua
Photography by Czar Kristoff
Styling by Vince Crisostomo
Hair and makeup by Zidjian Floro and Raffy So
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This story was originally published in our 4th Anniversary issue and has been edited for web. The digital copy of Scout’s 32nd issue is accessible here.