Going to the Thank You PH gift shop opening was like witnessing the meeting of old friends. The crowd spilled onto the front of the store, hazy bright lights and live music adding to the familiar ambiance of an intimate gig–except there were no beer bottles in sight, just a lively crowd vibing to the band’s set.
I met Alden Mallo of Thank You PH just as he was coming back after introducing the next act in their lineup. After shaking my hand, he offered us food from a neighboring eatery wittily called, “Welcome Diner.” I could immediately tell this was going to be a pleasant interview.
Aside from immediately being offered food (an instant trust-grabber in my book) and the brand being quite literally named after the idea of staying grateful, Alden struck me as the kind of person who would be easy to get along with. Then we entered the store.
The clothes in Thank You PH are tied together by a straightforward vision-mission very visibly printed on their designs: Good vibes, positivity and an appreciation for the creative grind. Only a limited number of local brands manage to mount their own flagship store, let alone independently without being carried by an international entity. Alden explains, “Yung goal na gusto ko makita ng mga tao na kahit taga-probinsya kami yung standards namin…kaya makipagsabayan sa mga taga-Manila.”
Aside from local artists in Bulacan, Alden shares that Thank You PH aims to bring together other local art communities based in other regions. In fact, they have hosted four exhibits featuring their shirts painted over by artists from Cebu, Davao, Manila and Bulacan. More than clothes, the brand cultivates streetwear so closely tied to the art scene that it’s part of a culture.
“Yung maliit na community naging ganito,” he points to the large crowd outside.
The whole concept of Thank You PH began in 2018. Alden shares how creating his own brand finally allowed him to create and direct designs that reflect his values. Streetwear is often associated with violence and profanity, so Alden acknowledges the brand’s unique goal and, along with it, the difficulty to be taken seriously. “Nafifeed utak ko na gawin yung nasa damit…nung nagkaanak ako narealize ko na kapag lumaki na anak ko gugustuhin ko ba na ito susuotin niya?”
When asked about his favorite designs, Alden chose the ones based on bedtime stories he told his daughter. “Buti na lang nagkaroon ako ng Thank You kasi lumawak pananaw ko,” he shares.
As for the brand’s key visual, Nash Pangilinan from CHEF ZOMBIE interpreted the shop’s logo which, quite aptly, represents his daughter.
“Kaya ang laging kwento ko sa mga tao, mga life lessons. Para sakin, nakabase ang Thank You sa emosyon.” And if we’re talking about giving back to the community, what better way to express gratitude than making a store?
Event photos by Tots De Leon