If you’ve checked out ZeroThreeTwo’s the Assembly recently, there are two new designs being featured: the Be Brave and This City. Not only do they look awesome, but they also make us proud to be Cebuano! We scored an interview with the man behind these designs, Doyle See. Get to know more about this graphic designer who also owns a clothing line you may be familiar with, Killapinas.
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Doyle: I currently work as a team leader for a web development company here in Cebu and as most of you guys know, I do graphic design projects on the side as well. I got into the apparel industry because I’ve always found great satisfaction in seeing my digital works in an actual physical print, much more being able to wear it.
032: What is the story of how Killapinas came to be? What’s the inspiration behind its unique style? What sets it apart from the other clothing lines?
Doyle: I started making apparel designs around 2007 so my band could produce merch. This led me to work for another local clothing company and eventually this pushed me to start Killapinas. The brand is mostly inspired by 80’s to 90’s horror movies, 90’s superhero comics and a lot of blood splatters!
We’re definitely different from other brands because we always try to be a counter-trend/anti-trend brand. Also, most of our designs are simpler and more toned down especially in terms of color.
032: Your latest release features a pair of shorts and a basketball jersey. It’s certainly different from previous releases. Could it be a sign that Killapinas will be going into other types of apparel in the future and not just shirts?
Doyle: The basketball jersey isn’t really something new with the brand. We already released one last summer. I’m thinking of keeping that up and making it sort of a tradition. When I started Killapinas, I already had some ideas in mind that didn’t involve t-shirts because I didn’t want my brand to be just some “t-shirt company.” I’d like to think that we’ve successfully pulled it off by releasing a polo shirt back in 2010 along with the recent basketball jerseys and shorts. We still have a lot of other stuff to release that aren’t just t-shirts.
032: Checking out the Killapinas Lookbook, you always have interesting locations for your photo shoots. Deserted parking lots and urban jungles! Can you tell us a little bit more about this intriguing tidbit?
Doyle: This brand isn’t just about being brutal and evil, but it can also be fun. I want people to enjoy looking at the product shots. Most of the locations we’ve used are actually just within the area I work. We’ve even used the same locations on a couple of different shoots, but we manage to make it look different. The photographers and models that I work with are close friends of mine which makes the job easier and fun.
032: It’s sort of an old topic, but I heard that one of your designs was ripped off by another clothing line – with a lot of questionable similarities. What do you have to say about those who rip off and imitate original designs?
Doyle: If they wanna come in second, follow me.
032: In previous releases, you’ve set most of your designs using simple black and white tones. However, in the more recent ones, you’ve introduced much more color. Do you feel that the introduction of color has widened the creative boundaries in your designs?
Doyle: In a way, it has opened a lot of new possibilities. I can play with new styles, but still continue with the same direction that I want Killapinas to follow. Although I’ve still maintained the distinctive style of having minimal colors, I’ve learned that I can actually use other colors and still stick to the essence of the brand.
032: You’ve worked with ZeroThreeTwo on the latest shirt designs being displayed right now on The Assembly. Tell us a bit more behind the inspiration and backstory of the designs.
Doyle: Working with ZeroThreeTwo was a breath of fresh air for me. People have been so used to seeing me work on gritty designs. No one really noticed that I can do different stuff with my style. The guys provided me with clear directions on how they wanted the feel and message of the designs to come out. I think I came up with stuff that are honestly my new favorites from the works that I’ve done. They wanted a couple of text-based designs, but I thought I would do one that would instantly convey a very Cebuano/Filipino feel. I came up with a lot of possible elements, but I decided to settle with the rooster being that a lot of us seem to be fond of cock fighting and it isn’t an overused subject. I then saw the “be human, be brave” line from their website which put everything to place.
032: With The Assembly and Zalora Philippines opening doors for easier online shopping – free shipping, multiple product views and details, and easier payment terms, do you think this is the future for clothing lines to sell their wares? Will Killapinas follow suit on displaying merchandise on these online sites?
Doyle: We are actually part of Zalora, but haven’t put up stuff yet as we’re working on some internal details, but expect us to appear on their site soon. I think this has long been the trend for independent clothing brands as it is one of the best ways to promote and sell our merch not just within the area, but outside Cebu and the Philippines as well. A lot of brands have managed to create online shopping systems of their own, but only a few have established ones that feel and function as legit as the way Zalora and The Assembly have done it.
I’ve actually long been thinking of creating a legit e-Commerce system within our site, being a web developer myself, but I honestly have been so busy (and lazy haha) that I haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet so I’m currently using one that most of my demographic is used to.
032: Would you agree that one of the major advantages an independent clothing line has is when it releases a new design, it offers the premise of limited quantity and uniqueness? Would you ever consider going into mass production with some of your designs for more conventional brands?
Doyle: I would like to think of it as an advantage, although some people don’t get the “limited” essence that independent brands have to offer. Also, sometimes we have this misconception that being independent and being DIY are the same. Being an independent company means that we only produce a fair number of quantity which means that production costs are actually higher thus conclusively stating that our prices tend to also be a bit higher sometimes. Being DIY means that you do most if not all of the production by yourselves.
Doyle: Yes, I play guitars with my metalcore band, Guilttoflow. I also session with a few band friends of mine. With regards to my musical inspiration, I can pretty much sum it up to 4 bands: Eraserheads, MxPx, Deftones and Poison The Well. I listen to a lot of different music and genres, but those groups were the most influential to me when I was growing up.
032: Where can we see more of Doyle See and Killapinas? Please share with us your online portfolio and contact details for those who are interested in your designs. Also, where can we buy official Killapinas merchandise?
Doyle: My online portfolio is at www.doylesee.tk. For Killapinas, we have our website up at www.killapinas.tk. If you want to get in touch, you can e-mail me at email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com. You can also follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/killapinasthreadsph; Twitter at www.twitter.com/oohdoyle and www.twitter.com/killapinas.
032: Last, but not the least, are there any shout-outs you’d like to make before we end?
Doyle: I’d like to thank my awesome photographers, Rafael Gandionco and Jaypee Artacho; my models, Zuy Naboya, Gbox Deparine and Tristan Gadrinab! I’d also like to thank everyone who has supported Killapinas through the years, you guys have all been genuinely awesome! And thank you to everyone who took time to read this interview and to Michael Brian Tiña for giving me this opportunity.