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Young Talents 2017: RJ Santos

Young Talents 2017: RJ Santos

Known for:
The loose shirts with patches from his own label Randolf Clothing

Right now, I’m… “Sleepy. I just finished a pop-up event where I sold stickers I had drawn three years ago, and I’m working on a new pop-inspired collection for next year. I’m also preparing for a class for next semester, as I will be teaching apparel design in University of the Philippines. In between those, I watch a lot of Mariah Carey concerts and music videos.”

As a kid, I was… “Often scolded. We didn’t have uniforms in school so I was able to experiment with my style, but I would always be called out for my weird clothes. When I was in grade three, I wore a yellow shirt with a pocket in the back to class.”

My first love was… “MTV. I watched music videos by boy bands, girl groups, [‘90s alternative pop acts like] Natalie Imbruglia, Bic Runga Ray, No Doubt, and more, and took notice of what they were wearing. Nineties music videos, even when they were selling sex, did it in an artistic way; they had a concept behind them.”

Before, I had thought of becoming… “A painter, a pilot, or a photographer. I had a high school classmate who gave me a big pile of magazines — i-D, Dazed and Confused — for photography. I took note of the fashion I saw in their pages, and they reminded me of the ‘90s music videos I liked to watch. That was how my focus shifted from photography to fashion.”

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My first fashion crush is… “A guy in ad campaign from 2005 to 2006. He was wearing a shirt with the armholes cut super low, and he was facing away from a big blue sky. I love everything about it — from the composition to the clothes— and I still go back to that image once in a while.”

My favorite clothing items are…“Button-down shirts, though I rarely wear them. I can use prints or put patches on them, they’re so easy to rework. They’re easy to take off, too.”

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