LOCAL STREETWEAR SERIES: Rise of Brutality
There is no denying that streetwear is the dominant form of style culture here in the Philippines, and perhaps no one understands this better than the minds behind Rise Of Brutality, a local street brand that is known for its dark, cool, and edgy t-shirt designs. In a country where there's always a desire to earn a better living, it is common for Filipinos to become self-developed entrepreneurs to keep up with the game. The same holds true for Rise of Brutality owner, Psyche Calypso, who once worked as a reseller of a Cebu-based brand in Manila.
When I asked him how he started his business, he smiles and reminisces the early days of his brand.
"Nagsimula ako way back mga 2010 kasi matunog yung clothing sa Cebu. Nagreresell ako dito sa Manila. Yung mga shirts from Cebu, ako yung parang reseller dito, ako yung nagdidistribute
sa Manila. Mga higit 1 year na ako noon. Bigla ako nagkaroon ng idea, why not ako gumawa so mas magkaroon ako ng pangalan, mas maging okay yung income, mas malaki yung kita, ganun."
But while most people usually come up with concepts before choosing a name for their brand, it was the other way around for Psyche.
"Nagsimula yan nung may yellow pad ako then nagsulat ako ng random names. Marami akong option na pinagpilian, then biglang parang ang ganda sa pandinig ko ng 'Rise of Brutality'. Ayun, dun nagstart yung name. Gumawa ako ng page sa Facebook tapos pakapalan na lang ng mukha. Pinapashare ko sa mga friends, ganun."
Like any other entrepreneur knows, nothing beats a great team to help you develop your business. Psyche has artists from Cebu, Bacolod, and all over the country who design the shirts for him based on his given concepts. He describes his vision to them, and then they send him drafts of their sketches, and he then gives his opinions on what to modify before coming up with the final designs for printing.
The greatest challenge, though, was during the early days of the store when Psyche asked himself, "How does one promote a new clothing brand? How does one get the word out?".
"Nagstart ako na 20 pieces lang yung shirts na pinagawa ko. Dinesign ng friend ko tapos siya yung tumulong sakin noon. Nagkaroon ako ng parang break dahil na-sponsoran ko yung band na Giniling Festival. Nasama ang shirt ko sa music video nila. Doon natuloy-tuloy then after noon naging active ako sa mga events, sa mga gigs sa may Q.C. so nagdadala ako ng mga products tapos nasasama sa mga poster ng events. Malaking bagay yun for promotions eh."
The hardwork that has been put into creating and developing Rise of Brutality really makes it an independent streetwear brand. However, although business has been going well, Psyche isn't becoming complacent. Instead, he is always striving for improvement. When asked if he was content with where the brand is now, he says, "Ayoko sabihin na okay na eh kasi feeling ko hindi pa okay. Ayoko pa isipin na okay na talaga eh. Parang dati parin eh. Parang kakastart ko lang."
His target market focuses on bands, both local and international. The underlying reason for this is because of the brand's concept. Psyche says, "Dark yung Rise of Brutality eh. So hindi puwedeng pang masa."
Streetwear is a popular choice among Filipinos because it is both fashionable and comfortable. According to Psyche, one asset of having an independent clothing brand is the uniqueness of the designs.
"Gawin natin example yung tribal designs. Ang common na kasi diba? Pag pumunta ka sa isang area puwede yung shirt na nabili mo may maging kamukha ka. Unlike yung mga independent brands katulad ng Rise of Brutality, parang limited lang yung shirts na nilalabas namin."
However, if you end up liking a specific design that has been sold out, fret not! Rise of Brutality sometimes reprints its designs depending on the customers' demands. Take a look at some of the currently available ones below: