Do Over

VI KT OR, THE CUS­TOM DENIM LINE, gets a top-to-bot­tom over­haul, from la­belto COLORTODESIGN.

Esquire (Philippines) - - STYLE - BY CLIF­FORD OLAN­DAY PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY JILSON TIU

You can say it all started with the logo. Af­ter 14 years, de­signer Ino Caluza wanted to re­design the la­bel of his pre­mium denim brand Vik­tor. And it took a while— about a year, ac­tu­ally—from the time he broached the sub­ject to his friend, Rick Gin­dap of the cre­ative stu­dio De­sign for To­mor­row, to fi­nally pro­duc­ing the stitched (not printed) la­bels in Hong Kong. The rec­tan­gu­lar tag now sports a qui­eter all-caps style: white let­ters on a field of tinted blue, which was in­spired by the fa­mous blue that artist Yves Klein in­vented. Ino mixed his orig­i­nal color, too.

But be­fore that, there was a ver­sion, the fifth it­er­a­tion, that the denim master ap­proved, but then quickly changed his mind about. “It was not me be­cause it was too edgy, and I’m not edgy,” the de­signer says. Vik­tor, af­ter all, makes inim­itable cus­tom cre­ations, deep-dyed in indigo and cut dan­ger­ously thin, that can only be de­scribed as slinky or sexy, not funky or weird. Had that zippy logo been pre­sented years ago, he would have been all over it, but right now Ino is think­ing about brand eq­uity. “I want

peo­ple to know that the kind of lux­ury that we of­fer is not loud,” he says.

Ino points to the flow­ers, but­ter­flies, and let­ters on back pock­ets, flour­ishes that some clients in­sisted on and the de­signer agreed upon be­cause he was run­ning a busi­ness. He doesn’t want to do that any­more. Vik­tor has grown up, and its de­signer is fo­cus­ing on the crafts­man­ship, per­son­al­iza­tion, and ex­clu­siv­ity that earned the lo­cal com­pany a spot in the clos­ets of busi­ness­men, politi­cians, ac­tors, and the se­cretly rich.

What does this mean? A lot of prun­ing. The brand’s over 40 jean de­signs have been cut down to just five, but that’s the five best from the Vik­tor Orig­i­nal series. Ino wants you to sub­scribe to a more so­phis­ti­cated ap­proach to dress­ing: that a few solid pieces rather than a plethora of styles is bet­ter. Even if you stick to just one of the five styles, with dif­fer­ent fab­rics and sil­hou­ettes, he prom­ises you will look good.

The up­dated look now in­cludes full and fluid shapes with an em­pha­sis on con­trast­ing pro­por­tions. A re­cent trip to Paris was the in­spi­ra­tion. There were Mus­lim men wear­ing over­sized but short jack­ets with tra­di­tional long robes. There were pea­cocks wear­ing loose parkas with su­per skinny jeans plus ab­bre­vi­ated skirts. The con­trast—puffy jack­ets push­ing out fluid robes—was, as he puts it, so beau­ti­ful.

To cre­ate the look, the de­signer is bring­ing back jack­ets, mak­ing the re­newed Vik­tor a jean and jacket op­er­a­tion. “Be­fore they were fit­ted and sharp. Now, it slopes down,” he de­scribes.

One more thing: Fans of dis­con­tin­ued jeans, from the Pre­mium or

Jacket, shirt, jeans by Vik­tor, Green­belt 5; Papa Nui cap at Reg­i­ment, Le­gaspi Street, Makati; eye­glasses by Ray-Ban, Green­belt 5

Jacket, T-shirt, jeans by Vik­tor, Green­belt 5; sun­glasses by Ray-Ban, Green­belt 5; shoes by Dr. Martens, Glo­ri­etta 2

COLOR THE­ORY A RE­FRESHED LOGO AN­CHORS THE VIK­TOR RE­BRAND. THAT NEW BLUE, IN­SPIRED BY THE ICONIC YVES KLEIN COLOR, WAS MIXED BY THE DE­SIGNER HIM­SELF .

REBEL YELL JACK­ETS ARE BACK, BUT THIS TIME, THEY’RE CUT ROOMY AND SHORT. PAIR WITH SLIM JEANS TO CRE­ATE CON­TRAST.

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