Take it from the brand’s newest collection ‘Future Classics.’
Royalty has come of age. If this local streetwear brand were a real-life character, according to its founders, it’d be the comeback kid with rebellious origins, mellowed down yet clearly a product of the mischievous antics from its teenage years. Stepping away from the mild goth and Japanese counterculture look that defined their brand back in 2013, Royalty has now overhauled their image, unveiling their first collection last Sept. 9.
In ‘Future Classics,’ there’s little of that angsty, Hypebeast-esque style that once drew tribes to their previous lines. Basics dominate the latest collection — perfectly chill and perfectly sober, until you see their logo written backwards — and pockets laid out weirdly upside down.
“The inspiration for ‘Future Classics’ is going back to basics but not looking too basic,” says Carlos Naguit who helms the brand with founder Doyle Tamargo. “It’s like a fresh grad trying to experiment with different clothes, to explore different things. It’s like low-key rebellious.”
In this collection, striped tees with “Royalty” written in reverse are cheekily offering themselves up as uniforms for millennials taking mirror selfies. Inverted pockets on colored shirts and pants with mismatched ends lend just the right amount of weirdness to a dress code-friendly ensemble. Then there’s the founders’ favorite Flight Hoodie. “Inspiration namin, airports where you want to wear comfy clothes,” says Naguit. Thus the flip-able jacket with the hoodie which can be worn in front, there to cover your face on long flights, or days when you’re feeling anti-social.
Far from being a cult brand courting a small tribe of streetwear aficionados, Royalty now pegs itself as “a lifestyle brand anyone can wear,” says Naguit. Royalty then collaborated with four prominent local photographers for their lookbook, to show how quality and adaptability are the clothes’ most definitive characteristics.
Ralph Mendoza captures the colorful collection’s youthful mood in harsh flash, while Joseph Pascual shoots Armi Millare in somber black-and-white, donning tees comfortable enough for an evening in. Cenon Norial shoots Mav Bernardo and himself (aka the Paperboiz) with fun, experimental poses in a gallery, bringing out the collection’s playful spirit. Art photographer Czar Kristoff, meanwhile, shoots another day at the barbershop, with the discreet upside-down pocket uncannily breaking the monotony.
Royalty’s ‘Future Classics’ is, as Tamargo and Naguit put it, “a collection that belongs to anyone.” It’s no longer only for a small cool-kid cult, but for basically anyone who favors comfort and who has a taste for some quiet, low-key rebellion in their lives.