Favorite denim brand stirs Filipinos’ stonewashed memories of the ‘90s | Inquirer Business

Favorite denim brand stirs Filipinos’ stonewashed memories of the ‘90s

By: - Business Features Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 05:02 AM January 17, 2020

Celebrities Kaila Estrada and Bret Jackson celebrate Girbaud’s

In the world of fashion, trends have a short shelf life. What is coveted one season is trashed in the next, thus putting constant pressure on brands and designers to come up with something new to please their finicky clientele.

But one staple has defied trends and not gone out of style: denim, that practical yet fashionable fabric that occupies space in virtually all closets around the world.


This spells good news for Marithe + Francois Girbaud, which built its fashion house around the versatility and practicality of denim and is poised to have a renaissance in the Philippines, where it recently marked its 25th anniversary with a brand relaunch and reintroduction to the Filipino market.Retail Dynamics pursued the rights to revive Girbaud in Manila as it felt that there was residual love for the brand that can be tapped to make it again top of mind of the market when it comes to denim.

Girbaud was at the height of its popularity in the Philippines in the 1990s and Retail Dynamics is confident it can bring back those glory days for the brand.


“Girbaud is an iconic brand and a lot of denim brands would always refer to Girbaud. Denim is their expertise. It is known especially for its washes. It was, for instance, the first to introduce the stonewash. It is always creating something different,” says Obee Ham, Retail Dynamics’ Business Development Head.

The timing of its reintroduction to the Filipino market, which has seen the entry of more foreign brands as it grew economically, may be in Girbaud’s favor as there is renewed interest in anything 90s—from the music to design and fashion. There is also a preference by new customers such as the millennials and the Gen Zs for the “street” look, of which denim is a critical component.

To capture their imagination, new collections of Marithe + Francois Girbaud will be brought in, to appeal to both the core and loyal customers and the younger potential buyers who may be more partial to casuals, sweaters, shirts and jackets in different cuts and color combinations that are bolder and more cutting edge.

Aside from the main denim line, which accounts for 20-30 percent of annual sales, Girbaud will likewise beef up and refresh its accessories line, including bags and wallets, that account for about half of the sales and the apparel line that makes up the balance.

To complement the relaunch of the brand, Retail Dynamics is also investing in the renovation of its branches, which when completed will have a more industrial modern look to appeal to all markets.Inspired by arts, music and fashion, Girbaud will sport a “sleek, young and modern vibe” that it hopes will not just appeal to nostalgic longtime fans, but also to Gen Zers who favor trendy streetwear.

Brand updates started rolling out in 2019 and the plan is by 2020, all Girbaud stores in the country will sport the updated look, combined with up-to-date collections inspired by the streetwear trend that remains popular among the younger crowd, while retaining the denim-centric DNA of Girbaud.“Girbaud has been in the Philippines for 25 years now and we would like to celebrate this milestone by introducing a new look,” says Ham. “The brand has always been known to be innovative and we made sure that it will be carried over to this exciting new phase,” Ham says.

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