ḢA.MÜ Showcases Minimalist to Maximalist Apparel at MaArte Fair

Manila, Philippines — The first ever physical sale of the fashion brand ḢA.MÜ was a resounding hit at the Maarte Fair 2022, held at The Peninsula Manila, from August 19 to 21. 

Photo by: Carla Cruz-Bellare

Customers were constantly flooding into ḢA.MÜ’s small space to make purchases of the brand’s brightly colored and imaginatively designed clothing. Their store focuses on oversized garments in cutting-edge styles for both sexes, making them particularly appealing to the young and the young-at-heart.

“We officially launched the brand in 2017, and we have been doing this for six years — so basically, ḢA.MÜ is a brand that works on the basis of “freedom.”

Abraham Guardian

“We believe that clothing should not have gender. Hence the pieces we design are androgynous,” Abraham Guardian, one of the owners of ḢA.MÜ, said during The Manila Journal’s interview. 

Left photo by: Willmark Jolindon

According to Guardian, they have only been selling their products through various social media platforms since their brand started in 2017 — therefore, this is the first time they have offered a physical location for their customers to go shopping in person. 

“Because of the pandemic, we were able to restructure and plan out more strategic ways to do our business. Over the course of the pandemic, we have grown, and we have decided this year we should try doing our first pop-up; and I think we chose a good platform,” Guardian said. 

“For the past three days, it has been overwhelming but really fun, and it feels really different meeting customers in person, and because of the pop-up itself, we realized that we do have customers who are willing to follow us wherever we go,” he added. 

Guardian also expressed that it warmed their hearts to know that some of their shoppers came all the way from other cities to check out their first physical space in Makati.

Before graduating from college, Guardian and his business partner Mamuro Oki were able to develop their brand through their thesis. According to Oki, they came up with the idea of establishing a clothing label that would combine Oki’s minimalist aesthetic with Guradian’s more maximalist approach to fashion design. 

Photo Courtesy: CNN/Philippines

These items now make up the entirety of their shop’s merchandise, the fashionable garb ideal for everyday wear, casual gatherings, holidays, and picture shoots. Singer-actor James Reid, actress Bela Padilla, and musician Zach Tabuldo were just a few celebrities who got to wear their fashion collections.

“We’re able to master the basic everyday fabrics, fabrics that people can easily use every day, easily wash, and easily clean, while also applying our details and brand identity to the clothing itself.” [Abraham Guardian]

     Photo by: Willmark Jolindon                                                  Photo by: Carla Cruz-Bellare

Tropik Beatnik, owned by Carla Cruz-Bellare, shared space with HA.MÜ and offered a wide selection of brightly colored accessories, including hats and necklaces that are perfect for summertime outfits.

The whimsical look of its built-in store at the fair is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The room features a fascinating upside-down bathroom design with a little sinister twist, and it is laid out like a checkerboard with different colored squares scattered over the board.

The growing brand reached a new milestone, as it was recently featured on Vogue Philippines’ issue in August. It showcased its peach dress on the Magazine’s Luzon cover, highlighting the one-of-a-kind cloudy pattern that made it a high fashion outfit suitable for any event.

ḢA.MÜ doesn’t have its physical store yet; nonetheless, the company continues to sell its wares through its official pages on both Facebook and Instagram.

ḢA.MÜ is also a member of PHX: Collective Room, which is an organization that supports emerging and student-run fashion firms. Along with ḢA.MÜ, PHX invited students and newly graduated designers to showcase and sell their work at Maarte Fair. These designers include Clio De Leon from De La Salle University, Eugene Malabad (Kill Joy) from iAcademy, and Le Ngok from SoFa Design Institute. 

The three-day MaArte at the Pen event was equally successful, gathering 94 returning Filipino brands and numerous newcomers. This annual fundraiser of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines aims to show off quality Filipino products in a trunk show that promotes the best in Philippine crafts, culture, and heritage. The proceeds will support the country’s cultural institutions, including the National Museum.

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