Sunday, August 7, 2005
The Blue Jean Junkie
Mela de Luna
MANUAL August 2005
For Ino Caluza, jeans are a staple every man should have. Like the other famous designers – Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss, Marithe Francois Girbaud. Edwin – these successful denim brands are named after their makers and for newbie designer whose earning a glimmer of authority in the jean-making business each day, success is but an arm’s throw.
“Its funny how people interchange my brand with my name. Even in the malls (Greenbelt), they always call me “Viktor, Viktor!” Initially I thought I had to separate the brand with the persona but now the opposite has been happening and I’m not really against it, I actually embrace it now. My friends tell me it’s the same thing as ‘branding’. The brand is practically a reflection of myself and people tend to associate that style with me.” “Since I started designing it has become a conscious effort for me to always wear my jeans because people always ask me what jeans I am wearing.” Starting his business not too long ago—November 2003—Ino personally goes to his clients before to measure and fitting. “I really did not mind because now its paying off.”He first sold his jeans to officemates and friends but when the glossies started featuring his denims, that’s when people took notice. “I started my line with guys in mind because as guy myself, it was easy for me to decipher what a typical guy is looking for when it comes to their jeans. And I’m a jeans addict—I have a vast collection in our old house. When I see a guy, just knowing basic information like waistline and height alone is enough to gauge what style would fit him well – if it’s a boot cut, straight-cut or relaxed.”
So what are the characteristics of a perfect pair?” For guys it is very simple – the fit has to be perfect and quality of material is important. I am not discouraging stretch material for jeans because it is really comfortable, but for some people stretch (fabric) is not flattering. Comfort is also very important. When I design jeans for women, I totally have to follow different aesthetics – women tend to go after “the look” of the jeans first before considering anything else and women’s bodies are made up of curves. So I have to consider a lot of the factors like the hip size, butt size, etc. But for the guys it has to be the fit because “we need to have enough room.:(for the clueless, a break is the crease pants make the bottom part of any trousers.)
When shopping for a pair of jeans, Ino says you have to consider two things: your height and built. For tall and skinny guys any style is acceptable. Whether it’s a straight cut, bootleg (which is the most flattering to any body type) or the skinny jeans (remember the skinny jeans can only look good on the tall and lanky types—if you’re not, don’t even try)—skinny jeans also work best with a certain attitude(think the glam rockers of the 70s). For the medium built: straight-cut jeans are the most flattering especially if you’re short. The problem most Pinoys encounter is that it’s too long (and we mean the jeans). The fit is fine at the waist but when they have it shortened (which is always the case)the proportion of the knees to the bottom is faulty already. That is why customized jeans is the way to go if you’re after perfect fit. Short and stocky dudes should go after the relaxed type. Ino recommends “The straight-cut but with a boot-cut bottom” which is popular choice from his line. Pinoy usually have a big gut and are short—that’s why it is very important to create a fit made for your body type.
Last but not the least, crotch length is very crucial. The proportion of the crotch in relation to the length of the pants will either make you look taller or shorter. “People don’t realize that when they make their jeans “low-waits” they actually cut their bodies and look way shorter,” says Caluza.
Ino’s jeans are know not only for their style and fit but also for a variety of styles. The Viktor line made popular the camouflage pants that had various permutations and the idea of the “raw” denim. Meaning the denim is not treated and has to be “broke-in” by wearer until it molds to the wearer’s shape. Currently, Ino started his Viktor VX series which is exclusive up to a certain number and styles. “The number of available pieces from the series is very limited, just fifty pieces from each. These styles can be made according to your size, but when orders reach the fifty mark, that’s the end of that.”
The beauty if having anything custom-made is that it always bears the owner’s personal touch. Whether it be a certain detail like buttons or the thread used, there is a certainty that each product has its own personality characteristics of the owner. It is a natural process that is truly a designer’s mark, one that is totally and entirely Viktor.