Truly, your sneakers will be sad without the accompanying threads to match them. The past few years, we've been taught to dress up from the feet up. Ranging from the loud and gaudy to the subdued and grown up, Don't Blame The Kids have been at it since 2012, supplying us with an alternative to all the mass produced apparel, ranging from wearables fit for any sneaker line you're crazy with. Trends come and go but the kids will be all right! Get to know more about them, our featured Shoephorics for the month of November!
Introduce the DBTK team and specify your member roles...
Don't Blame the Kids Apparel Co. is mainly composed of owners brothers Emil “Kids” Javier and Vince “Kids” Javier. We are the ones who conceptualize the designs of each products being released. In addition, we are also the ones that manage all marketing, operations and financials of the brand.
As of now, we currently have one full time personnel and one active part timer that help us build the brand. We also have friends who used to work with us part time, that from time to time volunteer in helping us out.
Why "Don't Blame the Kids"? Let us in on what influenced your name.
It took us time to really finalize the name for our brand. We were thinking of names such as “Bragging Rights”, “Rich Kid”, but these were too intimidating and we knew that it will not be a good fit to the culture that we wanted to share to our market.
While we were watching one of Lil Wayne’s inspirational video on how he became successful, we were struck by his message, “I can’t blame the kids… See it’s okay for a kid to look at somebody and see something they want to be just like it. It’s only right. It’s only human nature.” From the moment that we heard that message, and considering the things that we have been experiencing in our lives, it was just right to name our brand, “Don’t Blame the Kids”.
What is the start-up story of your brand? How was it?
Before we established DBTK, we used to buy and sell different fashion apparels online as well that started 2009. But on December 2011, we realized that we needed to think long term; meaning it would be best if we ourselves would be able to build our very own brand that is also into fashion. From that time, we started brainstorming on how we are going to start the brand. We did a business plan so that we may know who, what, where and how we will cater our brand to. On February 2012, we started buying equipments and supplies for DBTK. We were full of energy when we were about to start and we thought that it was going to go smoothly. But we were wrong. We faced so many obstacles and problems along the way. We were losing money even before selling our very first product. But we did not stop and we continued with our vision. And after 3 months of hardwork, perseverance, and consistency with our work, we were ready to sell our very first product online.
What do you mean "Playin' By the Rulez"? Is it a conscous effort to break from the rebellious nature of most streetwear brands?
It can be noticed that most street wear designs and quotes are themselves rebellious. By ‘Playin’ by the Rulez’ we mean the general rules of business and the specific ones that we made up, the ones that our brand and company adhere. It also include the rules of the inner kid inside and they are vibrancy, playfulness, a hint of naughtiness but guided by reason and proper decorum and etiquette; not really rebellious but courageous and just, with a lot of common sense; a kid’s heart, both simple, with eloquent desires of a successful future and the eagerness to share wholesome designs that in themselves are adventurous and fun.
Can you give us an idea of the culture of your brand? What is your brand about?
DBTK is all about satisfying the fashion desires of the kid inside all of us. Whether you are four or a hundred and four, there is that kid inside you that shouts bright colors, cool designs and apt quotes that we would like to show. DBTK offers such fashion statements that satisfy that specific kid inside us.
Influences... Where do you get your design inspiration from? Music? Brands?
The streets and the people walking the streets. We always have fun observing people and talking to them to know their preferences. This gives us the ideas and inspiration for the designs that we would like to make and release.
For music, we get inspiration from Hip Hop culture. From the likes of Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar & Jay Z.
For brands, we have always been a fan of The Hundreds, Johnny Cupcakes, Staple, Benny Gold, The Legends League, Supreme and a whole lot more. We continue to love their brand not just because of their unique design but the passion that they give to their brand and share it to its consumers.
What's your point of view of the sneaker and street culture in the Philippines. Where's the trend leading?
The sneaker game here in the Philippines has been growing for the past 3-4 years and it’s amazing how a lot of people here give their all for the love of it.
As for street culture here in the country, we can say that it is steadily growing. As for DBTK, we are glad to see that the people who have been supporting the brand from day one are still by our side. They continue to show their love and passion for the brand. They are more than willing to share their thoughts on how we can improve as a brand. DBTK wants the locals to recognize all local street wear just as how other countries support their own. We want local street wear brands to be as big as those in other countries. For example, we see events such as Agenda that has always been successful in street wear events.
What is your most successful avenue for marketing DBTK?
We started out as an online business. And that’s how we met our loyal customers and friends. We can say that thru online, we were able to build a strong relationship with our target market. We use social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Since the day that we opened our very first store, still the ones going in the store are our online customers.
Give us some advice on starting up a clothing line.
Passion is always the key to any business. Along with passion come hard work, patience and the love to do what you are doing. Passion also invokes that inner fighter inside, the one that always tell you to stand up when you stumble and never quit.
Can you give your followers some clues about your future plans for the brand?
We always keep our future ideas in private so that people may feel the excitement on what comes next for the brand. As for our vision, we always remind ourselves to keep getting better every second we work. That’s how we conceptualize DBTK from the start. Once we start, we are going to continue until the day we die.
For DBTK, what is Shoephoric?
For DBTK, shoephoric is all about passion for kicks. We are able to relate to this because we, on the other hand have passion in what we do. That is the reason we don’t stop what we are doing because we love what we are doing. Same goes to those people who have passion not just in kicks to what ever they love doing.
Give us your Shout Outs!
First of all, we would like to give a shoutout to all the DBTK Mob. But since some people have their own viewpoint on what DBTK Mob means, we would like to explain further what we mean by it. DBTK Mob (or as many call Team DBTK) A team / mob is defined as a group consisting of members with identical ideas or agenda and acts in ways to promote said ideas or agenda. DBTK Mob is a group where members support DBTK and what it stands for: A passion for street wear that is uniquely DBTK. However, it does not end there for DBTK also stands for hard work and sacrifice, humility, camaraderie and wholesomely refined fun. Team DBTK / DBTK Mob is open to all kids who identify themselves with these characteristics. There is NO charge, NO forms, NO seniority. Everyone is a kid and the kids are all EQUAL at DBTK Mob. They are the reasons why the brand keeps on growing. With there never ending passion and support for the brand, we believe that DBTK will be able to be better in what it is doing now.
Second, we would also like to give a S/O to to HATSOCIETY (@hatsocietyph), REGAIN PHILIPPINES (@regainph) and Daniel AKA Mr. Rastaclat (@mr.rastaclat), FIN Team (@fractalindividualneeds)
Lastly, a special S/O to Jo Sia, Macon Camaisa, Kit Bulus, Noel Ng, Harley Mendoza, Carlo Sadia, BS Sian, Aaron Lim, Jamie Castaneda, Jonathan Li, Bryan Sochayseng, Jepoy Papas, Lex Perry Ignacio, Khalil Ramos, Kiko Ramos, Kobe Paras.
You may also follow us on: facebook.com/dbtkco , @dbtkco on Twitter, @dontblamethekids on IG. You may also follow our personal IG account @emilkids & @vincekids.