King of the Jungle

Considering that you are reading these words, it’s safe for me to assume that you are at least a LITTLE bit inclined towards fashion. I’m sure you have a few friends who are too - maybe that’s how you heard about our little space in the universe.

Now for the fun part: how many of your friends are fashionable? How many of them are guys? Eliminate the ones “playing for the other team”.

Got any names left? I have one for you: Leonardo Cruz.


While appearing to most as hip-hop, Leo’s fashion is self-proclaimed streetwear because he refuses to restrict himself. And it’s true – sometimes I see this guy donning the latest preppy trends of boat shoes and folded jeans, once in a while he’s wearing a mildly hipster tribal patterned shirt with a snapback. “I’ll be safe and keep myself within the streetwear umbrella,” he says.

Pinning him down may be a task. Not only does his personal style refute any labels, but his tendency toward the fashionable in general is not something he considers a defining characteristic. There may be only two exceptions to his rule: classic pieces and sneakers. Read on for the interview.


Q: “What do you think got you interested in fashion?”
A: “I consider myself a very visual person, so I am really into aesthetics. Sometimes, in fact, I consider aesthetics and external features even before i get to know a certain thing more, like cars. I wouldn't know what model it is or when it came out, but I can appreciate it's beauty. I wouldn't really call myself interested in fashion, but again i appreciate aesthetics so if it looks good, I'll wear it. Lately though I've been looking for branded finds when I shop. The whole process of appreciating aesthetics is also a big part of how I collect sneakers, but with sneakers I more or less know the history of what I buy.”

Q: “Did anyone or anything else influence your interest in fashion? People like family or friends? Or was it more of celebrities?”
A:I'd say it was more of what I saw on the internet in general. From music artists to websites... If I saw something really cool, I'd try incorporate it to my personal style. I know this is such a Hypebeast-ish answer but it is what it is.”

Q: “So could sneakers have been the gateway to your fashion interest? Are your sneakers usually the anchor of your outfit?”
A: “To be honest, yes. There are times [when] I have to match either my shirt/jacket etc. with my sneakers or my cap with my sneakers. I hardly ever not match when I'm wearing my nice shoes.”

Q: “During the shoot a lot of your pieces were vintage. Were they from your brother or your dad? Or were they vintage finds?”
A:They were vintage finds. I have some pieces from my brother and dad though, but most of what I have were dug up.”

Q: “Hiphop fashion is usually futuristic or ultra urban. Its not known to look back, unlike trends recently. Why the vintage finds?”
A: “Anything vintage, for me, are classics, and classics are timeless. I don't think you could really label thrifted or vintage as a trend, but it has been popular to more people as of late. Also, I don't really consider myself to dress "hip hop", i just take in elements from their fashion.”

Leo runs The Swap Meet, located on both Tumblr and Blogspot. His personal Tumblr, Goutsdeluxe, chronicles his diverse boyish interests. He is also aspiring to be taught how to play poker by Boo Umaly, his pusoy-dos mentor. She wrote and took photos for this feature, which was directed by Daniel Naval.


TND x The Second Shop x 11th of October x Freestyle Necklaces

Enter the new age of shopping: everyone is a click away from grabbing our generation's fashion favorites without a dent to the wallet.

The New Department brings you The Second Shop, 11th of October, and Freestyle Necklaces, our very own pioneers of the online industry. This online store collaboration is photographed by Patty Mendoza.


Print on print on print. The Second Shop never fails to bring you their own style. From their usual modern look comes a classier vibe, Lexi Gancayco and Jason Santos remind everyone that once in awhile, history deserves to repeat itself.


Pale and Pastel reveals a feminine side, but lends any sense of simplicity that cool sleekness of a different edge. Here is 11th of October's blazer collection, by twins Sam and Sarah Policios. The undying love for that smart casual look generates an undying aura of sophistication.


Dig in deep into Freestyle Necklaces fashion tribe: striking hues and a sense of abstraction. Claudine Mijares and Marvin Conanan showcase that little pieces can do big things.

Written by Mandi Garcia / Boo Umaly
Models: Bea Mantecon, Cher Lui Po, Jessica Sto. Domingo, Lizzie Lecaroz


High Contrast: One Hour with Raleene Cabrera

I'm sitting inside T.G.I. Friday's, getting full off a salad and mozzarella sticks and tipsy from my beer. Even indoors, it's a scorching Saturday afternoon; the usual strange weather we've been experiencing as of late. Vern and I are waiting on Raleene. We've never met her before, but based on her blog, she's got the presence that demands a double take.

"Hey, it's Rihanna," my mom says. Actually, it's Raleene.

"I want to stress that my blog is not mainly about fashion. I consider myself a lifestyle blogger."

Scrolling through her blog, Raleene.com, you'll find that 95% of her posts are about food, events, daily life, work, architecture and design... Not her outfits. "That's why I have Chictopia and LookBook... My blog is my diary. I blog for myself. I love looking back at old entries and sometimes I literally laugh out loud. I try not to blog anything negative."

"I never smile in pictures." What a shame, I think. Her face lights up when she laughs, breaking the dark aura of her natural features that are all lines, corners and shadows.  This girl is all high contrast. Case in point, she tells us of a time when she had "hair that was down to [her] knees." Her friends all told her that cutting her hair would be a waste of all the time she's spent growing the flowing locks. "..But once I lost weight, I cut it."

As my vision slowly steadies, we wrap up the conversation and head outside to shoot. True to character, even a smirk won't escape her lips as we shoot around High Street. What could have been an hour of, 'try this pose' and 'work with that light' was five minutes or less of non-stop camera snaps.

Black t-shirt to match the hair that matches the attitude. Edgy, dark, unpredictable. I can't put my finger on who this girl is and who she's trying to be.. Is that the point?

Raleene, who is half of the up-and-coming band, The Walkie Talkies, is also a photographer, model, ambassador for Powersnet ("a social networking style site"), is active in her church, Church Simplified, and runs a successful lifestyle blog, Raleene.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Lookbook, Chictopia, Dailybooth, Flickr, Multiply and DeviantArt.

Words and photos by Boo Umaly, who is still sipping on a beer.