5 Denim Designers Who Will Change The Streetwear Niche

5 Denim Designers Who Will Change The Streetwear Niche


Algae-wool biomaterials, cyanotype printing, and sustainable processes are the next things to look out for in denim fashion

This is an excerpt from MEGS’s July 2024 One To Watch


“Being in my late 30s, I’ve witnessed the evolution of fashion trends over the years, allowing me to blend timeless elements with modern innovations,” says designer Martin Uy. “I think the main contribution of Gen Z nowadays is their strong advocacy for inclusivity. In my work, I support these passions by creating gender-neutral pieces, which is something I’m really committed to.”

Uy started his fashion journey during the pandemic. Finding his identity as a designer wasn’t that hard mostly because his designs are what he would also wear himself. Fashion has always been a life-long passion of his. He starts his creative process by capturing inspiration the moment it pops into his mind, jotting down details or sketching it right away to ensure he doesn’t forget. His design aesthetic is minimalist and simple, but with a twist—something fun and bold, very contemporary, with a touch of classic silhouette. 


Algae-wool biomaterials in fashion? Young designer Micca Amor made it possible. For her Ab Initio collection, Amor was inspired by the nostalgic energy of the early 2000s pop culture and the icons of her childhood. She wanted to blend this nostalgia with modern, sustainable practices, leading to the incorporation of algae-wool biomaterials. It started as a college thesis idea, as she took enjoyment from her textile classes and projects. After almost a year of research—and lots of experimentation and development—she was able to make it. 

“I wanted to create a brand that not only celebrated a woman’s individuality but also pushed the boundaries of conventional fashion,” she shares. “This vision was driven by a desire to embrace spontaneity, imperfection, and rawness, translating these elements into wearable art. I believe I’m still too early in my career as a designer to have built a strong identity, but I hope to discover it along the way through a constant drive for growth and progression.”


Seph Samson always knew that he wanted to design couture gowns and avant-garde designs, but through time he got interested in becoming a streetwear designer. His collection “Lalaki Ka Ba?” is heavily focused on the underground ballroom scene where queer individuals have the freedom to be creative and expressive of themselves.

“When I was a kid, people around me always ask, “Lalaki ka ba? (Are you a man?)” or “Ano ka ba? (What are you?)”  he recalls. “So, I also asked myself,  “Lalaki ba talaga ako? (Am I really a man?)” At that time, I just knew that I was different and unique. I dedicate this collection to my younger self. I also want to introduce the brand to the industry in such a way that I am for queer and I dress for queer individuals.”


“For six years, I navigated personal difficulties that kept me from fully immersing myself in fashion,” says Nicia Siy. “As a designer, my identity evolved through a profound curiosity in fabric manipulation, which sparked my journey. For this collection, my inspiration stemmed from my own journey of stepping out of my comfort zone, symbolized by cracks in the fabric representing the opportunity for light to shine through. It’s a powerful narrative of self-discovery and growth.”

Like the other designers, Siy believes that the main contribution of Gen Z to society is their drive for social change, fueled by a deep sense of justice and inclusivity. In her work, she strives to support the passions and advocacies of Gen Z by addressing their concerns and incorporating their values into the solutions she offers. Whether it’s through promoting sustainability, advocating for diversity and inclusion, or addressing mental health awareness, she aims to align her efforts with the causes that matter most to this generation.


At first, young designer Katelyn Aquino resorted to what will make her grades higher in doing her projects. She mostly did long, extravagant dresses or couture—but she felt like these concepts were imposed on her. So, she decided to do her own streetwear brand instead, KN.A. 

For her “Villain Era” collection, Aquino connected was inspired by the popular ‘90s song, Seo Taiji and Boys’ “Come Back Home”. This tells a story about teenagers who ran away from home due to pressure and decided to live on their own means. It is a shift in a person’s thinking as they renounce the pressure to strive for the validation of others and instead live life unapologetically. 

Get to know more about the new breed of denim designers in MEGA’s June 2024 issue, now available on ReadlyMagzter, Press Reader and Zinio.

Photographed by DARYL NICARIO. Creative Direction TROY NONATO. Art and Beauty Direction MARIAN SAN PEDRO. Production JONES PALTENG. Styling BITHIA REYES assisted by FED PANEN. Makeup and Hair by RHENIEL PAGDANGANAN assisted by ANGELO DELOS SANTOS. Model XIAN of LUMINARY MODELS. Special thanks to YLAIJAH of LUMINARY MODELS and JONNIE NGO. Shot on location VIRGO JJ PLAZA.

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