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#LifeLokal: Jos Mundo is here to fulfill your slow living island girl dreams

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Jun 24, 2022 1:58 pm

"A JOS girl is at home with herself."

In a fast-paced world, it can sometimes feel like a sin to slow down. Even more so in the realm of fast fashion, where everchanging trends can cause the quick decay of pieces and designers' hard work. With fast fashion's negative impacts on the environment, space and sustainability are a must when choosing brands.

Enter Jos Mundoa local clothing and shoewear brand that prides itself on taking the time to make pieces that don't follow trends, but actually make them for their own following and lifestyle.

Serving as an all-women collective comprised of Trinity Yeung, Sabine Monfort, Jana Codera, and Karen Bolilia, Jos Mundo was first a Marikina shoe brand named Studio Josanna before it eventually expanded to include clothes and accessories. 

From the get-go, their pieces offer a nostalgic but undeniably fresh take on local fashion, with thoughtful pieces to finally fulfill your slow-living, sustainable, and island girl needs—all while feeling at home in your body.

What’s the story behind the brand’s name?

We started out as Studio Josanna, as a revival of the 90’s archival footwear line by Rico Sta. Ana. Over time, we found JOS to be a more fitting name (it’s also always been our internal nickname for the brand), while “mundo” is an homage to the world-building we aim for.

How does your Filipino heritage/culture influence your brand values and identity?

Our work is very much rooted and grounded here. We’re committed to sourcing and using deadstock or landed materials within Marikina (for shoes), and we’re always keeping an eye out for special, handmade textiles and crafts from all over our country.

In that sense, materially, we’re always connected to the Philippines; apart from the fact that 100% of our production is based here. We always try to involve a multitude of local influences within our practice.

There are so many competitive brands within the world of fashion right now, how do you make your brand stand out from the rest?

We like to believe that we’ve managed to keep our feet planted on the things we’re interested in, and stay true to ourselves. Grounding your creative process on what you are genuinely interested in matters a lot.

We hope that our voice feels singular and genuine, and that it continues to resonate with our community, even as we evolve.

Can you tell us something about your designs?

We jokingly refer to it as esoteric, but really we just tend to lean heavily on our color sense, intuition, and our feminine side. There’s a quality to it as well that’s maybe harder to put into words…an interiority.

Slowness. And care. Mindfulness of function, aesthetic; how the end product touches you. How it can evolve with you. Working with the archival pieces was crucial at the beginning of our work because it gave us a jump-off point that felt super grounded and special.

As we continued R&D, more shapes and curiosities were surfacing naturally, and over time we felt more confident to explore that. You never really start from scratch with shoes— there are always established forms to tap from.

From your own experience, how has social media helped your brand?

Before we moved into our physical showroom this year, we housed our digital front-of-house on Instagram, with occasional posts mirrored to Facebook. Using an image-centric platform helps us present our products and tell our story, visually and on our own terms.

The space has allowed us to achieve organic expansion and build meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals. It’s lovely how people have stumbled upon our little corner on the internet and helped us grow our small community of supporters. We’ll always be so grateful for that. 

How do you want your customers to feel when they're wearing your products?

A JOS girl is at home with herself. Our hope is for our customers to feel connected to their pieces and enjoy the process of wearing them in however shape or form. Always extending an open invitation to interpret the products as they wish.

Check out Jos Mundo's pieces on Facebook, Instagram, and on jos-mundo.com.