Introducing | Davidson Manaloto - Wonders

Friday October 07, 2016

 

We sat down briefly with our good friend Davidson, designer of Wonders. Peep below for the conversation!

In brief, can you give us a little background as to who you are?

My name is Davidson Manaloto, I currently reside in New York City. Prior to that I lived in Vancouver working for a well-known Vancouver based menswear brand and where I met the Roden Gray family. I am formally trained as a mechanical engineer and chose to pursue fashion design after feeling uninspired. I recently had the chance to create a new brand, Wonders, and I am extremely excited for people to see the garments that I always wanted to create.

What was your first fashion memory?

It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly what my first fashion memory was, but I do remember learning at a young age that the way you dress and carry yourself says a lot about who you are and how people perceive you. My grandpa was a tailor and I think he instilled this in his children and that was also instilled in me.

When did you know that you wanted to start a brand, do you think there’s something missing in the industry when you started Wonders? 

When I started in design I thought I wanted a brand, to create clothing I wanted but couldn’t always find. That changed as I worked in the industry. I thought I could be happy with just working for other brands and companies. I transitioned to just doing contract work and consulting and had a change of heart again but I had all these things I needed to have to start a brand. One of the most important was to find someone that trusted me and could handle more of the production. In one of my last contract jobs I met someone that I really clicked with and Wonders was born. My goal for the brand is just to show people my perspective on fashion and hopefully they enjoy it.

How did the name Wonders come up?

The name itself doesn’t have this crazy story behind it, but I was drawn towards it because of the duality of the meanings. The word wonders can be something amazing, but can also mean curiousness. These are things that I strive for as I design for the brand, this desire to learn to create newness as well as something inspiring. This duality also ties to the goal of modernizing classic menswear style and also selfishly wishing women would wear Wonders.

Coming from a small contemporary menswear brand, than moving onto a corporate menswear company - what are the positive and negative aspects of having to work with a design team, a corporate company than to a brand on your own?

In design I think there will always be the same positives and negatives. Trying to create product and clothing that is unique as well as saleable at any level always has the same hurdles. With working on my own brand not only do those design problems exist but I also have to deal with the business side, which is a whole other level of things. On the plus side its always exciting to have people and stores being really excited about what your doing and creating and it being my personal vision just makes it that much better.

Has moving from Vancouver to NYC change or shape your perspective differently in terms of what you view/design in “menswear”?

I’ve been going back and forth between Vancouver and New York for a while now so I can’t really say there’s been a profound change. I would have to say just seeing the diversity of how people dress in New York gives you a little more confidence when creating more designed pieces.

Where do you draw your inspirations, is there a specific person or an era that comes to mind when you’re designing the collection?

Every season is different and our perspective can change from season to season. It could be a person, or movement, or some type of art or graphic that gets the ball rolling. In terms of pieces I’m definitely always looking at vintage pieces, whether that be military, sportswear, etc. We are products of our environment and growing up on hip-hop, skateboarding, and basketball has shaped the way I interpret inspiration season after season.

 

Wonders is now available in-store, and online here.