Get to know contemporary Filipino fashion brand KILL JOY STUDIOS by Eugene Malabad
Commuting in the Philippines is far from idyllic—for most Filipinos, an affliction and cross to bear. For 23-year-old Eugene Malabad, a fashion design graduate at iACADEMY and all-around creative, he has drawn inspiration from the experience itself and made it into an art form. Introducing KILL JOY STUDIOS.
During the recently concluded PHxMaArte Fair at The Manila Peninsula, we caught up with the young, starry-eyed fashion designer. With an abundance of well-known local designers who dress A-list personalities and appear on the glossy pages of magazines, it’s a joy to celebrate new talent—up-and-coming individuals shaping the future of the industry.
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Contemporary Filipino brand KILL JOY STUDIOS has released ROTONDA, inspired by everyday mundane things Eugene encounters during his daily commute—highlighting movement and color.
In an exclusive interview with Wonder, he reveals quirky details about his collection, “My main inspiration [for ROTONDA is] my daily commute. One fun detail na nilagay ko for my garment is the use of twist knobs to mimic ‘yung paglagay natin ng trapal ng jeep kapag umuulan (One fun detail I added for my garment is the use of twist knobs to mimic how we put the window covers on the jeep when it rains).”
An abundance of color appears in Eugene’s pieces, prints hand-painted with love and care emulating “the mobility of a fast car.” When commuting, whether we’re in an air-conditioned Grab car or a dizzying Angkas, the facade of Filipino houses—big and small—blend together when we glance outside.
One more detail appears on his intricate macramé pieces. He shares excitedly, “All of these are made out of industrial ropes to mimic the idea of phone lines on the streets. Fun fact, tinulungan ako ng daddy ko diyan (my daddy helped me)! Very family project.”
For the imaginative and funky fashion designer, KILL JOY STUDIOS is a genderless brand. He believes clothing should be “a form of expression, not dictation.” Eugene quips, “I treat clothing without gender. Kung kaya mong dalhin, go (If you can wear it, go)!”
“Perfection is boring” for Eugene. He hopes to continue pushing boundaries and creating statement pieces with KILL JOY STUDIOS.
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Stay updated by following KILL JOY STUDIOS on Instagram.
Photography Ian Valerio
Creative Direction Eugene Malabad of KILL JOY STUDIOS
Styling Maria Nina Cuyana
Modeling Marinelle Beltran and Enrico Paglinawan
Special Thanks Kuya Loli
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver