November 3 Wednesday Night – 10pm, SM Makati
The mall floor is clearing of the usual metro day hustle with people trying to catch their last commute on the train or passing through the SM Mall towards the jeep and bus station. While the end of the work day signifies rest and relaxation for most, a throng of smartly dressed people were congregating to the wild urban jungle beats inside SM Makati’s H&M branch – like animals to a watering hole.
As it turns outs, that’s exactly what H&M wanted as they launch and celebrate the much awaited collection from the Kenzo X H&M collaboration.
It’s a Kenzo x H&M Jungle during the VIP / Media preview party.
This capsule collection is the latest in the long tradition of fast-fashion retailer, H&M and their fashion house of choice for the year. This is also the 3rd year I’m exposed to the collab collections and I must say, 3rd times’ the charm.
As with the past collabs the rules of engagement are very similar. You go in, grouped in batches of 20s and you all have 10 minutes to shop the collab floor. For this year, you’re only allowed a maximum of 1 piece of a particular item during your turn. Meaning if you want to buy more than one sunglasses, you’ll need to ask a friend who’s also there with you to carry the said sunglasses and forfeiting his chance of buying one for himself. It makes everything fair and prevents people from hoarding a particular item set.
Celebrities, Personalities and Executives in full Kenzo x H&M garb
Unlike the Balmaination collaboration (Balmain x H&M) last year, the VIP private sale happened the night before the actual public launch of capsule collection. Models, celebrities and fashion personalities flocked the Makati branch and tried to get a piece from this superbly colorful and zany collection.
While waiting for their batch to be called, dancers and personalities in full Kenzo X H&M gear entertained guests. Never-ending canapés and drinks were going around and the DJ was mixing some sick retro dance sets.
Dancers entertain the crowd with their zany moves alongside 90’s dance tracks
Guest and VIP wait for their chance to shop the collection before everyone else.
We got in a bit late (event started at 9PM) so we got pushed to one of the latter batches (Batch 10 or 11, I believe) and we were only able to get a couple of accessories like socks, and the men’s animal print scarf (well, not sure if it files under menswear).
Hey menswear, where you hiding at?
Pretty much what we ended up with. Still, look at them purrty socks (and a really big cap in the background).
This only meant one thing, *groan*, we had to line up again immediately to be able to get into one of the earlier batches during public launch day. No going home for me then, okay, fight!
November 4 Thursday Morning – 5:00am, SM Makati
With barely an hour of sleep, me and my friends pulled ourselves to go to SM Makati to line up. Unlike the past 2 years, the H&M branch at SM Makati is now a venue for the collection (previously you can only shop the collab collection at H&M SM Megamall).
We’re not sure if people were aware of this because when we lined up at 5 in the morning (very late for our standards) we miraculously got in the first batch of shoppers! I believe we were the 10th person in line. Woo-hoo!
At 9am there were hardly 20 people in line! I guess everyone flocked to SM Megamall that day. :D
We also got some free candies while in line c/o Made in Candy
Previously they start letting people shop at 8am, this time around the “timed shopping” started during mall opening hours.
Even until 9am when we were finally let in SM Makati premises, the line didn’t build up as much as we thought it would compared to Balmain x H&M or the super crazy lines of Alex Wang x H&M collab last 2014. The best thing about not having a huge line after us is, if and when people on the first batch decided that they wanted more time and opportunity to shop, they can simply line up and do it all over again (which a lot of people did, fyi).
Outside the store proper
Store windows are decorated with the Kenzo x H&M prints
Host was rousing people up. Trust me, she didn’t have to. Everyone was pumped and ready for some shopping action!
DJ was dropping some sick beats during the entire morning
The collab section is now twice the size of what it was during the VIP area and we’re now shown the full collection here.
Floor area doubled. Women’s wear shown here.
Accessories all on the table – bags, boots, sandals, socks, scarves, sunglasses and jewelry trinkets.
More amazing printed clothes on these racks
Moving towards the menswear. T-shirts were one of the first ones to go.
10 minutes and a few edits later, we were left with this. Tadaaa~
(Also, ladies and gentlemen, I’m officially broke. :p)
A close look at our haul. A couple of shirts, a cap, scarf, socks, and them ipad pouch bags
Forgot to mention the sunglasses and the neoprene Jacket/ Hoodie as well. Print on Print on Print!
Suffice to say, the Kenzo x H&M collab shopping experience ran much smoother this time around. With stocks also offered in H&M Makati, lines were easily managed and everyone (mostly) got what they wanted. Kudos to the H&M Philippine team for organizing such a smooth event, we heard things were quite more intense elsewhere. Source 1 2
In fact when we checked H&M SM Megamall last Sunday there were still a lot of wares left. Majority are for women but I was surprised to see quite a bit of menswear still on the rack.
There were a lot of women’s clothes left last weekend. Better check in fast.
The Kimono jackets still have all the sizes last Sunday. If you want to own one particular piece of iconic item, you may want to consider that. That screams high fashion! 😉
The store still had caps with varying sizes as well
Caps and accessories are still in abundance
There were about 4 large totes still up for grabs. Even though the design mimics that of a the Kenzo paper shopping bag, this is actually a really well crafted full leather tote bag with amazing detailings. Retails for Php 10,990, I believe — but it’s huge.
If you want something a liiittle bit more quirky, these pink tiger-striped boots might tickle your fancy.
Or you could switch it up with this all red ensemble– sandals, long socks, sleeves, beanie and earrings.
At the end of the day, if you haven’t had the chance to check out these one-of-a-kind collection, you kinda owe it to yourself to visit either H&M SM Megamall or H&M SM Makati before they pull everything out.
We saw a reversible jacket tucked behind the leather jacket racks at SM Megamall. Last check was size M. ;)
Wear a plain long coat over the green onesie to diffuse the predominantly green look.
C’mon, unleash your wild side. Welcome to the Kenzo x H&M urban jungle.
Yup, you read that right! For a minimum purchase of 10,000 pesos worth of items you can walk away from Urban Traveller & Co with an extra bag at hand. And not just any old promo bag, it’s a Venque bag.
We’ve actually reviewed this and even brought it with us on our Bali trip late last year. It survived the wind, wave and sun of that Indonesian Beach Paradise (and in such stylish fashion, at that) and we’re pretty surprised that Urban Traveller & Co. decided to include this as the freebie to their promo (that’s Php 3,000 worth of savings right there – and an amazing bag to boot).
So what can you buy with your hard-earned Php 10,000 in Urban Traveller & Co.? We’ll we’ve compiled a short list of amazing finds for you to check out and (maybe) consider.
Bellroy iPhone 6s Case
On the surface, the Bellroy iPhone 6s Case doesn’t seem to look different from the gajillion of smartphone cases in the market. It’s only upon closer inspection that you begin to see and appreciate the space-saving genius behind this contraption.
Aside from keeping your uber cool smartphone safe and secure, the Bellory iPhone 6s Case also doubles as a mini wallet of sorts – where you can keep your essentials if you want to travel light and not carry too much things on you.
The case in itself is made with eco-friendly materials as well. Our sister site, Unbox.ph made a video review on this as well.
The Bellroy iPhone 6s Case retails for Php 2450 to Php 4,500
Shop the collection: https://www.urbantravellerco.com/collections/phone-accessories
KeySmart is a nifty little gadget that organizes your keys like a Swiss Army Knife. No more bulk in your pant pockets and that annoying metal jiggling sounds with KeySmart.
The great thing about KeySmart is that it can augment itself with other important gadgets like car keys, USBs and other accessories to fit your need.
Fully customizable, you can also extend the number of keys that can fit in your KeySmart up to 100 keys! (Well, but we don’t really recommend it :p )
The KeySmart Key Organizer retails for Php 1,399
Shop the collection: https://www.urbantravellerco.com/collections/keysmart
Gnome & Bow Milton Cross Body Clutch
We’ve actually highlighted Gnome & Bow before but we can’t stress enough how awesome the design philosophy behind this is. For this article, we’re looking more into the Gnome & Bow Milton Cross Body Clutch. Gorgeously created to fit an iPad and other small peripherals, the G&B Mitlon Cross Body Clutch embodies the Jekyll and Hyde design that we grew to love with this brand.
On one side, the clean & crisp lustrous nylon embodies the cool and collected Dr. Jekyll while the other side hides a printed canvass cover for the always unconventional Mr. Hyde.
The Gnome & Bow Milton Cross Body Clutch retails for Php 7,500
Shop the collection: https://www.urbantravellerco.com/collections/gnome-bow
And there you have it, 4 easy picks for the mobile traveler – and all can be conveniently stored on your free Venque bag. 😉 Promo is from Aug 1 to 31 only!
For more nifty bags and organizing tools, head over to www.urbantravellerco.com and check their wares or you can visit their physical store at R2 Level, Archeology Wing, Power Plant Mall (near National Bookstore).
Happy shopping, peeps!
Recently, Unpacked.ph went on a much deserved beach vacation to sunny Bali! The guys at Urban Traveller & Co. were kind enough to lend us the Venque Flatsquare as an extra hand carry bag for our peripherals and whatnots.
Venque you, guys! :3
Venque [pronounced Venk] is a Canadian-borne brand founded by two brothers Viktor and Simon. The brand focuses high-quality urban bags that exude design while maintaining varied utilitarian aspects.
While the Flatsquare backpack is largely an urban bag (meaning designed to house your small gadgets and nifty tech toys than say beach towels and extra pair of flipflops), we thought we’d bring it along and see how it fares the sun, sand and seas of Bali. Well, that and because I really feel the added yellow accent would add a suitable splash of color on this trip! And I was sorta, right. :p
What I like about Venque’s Flatsquare is the superb workmanship.
Bali’s weather during our trip was erratic to say the least. It wasn’t always sunny outside so there will be times when we’d be caught in a quick shower every now and then.
Quanta ensures the bags are weather-proof.
With Venque’s proprietary fabric, Quanta –a weather resistant material—and amazing lining & craftsmanship, our items were dry and cozy amidst sudden rains, sand and sea-air.
The bag is packed with an extra set of clothes, a thick jacket, phone chargers, passport, peripherals and a book.
You may notice that the bag is slightly, um, petite. That’s because we’re using the Flatsquare for her – hey, it’s the only one in yellow (AND the men’s version is too big for my frame)!
So if you need extra room or if you feel the size is too small, there’s a bigger version at hand (just not as colorful as these ones hehe).
I usually use my TUMI Alpha Bravo sling bag (link) as my go-to bag to house my wallet, phones, charger, travalo, etc, but during this particular trip, I never once took out the Tumi. I’d chuck my wallet and phone on the front sleeve compartment for easy access and I have enough room for an extra pair of phone charger, a plastic bag (in case I need to put any wet items in it), sunnies, and an extra change of clothes. Sometimes I’d chuck in a 500ml bottle of water too as we did a lot (A LOT) of walking throughout Bali.
Overall, I’m impressed I didn’t get tired of using it. The straps are comfy and the padding thick enough that you get very little stress on your shoulders and back. 😀 Kudos!
If you want to check out this nifty little backpack (it also comes in Red, Grey, Brown, Black and Denim) head over to www.urbantravellerco.com or try to catch them on weekend bazaars around the metro.
Check out Urban Traveller & Co’s social site as well here and Venque’s here.
Back, Sling, Messenger, or the classic Briefcase, Urban Traveller & Co curates the best urban carryalls for your diverse needs.
Brainchild of Hans Kenner Fernandez, co-founder of popular board game hangout Dyce N’ Dyne and The Gaming Library, now sets his sights on fashion apparels starting with bags, wallets and other quirky knickknacks.
Unpacked.ph had a quick chat with him and asked him a couple of questions regarding his new business.
UnpackedPH: What inspired you to start Urban Traveller & Co?
Hans: Believe it or not but I got the inspiration from two things – the TV series “Suits” and my personal travelling experience.
My job requires me to meet different kinds of people. I meet founders of companies, prospective clients, business partners, media writers and bloggers all over the world for meetings and recreation, and I get it – First Impressions last and it dictates 80% of how things will move forward.
There are three big factors in making a good impression, which relates to Urban Traveller & Co.
First Impressions, Personal Branding and upping your style.
Image Building– understanding the difference of bringing a briefcase instead of a backpack to a formal meeting. Showing a wallet that is clean, organized and has room for calling cards so that they don’t get crumpled.
Your Story/Character – Your bag/carry, aside from your outfit and grooming, is the biggest thing that people will notice. The design alone will speak volumes and will surely seep into your life story or what I like to call your personal brand.
Preparedness – being able to bring everything that you would need without the sacrifice of comfort and looking disorganized is a big plus. You want to be able to show the person you’re with that you respect their time and want to make the most out of the interaction between the two of you.
Urban Traveller & Co.’s was born out of the need of making a good impression brought about by your travel carry items. I was inspired from the stories of the brands and how they coincide with the vision of helping people be prepared for life’s battles and look damn good while at it.
UnpackedPH: From your current brand portfolio is there a brand that you have a particular soft spot for?
Hans: I started out with Venque. Simon, a good friend of mine from Toronto Canada, shared with me his story of how their started their childhood dream. I love their story of how they weren’t satisfied with what’s available, so instead of giving up or compromising, they instead made a new fabric called Quanta.
The brand was the first one we brought in and was the litmus test for the concept that I wanted. The brand has a unique character in terms of its design and construction and was ultimately what helped me make a really good impression with clients and the other brands that Urban Traveller & Co. now works with.
I got to use the Briefpack XL Weekender of Venque during my travel in Europe this year and I have to say it now carries a significant memory – a collection of moments from my stay in Europe. That’s what bags are, they don’t just carry items around, they bring moments with you.
UnpackedPH: What are your top 3 choices from Urban Traveller & Co?
Hans: My top 3 choices would have to be the following:
1.) Briefpack XL Black Leather collection – they just evoke suave, smooth and preparedness all at the same time. You can go anywhere with this and carry everything that you need. It also transforms such that you can change the way you carry it – Backpack, Briefcase, Over the Shoulder, Carry-on.
2.) Kensington Messenger of Gnome & Bow – I love the way it transforms and tells the story of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde. I can change the way it looks based on my outlook and mood of the day or night plus it is a great conversation starter and attention grabber.
3.) Bellroy Hide & Seek Wallet – The idea behind the hide and seek line of Bellroy is that it has a secret compartment for your important materials – (cheques, reserve/emergency cash and others). They did all this while still offering a number of card slots, bills and keeping the minimalist form factor. The vegetable tanned leather helps round it to form and will age gracefully giving your wallet its own character.
Fit all of this…
And still make it look like this. O_O
UnpackedPH: What bag are you currently sporting?
Hans: I currently use the Kensington Messenger Midnight Blue of Gnome & Bow. Its light and I keep it on the Hyde side cause I feel being very aggressive in terms of how I work this Christmas season. “Let me out!” For my wallet – I use the Dun Wallet as it is so slim (0.2MM without any contents). It has helped me declutter a lot of things from my pocket and I get to put it in the front instead of the back pocket.
Love the colorway!
Ultra-thin, Ultra-sleek. And look at those gold accents! Mmhmm. :)
Do check out other notable #EverydayCarry from Urban Traveller & Co’s website or drop by Rockwell’s Holiday Gift Fair Bazaar this weekend and check out their wares in person.
Thinking of getting a new travel case or luggage? You’re in luck because Crumpler is actually doing a massive sale this weekend (Feb 13-15) at the SMX Convention Center during the Travel Tour Expo 2015! They haven’t released a list yet but apparently they’re going to offer their products up to 50% off. Hopefully the discounts are really big though and not just like 2-3 items at 50% and everything else at a paltry 10%, hehe.
During our Unpacked Hong Kong adventure, I stumbled upon Côte&Ciel bags displayed in an Apple reseller store on the top levels of Windsor House in Causeway Bay (the store across Park Lane Hotel). I’ve actually been a huge fan of the brand when I first found about it in Manila and I’ve been looking for an orange variant for the longest time. Lo and behold, the bags the store had in display in HK was the striking orange one I’ve been on the watch out for! Boom. Credit card. Swipe!