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Joe Sibayan

In designing R-U-A’s first bag, we created a balance between function and form. We wanted it to be sturdy but at the same time good-looking. We began with the idea of creating a utilitarian bag, one that can support a significant volume and weight. We chose a thick canvas material that provided the bag with a gorgeous color, a resilient surface, and a flexible shape. The body of the bag is sewn by an atelier of a family based in Bulacan—a mother and son sewing team. 

For the handles, we used cow leather that was sewn and then riveted on to the canvas. We collaborated with Igmidio and Leonidez—a local, family-based leathersmith from Marikina with a long history in leather in designing the leather handles. Here’s the story of Igmidio and Leonidez: 

“To this day, the scent of leather takes cousins Reagan and Malaya back to their childhood. Their grandparents, Igmidio and Leonidez, were both shoemakers—they owned the R Shoes brand and had a factory located in Malanday, Marikina. Reagan's father was a shoemaker, and Malaya's parents made bags, coin purses, leather key holders. Reagan and Malaya grew up seeing their family members completely engrossed—and in love—with the craft. It's a craft they intend to revive, restore. Reagan and Malaya, the eldest of the grandchildren, built the Igmidio and Leonidez brand as a homage to their family and their legacy. Working alongside another expert leather artisan, Reagan and Malaya are nostalgically and beautifully making leather products from their humble home in Marikina.” (write-up shared by Igmidio and Leonidez)

At R-U-A, we love working with and helping build passionate home-based local makers. 

Supporting Local Culture

Joe Sibayan

R-U-A is passionate about supporting local industry, communities, and culture that we just had to participate at the Escolta Block Party last November 25, 2017.  We had a pop-up and we were embraced with such a warm reception!

According to the organizers: "The Escolta Block Party is a gathering of a lovely community. Through it, more people can be made aware of the history and heritage of the area by participating in the various pocket events spread throughout the day. By experiencing the Escolta in a new light, people from different walks of life can have a better appreciation of the locale’s diversity. This endeavor is homegrown and executed through a collective effort." from Escolta Block Party FB page

So far, the Escolta Block Party has been happening once a quarter so be sure to watch out for the next one and we might just be there again ;-)

Everyday Androgyny

Joe Sibayan

At R-U-A, we see ourselves beyond simply being a clothing store. We exist because we have a point of view to share with others. 

One of R-U-A’s passions is to encourage people to dress in a way that reflects their personal style. This means never having men’s and women’s sections in R-U-A’s online store because of the belief that the way people shop for clothes shouldn’t be influenced by such categories. 

To dive deeper into this advocacy, will be hosting a forum called “Everyday Androgyny: how (and why) to pull it off” on December 2, Saturday, 4pm at Hole in the Wall in Century City Mall in Poblacion, Makati, Philippines. 


There will be two parts to the event. The first part is a panel discussion to be participated on by Andre Drilon (IG: @vrtualdump), a young man who is breaking norms by wearing skirts, and JP Singson (IG: @jponfashionspeed), a fashion buyer and stylist based in Paris. They will share their personal journeys towards discovering their personal style through funny, revealing, and shocking anecdotes of their experiences.

The second part is a styling demonstration of androgynous looks by Kristin Cruz, a young fashion marketing maven who built her repertoire in Singapore. 

We will also have a pop-up store so you can feel and fit our apparels. 

This event is just one of the ways that R-U-A will help to create a future when people choose to wear clothes that express their personal style rather than being told that one’s sexual characteristics dictate what one should wear. R-U-A makes beautiful clothes that are crafted by passionate makers. Anyone can wear them, however they want. 

We hope to see you on December 2! Kindly RSVP on our FB event page


What's in a Face?

Joe Sibayan

Spelled as R-U-A, pronounced as “roowa”, present online as, and identifiable by this face:


This is Red Underlined Apparels. 

A lot of people have been giving us positive feedback and asking us about our logo. So, here’s a rundown on its design:

The logo was created by the talented Karl Castro (@karlfmcastro), three-time National Book Awardee for Design. Last year, a retrospective of his work was on exhibition at the Ayala Museum. He has also exhibited at the Silverlens Gallery and the UP Vargas Museum. 

In Karl's own words: 

“The face is a recurring motif in traditional art all over the world. This one is based on the lowercase letterforms ‘RUA,’ which when connected form the eyes and nose. The mouth is a reference to the underline. However, these typographic elements have been completely transformed to create a stoic visage, something that harks to both tribal masks and contemporary internet icons.” 

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 2.54.12 PM.png

The R-U-A Team absolutely love the image he created for us. It captures the essential features of a brand that is unassuming, not tied heavily to trends and gimmicks, inspired by traditional forms, and rooted in materials and relationships with passionate makers and creators. 


Something is Missing from Our Online Store

Joe Sibayan

It's missing because we deliberately decided to leave it out.

One thing you will not see on our online store is a separate section for men's and women's clothing.  The R-U-A team is passionate about creating clothes for everybody. We want to take the lead in pushing the idea that men’s and women’s clothes should be obsolete categories. We also want to contribute to a world without gender stereotypes by stripping away gender norms when it comes to clothes.

We want you to shop and select clothes because you want to wear them and they express your style. We do not want you to be told that because of your sexual characteristics, you have to shop in a certain way. We make beautiful clothes that are crafted by passionate makers. Anyone can wear them, however they want.



We Are Selling Kidneys

Joe Sibayan

We all have that friend who is most dear to us. The kind we share both life's joys and disasters with. One who we might not see for a long time, but the moment we hang out with them, it’s as if no time has passed. Ken Carlo de la Cruz is that friend to a lot of people. And is definitely one for us at the R-U-A Team.

Ever since as a kid, Ken has always had a problematic kidney. Today, in his 30's, he is suffering from End Stage Renal Disease or simply known as kidney failure. He has been going through dialysis since 2015 and is currently doing it three times a week. He still goes to work on the other 4 days of the week, even in pain, just to fund his dialysis. He needs a kidney transplant soon but his funds are depleted by the continuing dialysis. We, his friends, couldn't just leave him suffering. We know a kidney transplant can improve his life and give him another chance at being the fun, thoughtful, and energetic guy we all know him to be. We aimed to raise US$6k to help fund the kidney transplant. We are still US$3k away from the goal. So, we decided to set up a fundraiser by selling a special T-shirt. 

In creating the T-shirt, the R-U-A Design Team chose a white combed cotton fabric that combined both softness and sturdiness. We had our tailor make a special pattern. We then created an intricate embroidered kidney design and placed it right about where one of your kidneys would be, making the shirt a good mini-lesson on human anatomy and a great awareness-driver. 

Each T-shirt will be made-to-order. This way, we can control the quality while at the same time making the project sustainable. So once you place your order, expect our atelier to deliver your shirt in about two weeks. 100% of the profits will go to charity. 75% will go to Ken’s fund while the remaining 25% will go to the National Kidney Transplant Institute of the Philippines to benefit other patients. For those who want to donate directly to Ken’s transplant fund, you may course your donations via gavagives


To order your Kidney T-shirt, click here


Testing, Testing

Joe Sibayan

We, at the R-U-A team, are passionate about making sure that our clothes last as long as you love wearing them. So before we released our Kimono Blazer, we wore them for more than just a spin around town--cafes, bars, dinners, business meetings, at work, on a road trip, and even at a conference. Then we washed them. Threw them in the dryer. Also, dried them under the sun. We were happy with the results. We chose the right fabric and our atelier did an awesome job! Below are the "after" pictures of our stress test on the Kimono Blazer.

Tap or click to move through the gallery images below: