by Yale Breslin
Davidson Manaloto acts as the designer for wings+horns, a Canadian menswear brand that packs a serious punch. With a background in Engineering, it’s the precise correlation between mechanics and design that Manaloto sees as being a key component to the brands success. With the recent unveiling of ‘Road to Nowhere’, his Spring/Summer 2012 range, Davidson Manaloto (bad ass name by the way), fills us in on how glacier blue and motorcycle gangs have a lot more in common than you think….
HR: You were born in Calgary with a Bsc in Mechanical Engineering. How and when did your focus shift to design?
Manaloto: I was working at a gas transmission’s company based in Calgary and just wasn’t happy with where my career was headed. I wanted to be in a more creative field with more artistic freedom. When I was in university I always thought that I would become an architect after receiving my BSc, but as my undergrad finished I was given the chance to work for an engineering consulting firm. After about 2 years working there, I wanted to try my hand at design – but instead of architecture, I chose fashion.
HR: Now in your role as designer for wings+horns, what unique aesthetic and personalization do you bring to the table?
Manaloto: When I started with wings+horns I defined the brand as slim yet masculine – and this is something that we really try to keep constant when working on each new collection. Season after season, I continuously try to improve our designs and bring a new perspective to the brand. This may include a more interesting color palette such as the reds and blues in the current spring summer 2012 collection. We definitely have an aesthetic and I don’t want to veer to far from that.
HR: How has your past experience helped to provide new meaning to a much-loved brand?
Manaloto: This was my first full design job after graduating from school. My experience as an engineer helped me realize the greatness of simplicity of design. As an engineer, you are creating things with a sole purpose – simply working to get the job done. In men’s fashion, this worked in my favor as most guys aren’t interested in all the bells and whistles – they just want well-constructed clothes. I really focus on the foundations of great clothing – such as fabrics, construction and fit.
HR: This collection is titled ‘The Road to Nowhere’ – what’s behind the name?
Manaloto: When we started to design the collection, I was really inspired by motorcycle gangs and the free sprit attitude they portray. This spawned the idea of traveling with no destination in mind, and that’s where ‘The Road to Nowhere’ came from. It was focused on a guy who could just pack his gear and hit the road with no care in the world. A lot of the pieces in the collection are so easy to wear that even a wrinkled piece pulled from a stuffed bag would look good.
HR: Your collection also features pops of two colors – glacier blue as well as red. Why these two colors?
Manaloto: The red was taken from patches from a notorious motorcycle gang. It is a very powerful and warm color and we wanted to balance that out with something cool and light. The glacier blue was a great compliment and the two colors ended up working well together. They also compliment the Navajo print we utilized in so many garments throughout the collection.
HR: What is your long-term goal with wings+horns? Where would you like to see it in 20 years?
Manaloto: My long-term goal would be to consistently find new ways to elevate the brand through my designs. There is still a lot of growing for us to do and I am definitely excited about what’s to come. 20 years is far off but I hope to see wings+horns as a more prominent leader in menswear.