Select stores can be manic at times. Populated by brands with diverse backgrounds sprawled across shelves and rails, the challenge of creating a unique space which houses a cohesive selection of goods is one that should not be overlooked. Founded in 2004 by Omar Quiambao and Larry Incognito — cousins from Virginia Beach — Commonwealth is a store that champions this retail feat. From the start, the retailer sets out to support counterculture, and has done so by hosting projects from both of its stores in Virgina Beach and Washington, D.C. that link music, fashion and skateboarding.
Carrying their outlook to the Philippines capital of Manila, the Virgina natives teamed up with local entrepreneur Michael Concepcion to unveil their first store outside of the U.S. in Taguig City’s SM Aura mall. Crisp and clean-cut, the interior features an apt mix of cool concrete and charismatic wooden shelving, while lush greenery throughout add riffs of vigor. Designs by revered fashion imprint COMME des GARÇONS are positioned next to rising punk-inspired label Brain Dead. Such a placement may seem odd at first glance, but in Omar’s eyes, both brands’ independent spirit and thus subversive edge exudes more commonalities than one would expect.
A medial railing, filled with summer-friendly tees by Dime and Period Correct, divides the store. On one side, new and classic sneaker models — think adidas Originals Tubular X, Nike Air Max 95 and Vans Sk8-Hi — are exhibited alongside a small but well-curated print section. On the other side, headwear from Anti Social Social Club and Alltimers are complemented by Commonwealth’s own in-house line of tees, snapbacks and coach jackets. Further down, CdG footwear share the spotlight with Commonwealth x CLAE’s sneaker collaboration, released exclusive for the Manila branch.
Overlooking the space, framed photos of Kanye West from The College Dropout era and ’90s skateboarding clips adorned the walls – perhaps a nod at Omar’s affinity for hip-hop and previous tenure at DC Shoes and Alphanumeric. At the end of the store, a premium eyewear section rounds out the inventory with updated frames from the likes of Garret Leight, OAMC and Native Sons selected by Ronnie & Joe. Designed by Ryan Upton and Airi Isoda of Los Angeles-based design studio wrk-shp, check out the store’s interior above and be sure to drop by if you happen to be in Manila.
Ground Floor, SM Aura, McKinley Pkwy
Taguig Metro, Manila
- Simky Cheung/HYPEBEAST