Minimalist, sophisticated, and genderless, Filipino fashion label Cruz delivers gender neutral pieces fit for every individual.

Launched on September 2018, Cruz focused on men’s shirts and accessories before rebranding to be gender neutral. During this time, it dropped a collection featuring line art designed polo shirts, cozy-wear, and a pleats collection with ribbed garments of blazers, pants, and hoodies.

For the launch of its fall/winter 2020 collection, the brand decided to take a turn and manufacture merchandise defying current perceptions on fashion and societal norms. The latest collection featured patent and vegan leathers of oversized jackets and trousers in silver, black, white, and green.

The designer Kyle Cruz

Before the brand took a new path, founder Kyle Cruz made a big move of an educational pause to follow his dreams with the belief that no one is too young to run after one’s dreams.

“Earlier this year I dropped out of college to focus on the brand that I’ve already found passion in working on with the and biggest factor would be believing that we are never too young to run after our dreams,” Cruz shares. “I was always into fashion. I started working on Cruz right back when I was in high school and launched it before entering Uni. I put the brand up as well so I could feel a sense of independence at 18 and just start doing what I love. The fall/winter 2020 collection was actually the first seasonal launch we’ve had.”

He continues, “Pieces that stand out without being too loud.” And that’s what Cruz promises with its new fashion direction, as well as brand mantra moving forward. Manila Bulletin Lifestyle chats with the 20-year-old designer on how he sees his brand in the future, and how it is helping society and sustainability in fashion.

Image source: Cruz Instagram

Tell us more about your latest collection. What is the inspiration?

Usually the pieces I design are pieces based on my own style, and to bring in a different vibe to the local scene. Cruz is designing pieces where you could stand out in a minimalist way.

What made you shift from menswear to genderless fashion?

I saw there was a rise in genderless fashion and figured the pieces I designed were being purchased by both genders.

We saw vegan leather on your latest collection. Do you have plans of expanding the choices of sustainable fashion items on your future collections?

It was actually my first time to work with vegan leather and the final products spoke to me in so many different ways. They resonate with my style and soul. So yes, I am planning to continue working on using vegan leather for future collections.

Image source: Cruz Instagram

What is Cruz’s stand when it comes to sustainability and societal norms? 

I’ve been trying to focus on inspiring the youth as I am still part of it. I want to promote that we are never too young to run after our dreams. In sustainable terms, I really do plan to continue on working with vegan leather and I’m also looking into using organic textiles for my upcoming collections.

I am also on the works on putting up another clothing brand which will be purely focusing on using sustainable materials with a couple of friends and it would be based in LA and Vancouver.

Image source: Cruz Instagram

Aside from what you produce now, are you planning to expand product lines in the future?

I still want to focus on bringing out a collection of minimalist pieces, as it is the main base of our designs. We’ll be launching an “Essentials” collection around mid-January 2021, which will be more of the basics (tees, hoodies, sweatpants, etc.). Before spring/summer 2021, we’ll be expanding into jewelry as well.

What is Cruz’s fashion vision?

I don’t want to sound over confident but I do like speaking words into existence. My vision for Cruz is for it to be a globally recognized brand competing with high-end fashion brands. I also want to be part of global Fashion Weeks for New York, Paris, etc.

Although all these may seem like it may be a long time to reach that point, I just believe I am where God wants me to be. I’m just enjoying the ride of life with this brand I love and I will never stop running after my dreams.

View Cruz catalog here.

Source: Manila Bulletin (