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Charlie Clothing: A Retail Brand with Global Standards

Almost 7 days from the time I actually visited Charlie, I am finally writing this entry. And my visit had also been weeks in the making.

I first noticed the brand a few months ago through mannequin displays at the ground floor of The Block in SM North EDSA. I’d always told myself that this “Charlie” brand seemed interesting and that I should pay a visit to the store, but was only able to remember last Friday, Sept. 30.

When I first saw it, I thought. WOW. This is a really well laid out and merchandised store. And it looked so classy, so I expected their prices to be on the expensive side.

They had several blouses that I felt were just my type, made with light fabric that’s cool on the skin. And I was surprised to find that most tops didn’t over P1000, and Nica, who accompanied me, even cited that there were tops as low as P349! They also carried a whole range of other casual wear, and they also sold accessories at P199, and comfy-looking shoes/flats/sandals for as low as P799. But I think the most interesting merchandise in the store would be their jeans.

Although their styles were limited to skinny jeans, I felt that a lot of care went into designing the jeans to make them flatter figures and full butts. 🙂 I also thought they had very tasteful and classic washes, and I like that they had a description for each wash to guide customers in their purchase. 🙂

Their display reminded me of Uniqlo’s collection of quality denim jeans, except that their jeans were priced at only P1499. I also noticed their tags were also tastefully rendered, truly lending the impression that it is an internationally distributed brand because (though I may not have been able to take a clearer photo) beside the size indicated on the gray part of their tag, you’ll see the cost of their apparel in other currencies, including the US dollar, and I’m not sure if they had it in Euros, Canadian / Hong Kong dollars as well.

So yeah, I just really felt that it was branded and merchandised quite well, and the clothing was finely made. It felt like shopping at a much more affordable Topshop or Uniqlo, and it also reminded me of one of my other favorite apparel stores, Cotton On. 🙂 I was even more surprised when I found out that this brand is actually a Filipino brand and that all apparel is made here in the Philippines! *beams with pride*

I wanted to maybe have a short Q&A with the founders of the brand for this post, but I was hard-pressed to find model Bea Soriano and/or partner Eric Dee’s contact details online. I guess that’s one area they could really address now, their online presence. Their website, shopcharlie.com is still “Coming Soon” as of this post. They had no accounts on Facebook or Twitter, and I just feel that their inaccessibility on the net is a lost opportunity for them to drive sales to their stores.

Nonetheless, I admire the brand, and it makes my heart swell when I see Filipino brands uphold such global standards, and prove that we are more than capable of being world-class.

I must also commend the young couple behind it for their aggressive expansion. Apart from their SM North EDSA branch, they recently opened another branch in SM San Lazaro, and are set to open branches in SM Fairview (October) and SM Manila (November), according to this article from the Inquirer. By next year, Real Time Retail Wear (RTRW) Inc. targets to put up another five to six Charlie stores within Metro Manila. Visit Charlie at the 3rd floor of The Block at SM North EDSA. 🙂

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