Ylla Shoes: Wear Your Pride
Thousands of products in which we can call ‘ours’ embarked with the touch of being a Filipino, are already making the noise in the market, but let me introduce you to one brand that went all the way in making sure that their products not only resemble the “Filipino way” but is marked entirely with the help of our very own indigenous workers.
Let’s now put the spotlight on your- footwear. Ylla shoes: How then can a thing that you’re just ‘stepping on’ roar the kind of ‘over-the-head’ pride for us, Filipinos?
Ylla Shoes is a Filipino-owned enterprise that offers uniquely crafted footwear. Believe it or not, it began when eleven Ateneo De Manila Students had to fulfill their MECO (Management Economics) course requirement. They have been given the task of conceptualization and implementation of a unique business plan. With the acknowledgment that since one of their team members owns a local shoe factory, the group decided to get into shoes, particularly women’s footwear.
The name Ylla has been basically taken from the word “island”, which is a common description for our beloved country, having seven thousand (or more) islands. It also represents what this business envisions not only for themselves but especially for their potential fellow ‘Pinay’ customers — to cross all boundaries and be aspirational yet still is accessible to all. Indeed, elegance and humility in one.
Ylla’s market has been female college students, young to middle-aged professionals and moms, who commonly classifies themselves as young, hip, dynamic, and definitely, fashionable. These are customers who are fierce advocates of local products. Believe it or not, despite what we believe that Filipinos are huge supporters of imported goods, there are many who actually support the local industry.
Ylla, as a local business which has paved its way against the ‘conventional’ has pursued the essence of being a Filipino brand the best way. They had one question back then…
“But how will we be making it unique?” Like a bang on a gong, this question served both as the first hurdle and directing path for these professionals to be led into the idea of significantly utilizing Philippine indigenous textiles for their footwear.
Thereafter, the first wave of design- featured Jute Mess (abaca) has been released. And as for the initial product line itself, three classic designs were then furnished. Designs in which holistically affixes itself with both the uniqueness and quality a Filipino can utmost offer.
Truly, “if a certain product is ‘marketable enough’, it will then sell itself”. This has been proven by Ylla Shoes, which starting on the three classical designs as stated, has evolved unto the development of highlighting local weaves and textiles that have been positively responded by its substantially growing market. Growing numbers of customers proves that there’s this need for genuine locally made footwear products here in the Philippines.
We can conclude that at the heart of Ylla, it supports and promotes what is truly Filipino. What then sets them apart? Ylla utilizes indigenous materials. Shoe weavers in Zamboanga unto the shoemakers in Marikina in which they have shared unswerving passion and commitment, definitely, no piece of being a Filipino is being left behind.
With the own growth and financial profitability being subordinated by the general desire, this business’ heart lies on the need to help other local businesses. Specifically, they are the local suppliers, small-scale factories and other linked communities, helping them by the purpose of affluently causing them betterment and financial development.
Thus, we can say that Ylla Shoes really aims to be an inspiration to other local businesses.
Ylla has uplifted not only being a Filipino-brand… but most importantly, the condition and state of living of their fellow Filipinos.
I personally own one pair of Ylla shoes and I can say that apart from the spunk it adds to my outfit of the day, it is very comfortable. I remember asking one of the founders of the business, about how long it takes them to produce these designs? She said, “It takes a lot of hard work and sometimes it even takes three days just to weave 3 meters of the fabric”. I guess, after all the hard work, it becomes worth it if the product output is great, and definitely Ylla’s shoes are stylish and fashionable.