New York-based designer Willy Chavarria is relatively new to the fashion scene, but that in no way means he hasn’t created much of an impact, or that he hasn’t gained enough momentum to keep doing so.
Since the launch of his eponymous label in 2015, Willy Chavarria has managed to redefine what it means to make a statement in fashion. Inspired by his own roots and upbringing as a California born Chicano, the streetwear designer crafts pieces inspired by art, politics, and social commentary, and partners with various organizations in order to promote his worthy causes.
As Bench’s latest international collaborator, Willy Chavarria makes use of the local retail powerhouse’s influence to send out a message of hope and empowerment to the youth through their joint collection. With this partnership, their goal is simple: to empower the youth through clothes that make them feel good and ultimately comfortable in their own skin and with their own identities.
The pieces in this lineup are lightweight and relaxed. They feel lived-in, which speaks volumes about both Bench and Chavarria’s respective brand DNAs.
The clothes mesh together Bench and Chavarria’s own signature cozy sensibilities, from slouchy trucker jackets and muscle tees, down to low rider chinos and tapered sweatpants. The collection also features silhouettes and styles that are distinctly Willy, like the cropped work shirt, the muscle mesh tee, and the zip-neck cholo shirt (which, you should know, pairs perfectly with a pair of shorts from the same collection). With direction and styling by Willy Chavarria himself, the collab’s launch campaign was shot by New York-based Filipino photographer Brent Chua, who also happens to be Chavarria’s casting director and Bench’s long-time collaborator. Chua also screened all the models that will be representing the collaboration at their upcoming Bench Fashion Week show. Together, Chavarria, Chua, and Bench worked to create a campaign that’s all at once rugged and relatable, with casting choices that reflect Chavarria’s push for representation.
Making the most of his visit to the Philippines, Willy Chavarria will join local hunger relief charity Feeding Metro Manila for a feeding program for 100 homeless children at the railroad tracks in Muntinlupa City. Despite the glamorous process of designing, creating, shooting, and casting behind this Willy Chavarria x Bench collaboration, the collaborators are making sure to stay true to the very core of this project: that is, kindness and the willingness to lend a hand to those in need. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Chavarria and Bench are set to reveal their full collaboration at the Bench Fashion Week Holiday 2019. The internationally acclaimed streetwear designer will be flying to Manila in time for their collab show on Aug 31, as well as for the Jury Night of the Bench Design Awards on Sept. 1, where Chavarria will be part of the design competition’s esteemed panel of judges.
The Willy Chavarria x Bench collection will be available in selected Bench stores. For more updates on this collaboration and other exciting new developments, check out @benchtm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.