MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA – What started out as an “accidental” business by three college friends is now is now a proud clothing brand that champions local artists and their designs.

Ateneo alumni Miguel Naguiat, Mika Bautista and Paolo Lim started Analog Soul late 2004. All of them had day jobs then but wanted to cash in on the holiday season so they could all earn extra income.

So they decided on making T-shirts but, owing to their inexperience, they missed out on all bazaars, not realizing they could’ve sold a lot more shirts – and to more people outside their circle of friends – instead of simply selling them literally from out of the trunk of their cars.

Still, the trio persisted and set out to create their own brand – Analog Soul was taken from an Erykah Badu song that had the lyrics “..we are analog souls in a digital world”. All three of them, Miguel recalls, felt there wasn’t much choice people their age “can relate to” when it comes to clothes; there were either high-end, expensive imported brands or local brands that were too mass-marketed.

Analog Soul strives for originality in design. At first, Paolo, who is a graphics designer by profession, was their sole designer while Miguel and Mika were in charge of marketing duties. They set up their first store at Archaeology in Rockwell, in an area known as a haven for local designers (including Team Manila, a famous local design group that also started selling shirts).

On their website, the introduction in the about page reads:

“WE ARE ANALOG SOUL—the emotions you wear on your sleeve, the fabric that clothes your ideas. We are your self-expression—creative, evocative, and eclectic.”

As the brand gradually became famous through word-of-mouth, they received inquiries from eager customers who simply wanted to show them their own designs. Last year, they held a T-shirt design contest with the end-goal of showcasing original designs from local artists to a bigger audience.

Today, Analog Soul has a stable of some 15 artists that regularly churn out designs, not limited to T-shirts but also hoodies, jeans, bags, notebooks, laptop bags and even sneakers and bikinis.  T-shirts range from P395 to P575 and categorized according to fit: original, vintage and “soul rebel”.

More than just selling T-shirts, Miguel says Analog Soul strives to become a lifestyle brand attuned to today’s generation of youngsters who are price-sensitive but nonetheless place a premium on originality.

Analog Soul also has stores located at The Ramp in Glorietta 4 in Makati City, Trinoma in Quezon City and at the SM Megamall Department Store in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.