.ARCHIVES' Ellis Co and Reika Mayani Merge the Past and Present With "Phases/Faces" | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

.ARCHIVES’ Ellis Co and Reika Mayani sartorially reflect on the good and the bad with their most personal collection yet



Misibis Bay’s scenic beachfront served as the perfect backdrop for .ARCHIVES‘ “PHASES/FACES” collection.

Bursts of wind accompanied the techno rhythm of the show’s music as guests mingled. Several feet of gray, hard wood lined the famed Bicol beachfront to serve as the models’ catwalk. Supersized silver floaties grazed buoyantly over the water almost as if there were giant mirror balls gliding through the ocean’s surface. 

Absolutely no expense was spared in preparation for .ARCHIVES’ most personal collection yet, and rightfully so. 


Al James in .ARCHIVES. Photo: courtesy of ARCHIVES.


“This collection is about 21 different individuals that either positively or negatively impacted our life,” said fashion designer and co-founder Ellis Co during an interview with Lifestyle.INQ after the fashion show.

Established in 2022 alongside co-founder and creative director Reika Mayani, the multi-faceted duo ruminated on the wide variety of inspirational elements they sourced from during the infancy of the collection’s concept. “Bicol has always been a place we come back to for reflection; it’s always been an oasis or escape for us,” shared Co as he revealed that location served as a large source of inspiration for them. Apart from the geographical significance of the show, Co and Mayani shared how they drew inspiration from brutalist Japanese architecture, and the 2021 film “DUNE”. 

As models began to make their way down the runway, an array of gender-neutral pieces were presented one after another. Hues of whites, blacks, grays, and browns populated .ARCHIVES’ collection while a mixture of boxy and figure-hugging silhouettes draped each model. 

“I would say our strengths are really in menswear, so a lot of our looks are gender neutral,” notes Mayani. “We wanted the blazers to be wearable by both men and women. We like oversized silhouettes — silhouettes you can’t just find anywhere. So I guess that translated to the collection and the pieces we made for the brand.”


As the “Phases/Faces” show drew to a close, models all simultaneously shuffled down the catwalk for one last look. A real-life highlight reel showcasing the sartorial vision of both Co and Mayani, it wasn’t long until the two eventually made their own appearance, waving and thanking guests in attendance. Behind them, the .ARCHIVES team proudly donning all-black looks.

“When it comes to our team, I like to take criticism from everyone, like, even our accountant or even our you know, like our logistics or our procurement department,” Co revealed when asked about how his team’s dynamic functioned. “I ask for everyone’s opinion, and if it’s a harsh answer, syempre I take it positively, as positive criticism.”

“I don’t like working on my own knowing that some people on our team aren’t okay with what I’m doing. It’s very important for us that everyone’s on the same page, everyone likes what we’re doing, and what we’re creating.” 


Ellis Co and Reika Mayani surrounded by their team. Photo: courtesy of .ARCHIVES.

Apart from the two’s mentioned creative inspirations for the collection, Co also credited the late Virgil Abloh as a driving force in his journey to fashion. “Although I don’t take as much influence in his work as much as I did before, he’s one of the reasons why I even got into fashion.”. 

Best known for his stint at Louis Vuitton, and for launching his own luxury streetwear brand “Off-White”, Abloh was highly revered in the fashion industry as a skilled sartorial innovator and disruptor.

Much like Abloh, it can be said that that same innovation and dedication to their craft can be found in the work of Co and Mayani. Through and through, it was evident how incredibly hands-on and meticulous both were from the conceptualization to the execution of their collection. And taking into consideration the fact that both creatives are still incredibly young, it’s safe to say that this can only be the beginning of a promising future in fashion.

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