Fashion

18-Year-Old STEM Student Started A Streetwear Line That Now Has Over 10K FB Followers

Inspired by A$AP Rocky's song, the clothing line Coziest was born.
IMAGE Courtesy of Richard Zshornack

Richard Zshornack is a student from Colegio de San Juan de Letran – Manila who has big dreams to connect people through fashion, taking care not to compromise 'coziness' just to look good. At 18, he’s already off to do great things with his streetwear clothing line.

The brand started out as a joke that turned out to be a nudge in the right direction for this STEM student. Richard and his best friend, Neil, were talking about what they could do with their lives. Neil, knowing Richard was interested in fashion, suggested that he start his own clothing company, which Richard did not take seriously because it seemed impossible. At first, he thought, “This is just for making money and it is such a hassle...” What a typical busy university student thing to think of, right?

But in what seems like perfect timing, his older brother brought up plans of starting a t-shirt printing business so the three of them thought, why not? He conceptualized later that night and the business was born.

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Inspired by A$AP Rocky’s song, Richard thinks Coziest is the perfect name for his brand because, according to him, “When you are comfortable with what you wear, your confidence builds up. I envisioned how amazing it [would] be to share my ideas and designs with people through this brand. I imagined how good it would feel [to see] friends bond over my designs, connect, and wear them on the streets, feeling cozy as ever, as how it should be.”

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He’s very hands on with Coziest--he designs, monitors the printing process, mans the booth, and even models for it sometimes. Coziest has shirts, hoodies, bucket hats, and tactical bags (Keep your eye out for beanies, sling bags, and socks they’re gonna release soon!). It’s no wonder the brand is flourishing.

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Richard felt like Coziest reached new heights in November 2019 when multi-awarded news anchor, Julius Babao, sported their Cozy Movements jacket in an IG post.

The clothing line's next release, Butterfly Effect, is slated for this January. This sixth series intends to deliver the message that “every little thing you do can make ripples that lead to a big difference.” 

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Lastly, Richard shares a message to his peers: “You’re never too young or too old to do the things that you want to do. It’s not in the timing. As long as you like what you are doing, do it. It doesn’t matter how slow you’re going. What matters is that you’re making progress. You only live once.” For Richard, it’s important that you should do what you’re passionate about so you can live life with no regrets.

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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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