Text by: Jonix Vinci Amoroso
We see things differently at different stages of our lives. Some things may seem shallower, while some more valuable. Backtracking seven years ago, I was in seventh grade, and one local clothing brand was making waves within the youth community – a certain brand named Don’t Blame the Kids or DBTK for short.
The name itself captured the essence of what every teenage kid, what every naïve young person was going through. The brand name was a message to let the kids be themselves, and one of their philosophies, “Dream big start small,” called for this demographic to be dauntless in their pursuit of greatness.
Only after two years of knowing DBTK was I able to purchase a pair of goods for myself. I can still remember that one Summer sale when I bought my black coin bag, black DBTKMOB sideline shirt, and the basic taped pocket tee in white. Admittedly, I still have these with me for safekeeping to remind me of a dream which took two years to get a hold of.
If anything, Don’t Blame the Kids meant more of a movement than a clothing brand. In 2014, I discovered and fell in love with DBTK for its ideals centered around culture, dreams, and change. It became a medium to voice out that a better culture awaits the dreamer of change who is brave enough to pursue it.
Stephen Salonga, a friend of the founders, who was in Singapore at the time the brand launched one of its pioneer collections, asked a traveling colleague of his to purchase him a Mayan, Droopy, and Give Time Make Time release as support to a local brand he personally knew was a lovechild of passion, dedication, sweat, and hard work.
User @ethoi vividly remembers coming across the brand back in 2018. At that point, DBTK was already a staple in the local streetwear industry, but things only went north from there. As he shares, DBTK continues to improve itself and it consistently seeks to mature its craft in service of the community and culture of dreamers.
To some, DBTK may be just another brand. But to people like ourselves – like me, Stephen, and @ethoi, Don’t Blame the Kids is a realization of a vision of a world where each person is at liberty to pilot their fate and be superior against their fears and worries.
At some point, I would like to meet a person who once saw DBTK as a typical label attached to a piece of garment, but who, through time, eventually realized the worth of every word and every graphic – because affixed in them are hope, inspiration, and ambition. Maybe I’m just dreamy and delusional. Maybe it’s the imagination talking. But hey, don’t blame me!