We met Dan a few years back when he was over here in the country for a visit, pre-pandemic. A week before flying back to Australia, he sought us out at our-then studio in Salcedo Village in Makati with his friend Ellice, tried out some clothes, and ended up getting a couple of pieces for himself. We had only ever met only once, but had nurtured a friendship since that one time over social media and we consider him as one of many keen supporters of Leon Denim. In this first of our 25 Questions series, we decided to share to this audience a bit more insight about Dan himself and his sense of personal style.
Leon Denim 1933 Waist Overalls, Uniqlo Tee, red pullover by APC, GH Bass loafers
1. We can start perhaps with a brief introduction about yourself?
Dan: My name is Danier Pantoja, people call me by my nickname, Dan, currently residing in Melbourne, Australia. I do account managing for a drop shipping company and am an aspiring "content creator" who loves anything about clothing and fashion. I enjoy going to cafes and clocking in my daily runs.
2. What brought you to Australia, particularly to Melbourne? I am fortunate to have visited this city once, many years ago, and the place made an indelible imprint on me - I consider it one of the best cities I have ever been to.
Dan: My family originally moved to New Zealand back in 2005 and lived there for about 10 years before fully deciding to move to Melbourne. At the time I was still in university so I decided to stay behind and finish up. Once done, I found myself not having much reason to stay in NZ (as much as I love the place) and having my family already in Australia, it was an easy decision for me to make the move. Melbourne is amazing - the culture, people, food and not to mention, fashion here is incredible. I can find inspiration in all forms which I use when I create content.
3. We are admirers of your sense of style - seemingly an eclectic mix of inspirations - light and easy, and yet with a punching of bold choices in places. Can you tell us more about it?
Dan: I honestly don't even know how to call my personal style myself. It's definitely evolved over the years - from really liking sneakers and following the "hype" culture to now wearing a lot of pieces that are heavily Americana, workwear, and sartorial-inspired. I'm constantly trying to shop for quality over quantity these days. Although the "hypebeast" in me still lives on.
TCB Daisy Mae, Universal Works Fatigue Jacket. Trophy Clothing Denim Shirt, Buzz Ricksons Camo Trousers, Vans
4. Describe to us how a typical weekday looks like for you.
Dan: I wish this was more interesting but I do the usual 9 to 5. I have the benefit of WFH twice a week (Monday and Friday) so I take advantage of those two days to create extra content to post up (consistency is the key you know, haha!). Otherwise, if I'm in the office - I normally start the day at around 6.30am, get in the office and work throughout the day, get home around 6.00pm, rest up a little, and go for a 5-10km run. I normally end my day/night by playing games or bingeing on Netflix.
5. And what do you do on weekends, on your free time?
Dan: On Sundays, I work for a store called @urahara (check them out - super-good selection of selvedge denim). Saturday is my only full day off, so this is when I do all other things like house chores, visiting my family and friends, eating out for brunch, trying out new coffee spots and of course, shooting content.
Uniqlo U Zip Up Sweater, Trophy Clothing Denim Shirt, Sugarcane 1947 Used Jeans, Paraboot Chambord
6. Where can you usually be spotted?
Dan: I enjoy being at home but when I'm out, you can usually find me at cafes (@calerecoffee, @inicoffee_melbourne @littleroguemelbourne) drinking coffee during the day. At night, I enjoy celebrating Fridays so it’s either at a cozy rooftop bar or a nice Korean BBQ. I stroll around the city a lot when I have free time. I've been living in Melbourne for 5-ish years and honestly, there's still so many to things for me to see and do. I'm always finding new places when I'm aimlessly walking around.
7. Melbourne or Sydney?
Dan: Melbourne all the way of course! Although Sydney's got their own gems as well. I like how there's so many nice food places in Sydney, slightly more general stores to visit and they're opening up a Jollibee there soon, so another trip will be made.
8. If there were another place where you could live, where would that be?
Dan: Years back, I thought of living and doing work experience in Canada for a couple of years, not exactly sure where there, though. I love winter so I thought Canada would be the perfect place. London could be an option as well, but I've heard it's kind of similar to Melbourne + the higher cost of living.
9. How did you get into your interest in men's fashion and style?
Dan: My fascination for clothing and fashion grew from one of my first-ever visits to Melbourne, back in 2009-2010. It really woke me up and made me want to learn more. My dad is into clothing as well so that definitely played a major part, too. Looking at old photos of me and my brother, we were always decked out in Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, which are now more out there again.
10. Who are your style inspirations?
Dan: There's currently no specific person that inspires me - it's more everything and everyone. I can say Drake’s Diary, Clutch Cafe London, The Anthology, Trophy Clothing are the pages I constantly look at for style inspiration.
11. Any favourite brands and makers?
Dan: Recently, @drakesdiary and @pjohnson - I've been having a major suiting/sartorial phase recently and it's mainly because of them. I love their execution in their pieces. Timeless and quality pieces that can get overlooked by most people, yet they make them look so cool.
12. Tell me about a favourite article of clothing.
Dan: I have this Type 1 Denim Jacket by Studio d' Artisan which I bought from a store here in Melbourne called Corlection. I love that thing - I was still very new in the denim world when I bought it so I blindly purchased it because of the fit, quality and the endless number of ways I can wear it. I plan to pass it down to my kids when that time comes.
Cooperstown Ball Cap, Studio D'Artisan Type 1 denim jacket, Labour Union Clothing Vest, Belafonte Stripe Shirt, Vintage Fullcount 0105, Berwick Loafers
13. What can you consider as your biggest style mistake?
Dan: I'd say over-investing on certain trends that I knew I barely liked but were popular at the time.
14. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Dan: Proud to say I only have 18 pairs of shoes now from having more than 40.
15: What's in your tote bag?
Dan: At all times, I have a spare sweater, camera, headphones, sunglasses, pens, and an umbrella.
16. If you were a hashtag, which one would you be?
Dan: The first hashtag that popped in my head is #ootd so I'll go with that.
TCB Daisy Mae, Stone Island Half Zip Vintage Vest, Leon Denim 1933 Waist Overalls, Clark Wallabees
17. Name a book that made an impression on you.
Dan: I honestly barely read books. But the one that I actually read and stuck to me was The Barefoot Investor which was recommended to me by one of my ex-workmates. It's opened my eyes on how to properly manage my finances (and stop the impulse buying, haha!).
18. Favourite film?
Dan: All-time favourite would be Serendipity based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. Anything of him is so good. I love me some good rom-com and feel-good movies.
19. Favourite song?
Dan: 2 years in a row, my most-played song on my Spotify is Miracle Nights by ALLMO$T - I love OPM (Original Pinoy Music).
20. What's important to you?
Dan: Family and some good quiet time to myself.
21. What's not important to you?
Dan: Negativity - I think the older I get, the more I am aware that those kinds of things are a waste of time and not worth putting any attention to.
Ebbetsfield Cap, rats Chore Jacket, Barbour Rugby Polo, Trophy Clothing Denim Shirt, Fullcount 0105, Paraboot Michael
22. Any motto or philosophy you try to live by?
Dan: "If you can dream it, you can achieve it" - the achieving part is still work in progress so I'll get back to you guys on that.
23. What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?
Dan: I'd want to be doing content creation full-time and hopefully be running my clothing brand. It's in the works, I just need to overcome the fear of failure.
24. What style advice would you give the reader?
Dan: Don't be scared to try out new things and wear something you're comfortable with. It's easy to "look good" these days with the endless options the internet has to offer but not everything will click. Find that and wear the hell out of it even if it's not considered "hype".
25. Any parting words?
Thanks, I really had great fun doing this. Hope you're all having a good day, and always stay safe!
Thanks a lot for getting this far, and I hope you enjoyed this feature. Do give any comments, questions, or feedback in the box below - we'd really like to hear from you.