The 'Enricke' Shirtwear:

Memories of Something Good

Reprinted from Lifestyle Asia July 1994

"I had noticed that most painted shirts sold in the market are not worth the customers' money and the trust. The designs would fade after several washings, in fact."

This was the observation made by Filipino Jose Enrique de las Peñas who, responding to the challenge of coming up with the ideal shirt for the Philippines, specifically in Cebu City, has paved the way for a shirtwear simply called Enricke.

That he is stamping his name on every creation is one manifestation of his seriousness in giving the T-shirt the world would like to wear.

Jose Enrique, or Joen, is one personatity hard to pin down. Either he's out of the country, or he's off somewhere else with a Do Not Disturb sign marked on an open door.

The background of the man behind the Enricke shirt creations carries original statements especially if one does consider that his field is Optometry, having graduated from this course in 1990. While waiting for the results of the board exams, Joen was taking special attention to T-shirt printing.

Although he is one of the board topnotchers, the young De las Peñas decided to venture into T-shirt manufacturing which, in the final analysis, is not at all surprising since even as a child, Joen was one who had always been fascinated with colours and brushes.

With this interest kept on his mind and in his heart, Joen de las Peñas did not hesitate to "start from scratch", doing a series of experimentations with his "ready market". Fact is, his initial T-shirt venture was done for optometry seminars.

One experiment led to the other, with noted improvements along the way, until Joen was convinced that Enricke was just about ready for the bigger market.

After some painstaking efforts, the young executive made his first stop, which was Robinson's, one of the biggest department stores in Cebu, Philippines. Management's condition seemed to De las Peñas kind of staggering: "selling all 5,000 shirts displayed in the store".

Unwittingly, the number did not equal the demand. In a short time, Enricke shirts doubled the figure demanded of Robinson's management. There was no denying that Joen's shirtwear had caught the imagination of the populace.

Thus, slowly but with steady and sure steps, Enricke emerged. Improvement came in terms of more researches done and more sophisticated sewing machines coming in. It goes without saying that modern techniques were put to use in his T-shirt printing, owing to the convenience of his regular travel half-way around the world to attend seminars and conventions especially relating to the shirt business.

Only two years of existence, Enricke has become a by-word. Its employment of 100 percent cotton is one sure sign of comfort that is apparent to the wearer.

Most importantly, Joen de las Peñas makes it a point that every Enricke shirt would carry a statement of Philippine culture, particluraly focusing on the beauty of Cebu.

While each shirt is of export quality, it does not reflect the price, prompting management to play up with the slogan: "Inexpensive but high quality shirts."

So from Cebu to the world, Enricke is becoming to be a "better alternative". "And De las Peñas is good as true to his words because the designs and colours on every shirt do not wear off even after constant use.

In short, the man behind Enricke has a very good memory.

Oh yes, he remembers well.

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