NOT a lot of people can wear June Mar Fajardo's XXXL shirts, with an extra one-inch in length, but the San Miguel Beer gentle giant has always dreamed about seeing other people wear his clothing line.
"Matagal ko nang gustong magkaroon ng clothing line," he says. "Dati, nagde-design ako tapos pinapadikit ko lang sa t-shirt. Galing pa nga sa States kasi wala akong size, so mostly online lang ako nagpapagawa."
That dream became a reality for the 31-year old with the online launch of Kraken Apparel, which drew its name from the mythical character that became Fajardo's moniker in his rise to PBA stardom.
From designing his own shirts in the past, Fajardo's dream was fast-tracked by an encounter with Cebuano rapper Cookie$, who the big man says had long been releasing his own personal merchandise online.
"Last year, nakilala ko si Cookie$ at napag-usapan namin yung merch niya. Doon na nagsimula," he shares.
Eventually, Fajardo got in touch with another fellow Cebuano, Pormz Porminal, of Threads and Needles Clothing, who helped him produce the shirts, and Franco Cipriano of Cocotech Solutions, who made his website.
And just this weekend, Kraken Apparel went live. The first release, which had minimalistic designs, actually was conceptualized by Fajardo himself, with him also picking the shirt colors of white, green, and black.
"Gusto ko yung simple lang, minimalist lang. Hindi masyadong magulo sa mata," the six-time PBA MVP told Spin.ph.
"Yung white at black yung kulay na hilig ko, tapos nagustuhan ko rin yung green," he said of his shirts worth P799.
Fajardo hopes to see his fans proudly wear his clothing line.
"Gusto ko masuot ng mga fans yung t-shirt ko. Masaya na ako doon, na nakikita na suot nila. Nakakataba ng puso," he admits.
"Marami pa kaming designs. May hoodie kami na ginagawa, sweater, and then yung cap parating na next week. Marami kaming designs. Tapos may plano pa kami na backpacks and gym bags, socks, tsaka facemasks na rin."
The new business is currently operating exclusively online, but Fajardo hopes that once the pandemic ends, he could open a physical store for Kraken Apparel.
"Why not, di ba? Kung maganda yung takbo ng business, bakit hindi?" he says. "Parang experiment pa lang naman sa akin ito. First time pa lang pero maganda naman yung takbo ng business."
As big as the plans are, Fajardo, for now, is just happy to have his free merch.
"Bawat design, may isa akong libreng shirt. So masaya ako na nasusuot ko yun," he says with a chuckle.