Celebrity style blogger, tastemaker, and influencer Bryanboy believes that people are tired of boring, highly Facetuned content—and this belief has given him staying power.
Influencers may come and go but Bryanboy has proven—yet again—that he’s here to stay.
The celebrity style blogger has come a long way from leafing through fashion magazines as a young, Catholic schoolboy in Manila. Someone who detested uniforms, he’s always had a thing for showing off his individuality.
“I hated looking like everyone else,” he says. “I really disliked the idea of a uniform in general, having to conform and having to wear what other people are also wearing.” This mindset sparked an interest in Bryan. Which eventually led him to fashion magazines and, later, starting his own blog in 2007 in his parents’ Manila home.
His fun, cheeky take on trends and his unique personality cemented his place in the fashion industry as a tastemaker and a key opinion leader. It’s true that Bryan wields a lot of power, having the wry conviction to say which pieces this season are actually on trend and which ones just aren’t making the cut.
As his fellow bloggers during the aughts began to fade away in the last few years, it was Bryan Grey Yambao, the same Catholic school boy from the Philippines, who ended up staying in the limelight more than a decade later.
The right platform
“One has to learn how to remain relevant and adapt with the times,” Bryanboy says when asked about his staying power. “I’m a natural storyteller.”
Platforms may come and go, but his voice is here to stay. “My desire to connect to people and entertain them will always be there.”
Video sharing platform app TikTok seems to be his current platform of choice. Popular among GenZ, one would think there’s no place for social media’s forebears to be there yet Bryan has assimilated well.
Touted as the ‘CEO of the Worst Day Ever,’ Bryan loves to share editorial-worthy looks and scenes from his daily life in Sweden. Of course, those mini-vlogs—like that one where he went grocery shopping or when his husband sent him away to the Philippines—all come with a twist and a lot of role-playing humor. If you don’t get the joke, well it only means you need to spend more time on TikTok.
“Fashion becomes alive on the platform because the audiences cherish authenticity and demand value from their creators, whether it’s educational value or entertainment value,” he shares. “People are tired of boring, highly Facetuned static imagery on other platforms. They want to see the raw, the real, and the unfiltered.”
If there’s one thing Bryanboy is known for, it’s his tell-it-like-it-is attitude. TikTok is a platform that was practically made for him and the democratization of the fashion industry.
“We all have to change with the times. Fashion has become democratic and inclusive through the years,” he shared, having felt like an outsider himself.
Just last month, Bryan took to social media to share a story. It is about the time Dolce & Gabanna gave him and Canadian street-style photographer Tommy Ton front-row seats in their Milan show. That move, apparently, caused a lot of raised eyebrows.
“It made the front page of the New York Times and every dinosaur fashion editor rolled their eyeballs as far back possible and threw hissy fits about us sitting there,” he reveals.
Trailblazers often have it tough. Being one of the first fashion influencers came with a long and tough battle for recognition at a time. When it was big magazine editors who had a monopoly in dictating taste.
When asked what has changed, it seems Bryanboy got exactly what he wanted as that young, newcomer into the fashion world who found himself in the front row.
“Gone are the days when one associates fashion with the elite and the ‘exclusive.’ It’s a very outdated way of thinking about fashion”
A seat at the table
Recently, Bryan was photographed at a Valentino show surrounded by Youngblood. A whole new generation of fashion influencers who made their names through TikTok. Athlete Noah Beck, singer Dexie D’Amelio, and Hawaii-based social media personality turned singer Bella Poarch. Incidentally, Poarch also comes from the Philippines.
“A little surreal to meet everyone tbh (to be honest)—at long last!” Bryan wrote on Instagram. “It was also funny speaking to Bella in Tagalog… I usually get so jealous of all my multilingual friends who secretly speak their native languages to each other and I finally got to do that.”
It’s been 12 years since he broke into the scene. And now, he’s twice the age of the fashion influencers who are gaining popularity by the day.
“We took the jabs, the shade and the insults and at times. The denial of acknowledgement that we exist, from people who disliked why we were there,” Bryan recalled. He does, however, want an industry that’s kinder. “I don’t ever wanna be that person. We fought for our seat on the table and I wanna celebrate those who do the same.”
We asked Bryan what makes for a meaningful life. He said that it boils down to living with a purpose and it seems he has found just that. A life dedicated to fashion.
Thankfully, he’s not the least bit afraid to scoot a little and make room for others. Proving that the table’s big enough and there’s space for someone who’s willing to fight for their seat.
Photos ANDREI SULEIK
Art Direction MARC YELLOW and PAOLO TORIO
Styling DAVID MILAN
Assisted by SANDRO DELA PENA
Grooming CATS DEL ROSARIO
Sittings Editor DONG RONGQUILLO
Special thanks to ANGEL VELASCO, MICA RESTRIVERA, and DORIS JIMENEZ
Shot on location CONRAD MANILA