BENCH/MEETS: Robbie Becroft

Robbie Becroft

Photography by Gabby Cantero  |  Grooming by Sari Campos

Model Robbie Becroft is no mere mannequin. The Fil-Aussie 24-year-old maintains a menswear blog, “Robbie Off-Duty,” where he documents his days off, from outfits worn to nights out with celebrity friends. Besides getting enough blog hits to rank him in topblogs.ph’s Top 10 list, Becroft’s laidback style caught the attention of the folks at NEFF Headwear, a label worn by the legendary likes of Snoop Dogg and DJ Deadmau5. Recently, the California-based label chose Becroft as its Manila-based brand manager.

B/BLOG recently met the model-blogger and talked vintage style, New Year’s resolutions, and how a job at the airport might have instilled a constant desire for takeoff.

B: What have you been up to lately?

R: I’ve been keeping up with living a healthy lifestyle at the moment. It’s one of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions. I’ve got plenty of resolutions. One, learn Tagalog. I plan to travel a lot this year and maintain a stable blog. I’d like my blog to eventually take me overseas.

What about style resolutions?

I came back from the UK and I gained so much inspiration there checking out markets with antiques and vintage wear. I came across some awesome Soviet Russian jackets, which I ended up buying. I started to become more interested in whether there’s a story to an item.

Your blog doesn’t just focus on menswear. What else do you cover?

I see myself as a bit of a storyteller. I have a lot of friends that I still keep in contact with back in Australia and having the blog, I get to show people my story in the Philippines. Majority of my readers are from overseas, usually from the UK or from the States. These guys want to know what happens in the Philippines—how the nightlife is or what’s fun.

BENCH/ x Robbie Becroft

Varsity jacket, classic tank, and dyed jeans by BENCH/  |  Necklace by ALDO  |  Boots by American Eagle Outfitters

What got you to the Philippines in the first place?

I’m half-Filipino. My mum, she’s from Novaliches. I was here one day on vacation with my family and I wanted to stay here for a little bit and learn the language. My mum suggested that I stay with my family and get to understand what it’s like living in a different culture before actually going into the real world. Since then, I’ve just realized that it’s a great place. I’ve been here for nearly two years now. I used to live in Makati and I couldn’t handle it—too much traffic, a lot of angry, stressed people. Quezon City keeps me grounded. I’ve come across a really nice community of people here.

Any favorite Q.C. hangouts?

It’s called Big Sky Mind. It’s got an old pub feel and the guys working at the bar will help generate a conversation with the person sitting next to you. I’ve had some incredible conversations with people who I never would have thought would visit Manila. I feel like I’m in a different country sometimes. In fact, I was there last night. I was checking out the cafes there. You can do a course where they teach you how to become a barista. This morning, I was back there in the café next door and they do a lovely breakfast there.

“My ex-girlfriend (Laureen Uy) was a blogger, and I started out taking photos for her. I was no good … she actually bullied me, which was quite funny.”

What else does Robbie like to do off-duty?

I’m very spontaneous. I usually like to get together with friends for trips out of town. This year, we’re going to Laneway Music Festival. If anything, I’d like to go back to learning the trumpet. My dad played it and I grew up learning it.

How did you learn to take photos for your blog?

Basically, my ex-girlfriend (BENCH/ Skin Expert endorser Laureen Uy) was a blogger, and I started out taking photos for her. I was no good whatsoever. In fact, she actually bullied me, which was quite funny. So I said, ‘That’s it, I really want to get my head around this.’ I ended up getting my own camera, I got my knowledge from YouTube, walked around the streets of Quezon City, and started taking photos of whatever I came across, whether it’s pedestrians or houses that I liked here. I pretty much developed a feel for the camera and tried to develop my eye. Once you get into the rhythm, that’s when you can broaden your creativity.

Robbie Becroft x BENCH/

If you’d never left, what would you be doing in Australia?

Before I left Australia, I was working at the airport, doing ground operations for a company that handled multiple airlines like Virgin, Cathay Pacific, Royal Brunei. It was pretty cool and was good pay. But I thought to myself, where am I gonna go from there? That was the reason why I came to the Philippines—to gain inspiration and develop my personality. If I was back in Australia, I’d probably just be doing the same thing. Like when I look at all the people in my Facebook that I used to work with, three years has gone past and they’re still doing the same thing.

SHOP THE STORY: Classic tank by BENCH/

BENCH/MEETS: Tini Dahl