There’s “dad fashion,” then there’s the way Eric Dee Jr. does it. In relaxed yet tailored silhouettes, he doesn’t shy away from color and tonal looks. He and his wife and co-founder Bea can totally be models in any one of the shoots for their sunglasses-turned-lifestyle brand Sunnies. With son Braeden and daughter Billie, the young family’s tight bond shows in how they just can’t help but dress alike.
THE PHILIPPINE STAR: You and Bea both have great personal style and also have fashionable kids! Do you dress up and coordinate outfits as a family?
ERIC DEE JR.: My wife buys pieces she thinks have a good cut, great color, and most of all, are comfy. And then we leave it to the kids to mix and match. We don’t really coordinate outfits but since it comes from the same palette, we sometimes all dress alike.
Do you guide Braeden and Billie through developing an interest in fashion?
They have fun picking their own clothes. I think at this age, comfort is key.
Who’s more like you between Braeden and Billie, and who is more like Bea?
Bea says our kids look like her and I say otherwise. When it comes to the buffet, Billie sticks with me and Braeden’s with his mom. Both their habits, like reading and playing the piano, they definitely got from Bea. I’m actually happy they get many things from their mother.
There’s “dad fashion,” then there’s the way Eric Dee Jr. does it. In relaxed yet tailored silhouettes, he doesn’t shy away from color and tonal looks.
As parents, who’s the “bad cop” and “good cop” between you and Bea?
Bea and I make it a conscious effort to have one voice in front of our kids. We always have a united front and we stick by each other’s decisions.
Growing up, what kind of son were you?
I would like to say that I was very tall, low-maintenance, obedient, and an easy child. But you can ask my parents what they thought.
Did your father (restaurateur Rikki Dee) give you advice about being a dad? If yes, can you share some?
My dad has always been a “lead by example” type. As a parent, there was a lot of importance given to family time, being present, and sharing learnings. During every meal, my dad makes it a point to share learnings, whether it be in business, personal or family.
Do you have any “I told you so” moments between you and your father?
More than “I told you so,” it’s more of “Now I know.” Now that I have kids of my own, I’m starting to realize why my dad raised me the way he did and I’m truly appreciative.
Do you take Braeden and Billie to work? Do they like it?
My kids love hanging out in the office. As much as we can, we bring them around when we go around stores. It’s funny how at a very young age they notice a lot of the small details. Braeden likes to talk to our teams at the store while Billie really loves the milkshakes.
What lessons do you pass on to your kids?
I tell them the one most important thing to learn in life is how to be kind.
What have you learned from your kids?
Patience. More patience. Haha. They help me discover things about myself daily. They also teach me to slow down in life and see joy in the simple things.
When are they mature for their age and when are they most childlike?
They are most mature and most childlike when they really want something.
What’s one thing about being a dad that you know now that you wish you knew back then?
That I will need to repeat things a thousand times and that it’s the best, most enriching experience I could ever hope for.