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“When people think of streetwear in Asia, people always think, ‘Oh, it’s Hong Kong. It’s Japan. It’s Taiwan.’ No one thinks, ‘It’s the Philippines.’ Which is ironic because we’re the most Americanized country in Asia,” Kyle Concepcion, co-founder of The Nines, shares.

 

 

Streetwear, known as casual apparel typically worn by urban youth subcultures, is rooted in the surf and skate culture of California. Considering the long-standing Western influence that remains prevalent in the Philippines’ culture, the nation oddly falls behind in the top-of-mind Asian locales of streetwear.

Despite this phenomena, the local streetwear movement’s present landscape is shifting promisingly.

Today, the Philippines’ streetwear culture is undoubtedly emerging. Armed with the power of social media, creatives behind the movement, such as independent designers, photographers and influencers are able to promote the culture by reaching a wider audience. This is where The Nines, a lifestyle brand with an impressive selection of high street labels and coveted artisanal brands, enters the picture.

 

 

After working for Procter & Gamble and being well-versed in distribution as early as college with the Atenean brand GetBlued, Kyle decided that it was high time for him to take the leap from corporate to retail. Now a founder of distributing company Regain Philippines, Inc., delving into the retail industry to Kyle is not just a lucrative endeavor with an end-goal of selling the most number of shirts.

Of all the types of retail outlets, streetwear, although new to Kyle back then, came naturally as it answered a typical problem that a male post-college graduate transitioning to full-fledged adulthood face.

“Right after I finished my corporate career, I only had two looks. I had my college look and I had my preppy corporate look. So it was awkward. How does a guy like me – I was 26 or 27 at the time – how do I dress?”

 

 

What’s compelling about streetwear is how every article of clothing tells a unique story and how each item can fit your personal style. May you gravitate towards a minimalist, preppy or athletic fashion aesthetic, or anything beyond and between those genres, streetwear pieces can express your individuality and adds that extra edge to your look.

 

 

When it comes to The Nines’ brands, Kyle is adamant about quality being king. Along with his partners, Kyle and his team work hard in selecting top-quality brands that uphold a strong vision. Currently housing popular street wear labels such as Black Scale, Thrasher and Rastaclat, they intend to expand their roster and will soon be distributing brands such as Stampd, I Love Ugly, Odd Future and Champion.

 

 

With the flagship store’s exceptional interiors and store functionality (it doubles as a studio where you can take a stylized shot of yourself and post it online), The Nines provides an offline and online streetwear experience that’s one-of-a-kind. Add that with coveted brands that are stirring up the fashion industry and you can expect a stronger local streetwear movement, all the while influencing individuals to dress to the nines.

 

 

Visit The Nines at Uptown Mall, Taguig. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram and check out their official website.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.

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THE Clothing http://sneakstreetph.com/the-clothing/ http://sneakstreetph.com/the-clothing/#respond Sun, 11 Jun 2017 07:02:18 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=2268 Today Sneakstreetph’s kicking it old school giving you a casual interview with Jerik Robleza, one of the three brain’s behind Manila’s longstanding streetwear brand, The Clothing or more popularly known as T-H-E.

What inspires your design?

I make designs that I would wear or my team would wear. Paminsan walang rason at all basta kung ano gusto naming suotin gagawin namin. Personal talaga. What inspires me is what is around and whatever catches my eye.

Who makes the designs?

Well team effort siya, I ask my team what they want to come up with tapos I do the layout.

Have you always been into arts?

Actually commarts student ako but since highschool pa lang drawing na ako ng drawing. College napapinta pinta. It led to doing Graffitis then to commercial works.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

A lot of skateboarding and now pabyahe byahe papuntang LU. Doon na ako tumatambay, provincial life but yeah, skate.

What is skateboarding to you?

It’s for yourself. Wala kang teammate. Nag eenjoy ka lang sa sarili mo with just a plank of wood. Di ko palalalimin. Kababawan lang, you see a curb there, or pavement, just jump on it. Masaya nako sa ganong kababawan lang pero at the same time naeexcersise kadin. Hahaha!

Favorite skateboarders?

Too many to mention but on the top of my mind, Mark Gonzalez and Brian Anderson. Cory Kennedy. Marami eh pero sila yun mga top. Si Cory Kennedy trip ko maglaro ngayon. Naglalaro lang sya. Not for competition but for the heck of it. That’s what skateboarding is all about. Sakanya kasi parang wala naman pero pag nakita mo galaw niya enjoy lang.

Where do you usually hang out dito sa Manila?

Cubao Expo lang madalas. Or Poblacion. Kapag nandito ako sa Manila, sobrang busy talaga ako. Haha.

What kind of work?

I’m a freelance graphic artist/painter. I do commercial works like TVC. Murals sa mga events and stuff.

What was Cubao Expo like back in the day?

Super iba na. Dati kasi super indie niya mas madaming galleries than bars. Pure indie stuff talaga. Tumatambay lang kami sidewalk parang melting pot siya for creative local artists. Now it’s more of a drinking spot now but that’s also good.

Speaking of drinking, choice of alcohol?

Dude kagabi lang nakaubos kami ilang bote ng tequila in Taco Vengo. But yeah I’m a beer person. As in simula lang kagabi lang ako nag start mag tequila. Walang hangover, it’s the shit! I did the new murals in Taco vengo actually, I made the design.

Yeah! Galing! Thoughts on competition?

Shit dude, if someone comes with a new brand I’d be happy to wish them success. Honestly mas gusto ko yun umaasenso mga local brands sa manila. Saludo ako sa mga local brands na matagal na cause sila din nag pave ng way for people like us in the industry.

Tagal na din ng brand niyo, parang tito’s of manila in streetwear. How do you manage to get a long-time following?

Maging totoo ka lang. Astig yun for them to do that,for them to line up and want our stuff. We’ve only been here for 8 years and honestly di pa namin nafeel na nandito na kami. Yun lang sekreto doon just be real.

8 years is still long! How did THE start?

THE is actually a breakaway brand me and my partners Dino and Auggie made. Dino is a pilot now but Back in 2004, me and a couple of other partners had a clothing brand but dumating na yun panahon na parang its getting commercial. We wanted to stick to our roots so we left and made T-H-E!

How did the name THE CLOTHING come about?

“The” is a word that continues or emphasizes a thing, statement,idea or whatever. It’s an article. In a way its like our brand, we want to highlight yun mga tao na nasa baba. Basically that’s the idea. What’s important to us is getting unheard voices out there. Hinahighlight naming mga tao na gusto mag trabaho with us. Eventually the community got involved and people coined it as T-H-E. We started with our own designs but may collabs padin nangyayari. Random nga din how the ideology started kasi nag iinuman lang kami ni Dino Sarmiento tapos ayun.

 What do you, Dino Sarmiento and Auggie Fontanilla do for the The Clothing?

Dino does the PR. I do the art direction and Auggie aligns everything and manages the store. Kanya kanyang buhay din.

Na-aaffect ba ng brand yun personal relationship niyong tatlo?

Sobra grabe but we we’re all friends even before THE started. Kaya kahit nareach na naming yun breaking point, hindi pwede tuloy padin. Parang nag-asawa eh noh? (laughs)

Any interesting facts about T-H-E?

Us owners we don’t really get shit here in The Clothing. The funds earned run the store itself. Actually yun nakikita mong staff now, tropa namin yan. We’re also involved in the music kaya sobrang wide din ng community namin. We feature and do collaborations on our events with local brands that we can help advertise. Involved din kami kahit underground, vape lang hindi, joke! (laughs)

When do your hold events?

Every quarter. Our anniversary is on September. We also celebrate and have a year end party every December here in Cubao Expo but since di na macontrol yun crowd ang laki din na kasi ng community, we transfered our parties to The Collective, sa b-side. Our events is something we do to give back to our customers.

What do you have in store for The Clothing?

I’m calling it now. Magkaka skate bar, beach, restaurant bar. De joke, dream lang yun pero yeah, marami pa marami pa.

It was 12 o’clock in the afternoon on a particularly excruciatingly hot Wednesday and people from different age groups and backgrounds were all covered in sweat, all lining up outside The Clothing’s store alongside the narrow streets of Cubao Expo just because they heard about new delivery of T-H-E merchandise. It’s been 8 years long and The Clothing still has it. Why? Because just like the brand and the people who founded it, they’re non-pretentious, they stay real and they don’t give a flying f*ck.

Check out Jerik and his team’s designs in The Clothing at Cubao expo to see the slickest old school streetwear brand Manila has to offer.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

 

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Manila X http://sneakstreetph.com/manila-x/ http://sneakstreetph.com/manila-x/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:17:29 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=2233 We are all for celebrating local music scene especially when it has a lot of street vibe in it and is done with style. Despite the rain, Manila X festival held on Globe Circuit Event Grounds last May 27 delivers. Here’s a recap of last weekend festivities:

We loved Jess Connelly’s performance. I mean who doesn’t? She performed our favorite song, Under Blankets.

One of the highlights for us is Kiana Valenciano’s performance. She sang her hit song “does she know” and killed it.

One of our favorite rappers, Mito Fabie aka Curtismith also performed alongside Kiana.

Bamboo unfortunately just played 3 songs but was amazing nonetheless.

The final artist to play was William Singe.

There was also a surprise performance from James Reid. Along with performances of Bret Jackson and Sam Conception.

Photo credits from Kim Wee Ebol.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

 

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WHAT TO DO WITH YELLOW STAINS ON WHITE CANVAS SHOES http://sneakstreetph.com/what-to-do-with-yellow-stains-on-white-canvas-shoes/ http://sneakstreetph.com/what-to-do-with-yellow-stains-on-white-canvas-shoes/#respond Sat, 06 May 2017 23:50:34 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=2165 This article mainly addresses yellow stains that usually occur in white CANVAS type sneakers such as Converse, Vans, Adidas superstar slip-ons, Comme Des Garcons and etc. Whether your shoe is on the cheap side or pricey side, the yellow stain problem is unfortunately inevitable, however, Sneakstreetph breaks down this problem and gives you 4 easy ways on how to address it.

 

 

  1. PREVENTION IS KEY

 

Don’t wait for your beautiful pristine white sneakers to turn yellow, act fast! Sun exposure is one of the biggest cause of discoloration and since we live in a hot tropical country (ehem ehem, Manila heat) make sure to store your sneakers where there is no direct sunlight. Also, if you have the budget, investing on shoe cleaning products such as sprays, mousses and water protectants can help prevent yellow stains.

 

 

2.  AVOID THE RAIN

 

In Manila, the weather can be so erratic. One day it’s extremely hot and humid then before you know it, it’s already raining cats and dogs. White canvas type sneakers heavily soaked in rain have a slim chance of returning back to its old form. If you’re thinking of braving the heavy rains while wearing your favorite white canvas type sneaker, don’t do it, it’s not worth it. We recommend having a water resistant shoe spray handy.

 

 

  1. SAY NO TO THE BLEACH

 

Ever wondered why your sneaker turned yellow immediately after using detergent? It’s because most detergents have bleach on them (Tide etc) and it will cause those stubborn yellow stains. Make sure to use detergents that don’t have bleach on them, there are plenty in the market but in Manila specifically, you can by Ariel Power Gel available in leading supermarkets.

 

 

  1. DO THIS DIY CLEANING MIXTURE

 

Mix baking soda, warm water, lemon (Calamansi will also do) and a small amount of detergent (again, without bleach) to make a paste then get an old toothbrush and get to scrubbing! The pasta will dry up after a few minutes of application, wash with damp cloth after and let it air-dry without direct sunlight.

 

That’s it, you’re white sneakers are good as new! If you’re too lazy to do all of that, don’t worry! You can just take your sneakers to shoe cleaning service centers and let them do all the dirty work. For more insider sneaker tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

 

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Rooftop Food Park http://sneakstreetph.com/rooftop-food-park/ http://sneakstreetph.com/rooftop-food-park/#respond Sun, 16 Apr 2017 03:11:41 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=2058  

The Sneakstreet staff enjoyed the deep fried juicy mojos and the freshly squeezed fruit juices made right on the spot without any sugar but taste just as sweet.

These are only some from the fantastic selection you could choose from, and we do urge you to check out other existing offers like the IG-worthy 9 inch double king sized juicy burger, aka the Titanic, as well as more upcoming stalls to complete your gastronomic experience with your friends and family by visiting Rooftop Food Park.

In addition, the Rooftop Food Park also has very exciting news! They will be converting the roof deck parking area into an outdoor movie house where people can hangout to watch our all time favorite films, and enjoy the picturesque view of Fairview at its finest. Don’t worry, they still have the first floor for you to park on.

They will also be having car shows and different types of events to be held on the food park in the future.
If you are interested in renting the space, or applying for an available food stall space, contact the following number: 09178321182.

From all those who live far from fairview area, you could use Waze and type Rooftop Food Park Fairview. Follow Rooftop Food Park on Facebook for more updates!

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Don’t Blame The Kids http://sneakstreetph.com/dont-blame-the-kids/ http://sneakstreetph.com/dont-blame-the-kids/#respond Sun, 02 Apr 2017 02:55:47 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=1916

What was once a buy and sell business, is now one of the strongest clothing brands here in the local scene. Don’t Blame The Kids was started by brothers Emil and Vince Javier and not without tremendous difficulty.

It all began when Emil was still in charge of running a mini-grocery store while at the same time, juggling the buy and sell business he and his brother started in Multiply during 2009. Emil found himself focusing his energy on their buy and sell rather than his grocery.

Nagpakabit pa ako ng wi-fi sa grocery para lang maka internet ako para doon sa buy and sell namin parang yun yung naging way ko of distressing.” -Emil

As Emil continued to struggle with his grocery business, Vince was graduating college with a degree in culinary, a course that wasn’t his first choice. When Vince was entering college, he couldn’t find a course that was well suited for his creativity and passion for brand building and ended up taking culinary on a whim.

“When everyone was picking what course to take, ako yun parang ano bang pwedeng course para sa gusto gumawa ng damit but because no one guided me, nag culinary na lang ako sabi ko bahala na. -Vince

However instead of going to the culinary path like his colleagues did, Vince followed his own instinct.

“Gagawin ko na ano yung purpose ko nun 4th year highschool pa ako.” -Vince

So when Vince graduated in 2012, they knew that there were was no time to waste and they finally got down to business. Emil knew that the their buy and sell wasn’t going to be sustainable and so he kept asking himself and his younger brother.

 What business can we do that would be successful in the long run? -Emil

Vince always had a hard time finding unique colorful clothing brands that are street inspired in Manila.

Ever since higschool pa ayoko ng may kaparehas talaga sa clothes. That time American blvd lang meron and during those times it had all international streetwear brands like Ben Davis, Bape. At that time di ko pa alam na fake sila and ganda pa ng quality.” -Vince

Vince having a knack for streetwear, thought why not create their own brand instead. Vince started pitching ideas to his brother and Emil did the business plan. Emil’s business driven vision paired up with Vince’s creative direction made up the perfect team and towards the end of 2012, DBTK was born.

Armed with nothing but their dreams and vision for the brand, they put out their creations on their DBTK’s Facebook page hoping for a potential market. Soon enough, their online presence grew little by little as they learned from their inconsistencies and by understanding their market. The very first design that got the masses attention was their own version of the pocket tee. As their online success  progressed, they took the next step by creating their flagship in Quezon City opened last March 22, 2014. The Javier brothers regularly hold product launches and mini events that foster the community that share the same for the brand.

 

Competing in the retail industry was hard especially for Vince and Emil who had zero experience.

“To be honest, wala kaming connections kahit sino, kami kami lang talaga.” -Vince

But what solidified DBTK’s presence in the streetwear industry is how they successfully set themselves apart from their competition by creating a culture that best exemplifies who they were and what values they stood for. Establishing their brand’s unique style and individuality stems from all the hardships both of them shared before and during creating the business. Unlike most streetwear clothing lines that sell are heavily associated with smoking, drinking and other vices, DBTK chooses to inspire people especially the youth to keep reaching their dreams, a true representation of what Vince and Emil achieved in such a young age.

Failed business decisions, cowering away from the norm, and multiple “sablay moments” the brother duo experienced for several years ultimately carved how DBTK came to be what it today.

“DBTK is a reflection of our past experiences, struggles and failures. Its time for us to turn something negative into positive, DBTK is our way of sharing positive vibes to our potential market.” –Emil

Most of their designs incorporate positive messaging and quotes that are aligned with their vision. Both Emil and Vince consistently reinvent the brand through the years but their message remains the same.

We asked Emil and Vince what more do they have in store for DBTK. Emil recalled a memory he had during his college thesis defense where in he was asked if he was still going to continue his mini-grocery business after graduation as to which he firmly answered;

No, my brother and I are going to create a brand which I envisioned to be an international brand after 5 years.” -Emil

This 2017 is actually DBTK’S 5th year and the brothers have no plans on slowing down. Currently, they have some international collaboration in the making, something DBTK fans should all be excited about.

Since the brand’s inception, DBTK’s designs has become increasingly popular in the local community especially with the Filipino youth who have strong feelings of ownership for the brand just as much as the founders do.

“Kapag sinusuot ng mga supporters namin yun DBTK, nagkakaroon sila ng sense personal attachment cause its something that they can relate to.” -Emil

DBTK is not just a clothing brand but one that tells a story and will continue to do so with each design they make. DBTK’s story is proof that you don’t need to sacrifice one’s value in achieving your vision.

You can visit their flagship store in 38-A Shorthorn St. Project 8, Quezon City and online on http://dbtkco.com/

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The Snack Shack http://sneakstreetph.com/the-snack-shack/ http://sneakstreetph.com/the-snack-shack/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:50:54 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=1862 WARNING: Very addictive. Snack Shack is clearly one of the best burger joints here especially if you carefully take into consideration the price, taste and quantity. Tucked away in the furthest end of Sikatuna Village, Snack Shack is one of Maginhawa’s best-kept secrets, serving the best street burgers in town. Students and residents nearby don’t really like sharing this place to avoid spreading this gem, after all, the waiting lines can get pretty damn long. Good thing they moved to a bigger and more well ventilated place compared to their old location. They also have their second branch inside U.P. and fairly recently, opened their 3rd store in Marikina City.

 

A big reason why Snack Shack is a hit is because of its price. Their best Seller, the quarter pounder with cheese is just 80 pesos. Yes, you heard me, 80 pesos! Perfect for students and people with a tight budget. We highly recommend the half pounder and add blue cheese and jalapenos for that extra kick. (Worth the extra 50 pesos)

They also serve sausages and added some fries to their mix. Check their full menu below

 

PRO SNEAKSTREET TIP: You can just text them and order in advance for pick up to avoid the long lines. Saves you a lot of time especially when you’re in a hurry or when you just badly need your burger fix ASAP. Here are their numbers and operating hours below. Don’t worry, we got you.

0926 512 2257 – for Sikatuna branch (Mondays to Saturdays 11: 30 am to 7:15 pm)

0915 259 9495 – for UP branch (Mondays to Saturdays 11:30 am to 9:00 pm, Sundays 12:30 pm to 9:00 pm )

02 997 1829 – for Marikina heights branch (Mondays to Saturdays 11:30 am to 9:00 pm, Sundays 12:30 pm to 8:15 pm)

 

Consider this article as a warning for all burger lovers out there cause Snack Shack is really addicting. If you have to travel all the way from the south just to get your hands on these burgers, do it, we promise it’s worth it.

 

Snack Shack branch locations:

109 V Lune Extension, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.

J.P. Laurel, UP Diliman Area 2, Diliman Quezon City.

General Ordonez Ave, Marikina.

 

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Kapwa Studio http://sneakstreetph.com/kapwa-studio/ http://sneakstreetph.com/kapwa-studio/#respond Sun, 19 Mar 2017 08:13:46 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=1825 Kapwa Studio is a hair salon and barber shop in the day and whatever you want it to be at night. You can use the space for pop up events, event launches, pictorials or even music recording sessions.

 

We want to highlight the craft of hair styling for people to be creative in” says Dee Jae Paeste, one of the owners of Kapwa studios along with Marco Katigbak, Leslie Espinosa and Dan Bradbury. All of them grew up abroad but are deeply connected with their Filipino roots.

We are all Filipinos but not from the Philippines, we have a lot of love for the Philippines and we’re all rediscovering our roots, finding connections and we see this place from different eyes”

Leslie Espinosa, who has over 17 years of experience in the hair and make up industry internationally and now locally, came up with the name KAPWA. Kapwa represents togetherness, which is what the studio is all about.

 

 

They also happily support local handmade goods that are displayed upon entering the studio. Dee Jae, a painter himself is also passionate about bringing artists together and showcasing what local art has to offer. Different interesting paintings and artworks of him and other Filipino artists are exhibited in their studio so feel free to check all of them out.

 

 

The owners of Kapwa are involved in the community one way or another and are beautifully bringing different people from all walks of life into their studio. What’s exciting about visiting the studio is the diversity of the people as well as the events and workshops that are being continuously held. They switch things every now and then by changing the art pieces as well as the local merchandise. On the day we went there, there was a tattoo artist who came all the way from Canada named Ilona. You can check out some of her work on her Instagram account @nocentjokes.

 

 

Their team currently has plans to beautify murals and graffiti’s along the streets of Poblacion, a place in Makati heavily inspired by Manila street culture. Dee Jae states, We’re connecting a lot of people that are from here and live here. Being a part of the community is important to us because we come from a neighborhood that really has a lot of history and preconceived notions about what Poblacion is so we took that and turned it around to create a place full of art, creativity, music and community. It just transforms what Poblacion is in a lot of peoples eyes.”

Kapwa hosts an impressive team of make-up artists, barbers and hairstylists with an impeccable amount of talent to boot. They also have artists who specialize in textured or curly hair, so book a special appointment as schedules tend to get tight. If you want to avail of their services check out their rates below.

 

 

For studio rentals, contact Kapwa Studio as prices depend on time and day or visit their store located in 5059A P Burgos, Poblacion, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila.

 

 

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Sneaks and Snacks http://sneakstreetph.com/sneaks-and-snacks/ http://sneakstreetph.com/sneaks-and-snacks/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:55:39 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=1781 For Sneakstreet’s very first food feature, we decided to head on to the streets of Maginhawa and paid a visit to Sneaks and Snacks. Located on the third floor in 80 Maginhawa street teacher’s village, this place serves food AND sneakers created to satisfy both food and sneaker cravings.

The whole concept of this place is definitely inspired by the owner’s love for sneakers. It’s a theme that is heavily shown all through out Sneaks and Snacks, through the Instagram worthy pictures shot by popular local sneaker photographers, different colored baby Yeezys displayed inside all the tables, sneaker themed menu and of course, it’s very own sneaker shop where you can get yourself an actual pair!

While waiting for our order, we were taking pictures and singing along the OPM tracks that were playing all through out our stay. We got the What the burger (WTB) priced at 450 pesos, an Angus beef patty topped with sweet glazed chicken, bacon and jalapenos. Good thing we only ordered one burger because it was so huge and we already had a few snacks before trying out the place. They did not fall short on serving proportions, the bacon and chicken breast in the burgers alone were enough to fill us up.

Sneak and Snacks also serve breakfast meals at student friendly prices, they also serve wings and different comfort dishes. Check out their menu below

Sneaks and Snacks’ owner is now based abroad but we were warmly greeted by his mom who even though was in a hurry, graciously thanked us for stopping by and requested us to share this restaurant to fellow sneakerfans and to Sneakstreetph viewers so whether you want to fill your tummy up with extra large sized burgers, buy yourself an NMD or probably both, then go check this place out.

For more food features, make sure to check our blog because starting this week, Sneakstreet visits different local street-inspired restaurants, stalls and food and feature them every Wednesday. Happy Wednesday guys!

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Sneakstreetph Features Brent Javier http://sneakstreetph.com/sneakstreetph-features-brent-javier/ http://sneakstreetph.com/sneakstreetph-features-brent-javier/#respond Sun, 12 Mar 2017 15:23:51 +0000 http://sneakstreetph.com/?p=1734 The kinds of people who take part in sneaker culture these days couldn’t be any more varied. From the older folks going after the shoes their idols wore, to the hype driven kids looking to score the newest, most-limited edition sneakers, sneakerheads nowadays come in all shapes and sizes, yet they’re all united by one common belief: copping the coolest shoes and making sure they’re worn right.

Being a regular in the Philippine fashion scene, Brent Javier knows that all too well. Whether he’s in front of the camera or off, he knows the importance of putting his best foot forward in every sense. We managed to squeeze in some time with him for a quick conversation on his earlier days, his personal shoe preferences, and how he feels about designers looking to cash in on the game.

Before you moved here, what was your life like back in Canada? 

I moved here when I was 21 years old. Before that, I guess I had a super regular life back in Canada as a University student. My first job was working at burger joint, cleaning toilets and all. Then I had a few experiences working retail at a mall and even had job at a laboratory of all places.

What made you want to move to the Philippines?

Living on campus when I was in university, I had been pretty independent since the age of 19. I came to the Philippines a few times before with family, so moving here appealed to me. And I guess I had gotten to a point in my life where I wanted some change.

Most people know you as a model. How did you get your break in the industry?

My break came out of nowhere. It wasn’t my goal to model here, it was just an easy way to make money and fill my days. I was just lucky I think to be honest, stars must have been aligned. I’m legit 5’10 which is still short for a model in the Philippines, let alone internationally, but I was pretty successful regionally as well. I was talked into doing a few contests and I fared pretty well I suppose. But when I look back, the moment things really went to over the top was when I did a campaign with Ponds that made me more of a household name at the time.

 

           

 

Before you became a model, were you already paying attention to sneakers?

I don’t remember when I didn’t pay attention to sneakers. That love affair probably started through sport, then I began noticing what other people were wearing and trying to always have the freshest pair. It didn’t hurt also having older cousins that I looked up to that had some of the best sneakers at the time.

I was lucky to get of my favorite sneakers when I was growing up, like the Air Jordan IV which I used for basketball. They were my first pair of Air Jordans, too. I also messed with the Andre Agassi joints – The Nike Air Tech Challenge II because I used to play tennis as well.

You’re not one who’s lacking when it comes to personal style. Was in something that was already dialed in before the modelling happened, or was it something that grew as your career took off?

I’d like to think I’ve always had the eye to dress well but when I look back at some old pictures I wonder what I was thinking with some of the things I wore. But I always did enjoy trying to look good and wear things that not everyone can pull off. I’m not scared to try and wear styles that I know others might be uncomfortable wearing.

Does your lifestyle influence your sneaker choice?

Yes for sure. I’m not stuck behind a desk all day and usually I’m on the move so I like being comfortable. My personal style also works here too. Usually, I go with how I’m feeling, but a part of my lifestyle involves looking my best, so I have to make sure my whole fit is on point. And that includes my sneakers.

When it comes to sneakers, which holds more weight for you: looks or performance?

That’s a blurry line nowadays. Off the top of my head I’d say looks, but I definitely love tech too though. I’ll use an example here. Take a shoe like the Nike Air Force 1 – one of the most classic shoes ever. They started out as a basketball shoe, but now most people wear them off-court or on the street. Looking a little deeper, Nike remixed them with Flyknit which makes sense performance wise, but not many people are looking to ball in them nowadays. They’re lifestyle sneakers with modern tech.

Ideally, there’s a balance between the two. When it comes to what I get, I buy shoes for the lifestyle aspect, but tech components make them more desirable.

 

What some people might not know about you is that you’ve dabbled into retail as well – with Homeroom a while back and now with The Nines. Both offer a pretty diverse selection of clothing and footwear brands. Do these stores reflect your tastes when it comes to style?

In some ways, yes. You need to at least attempt to understand what the market will both like and afford. There are some brands I love but I’m not sure would do well over here because of the price. At the end of the day in business, you’re trying to make a profit. It’s a balance for sure.

Having been around the fashion scene for a while now, how do you feel about designer labels releasing sneakers?

They’re a hit or miss for me. I’ve never been that big a fan of them, but I wouldn’t mind a pair of 10 of Balenciaga’s Arenas though. Also at this point, I don’t think there’s that much of a gap between “designer” sneakers and super limited ones coming from sports brands. Then you have brands like Common Projects and Filling Pieces that you could put somewhere in the middle of both categories.

Aside from fashion and your businesses, what other stuff keeps you busy? 

In terms of other interests, I love spending quality time with my girlfriend Janna. And aside from stuff like staying active, going to the gym, playing basketball, I travel when I can as well. I do want to learn how to take photos and shoot videos just for fun though!

What words of advice would you give someone who’s looking to start collecting sneakers?

Something that I would tell myself even now— If  you really like the sneakers and they personally speak to you then by all means buy them. But don’t always get sucked into the hype.

      

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