The Complex Council best represents what Complex Philippines stands for—the culmination of youth culture in the Philippines. Whether in music, fashion, or sports, the Council commands respect, influences many, and lets their work speak for itself.
Claim to fame: A political science graduate turned editor and new-generation sneaker enthusiast whose profound passion for the culture and its growing community resonates with many.
Duey Guison, whose Instagram bio reads “tech life by day, hype life by night,” is a lifestyle editor and sneaker enthusiast. His expertise lies in all things tech, from unboxing to reviewing the latest consumer gadgets for some of the biggest names in Philippine media.
But his true passion is in sneaker culture, which led to the birth of his blog, This Is Hype PH, the Filipino’s source for sneaker and streetwear news in the country. Duey takes pride in not just being able to share hot takes on classic and of-the-moment sneakers on his platform, but being part of the community, which he says has since changed for the better.
From his lens and experience, the once-exclusive community has loosened up, allowing camaraderie and companionship to thrive. And you know what, we’re here for it.
What’s been the biggest shock to you in terms of how sneaker culture has grown in the Philippines?
One of them would be the acceptance of Crocs and slides, especially during the pandemic.
A decade ago, when you wear Crocs, i-ju-judge ka na parang, “Oh, you don’t have fashion [or] style.” Pero fast forward to today parang Crocs is accepted, it’s the norm.
Another aspect din na na-shock ako is [that] local brands are dipping their toes into making sneakers. So, we have Hundred Percent, DBTK, and several local brands na… they only produce in small quantities pero minsan their quality is better than the mainstream brands.
What defines the sneaker community in the Philippines?
For me, it’s more of camaraderie and yung pakikisama. Helping each other na compared to before, [about] a decage ago, parang nag-aaway away sa mga pila. More and more people are helping one another find the sneakers that they want, and as much as possible, at a fair price when it comes to the resale marking.
Why do you think Filipinos have such an interest in sneakers?
I’ve been asked that question multiple times, and initially, I would say because of basketball. But things have changed and now it’s more of the pop culture kasi it also intersects with music, artists, and those who design and customize sneakers.
Lately, sa music, hindi lang sa OPM or P-pop, sa mainstream pop, we even have K-pop! Especially K-pop! Nagiging prevalent yung mga ibang brands. For example, New Balance. Dati hindi siya gaano pinapansin but now a lot of people are wearing it. It’s the new “in” thing.
How do you think sneakers culture defines the Filipino identity outside of just sneakers?
For me, it showcases what their passions and interests are. Kasi before, you’d be limited to T-shirts, mga statement shirts. Now, you can have sneakers na magaganda yung design. Sometimes, it can be as wild as having multiple colors and designs, which relates to their identity, interests, and passions in life.
How do you choose your sneakers and how does that relate to you, as a person?
Since I’m tito levels na, I usually prioritize comfort. And when it comes to colors parang tapos na ‘ko with those days that I’d go for loud colors. I go for more muted options.
If you could have known how big sneakers would get, would you have done anything differently to prepare?
Be more open to other brands and not just be limited to the mainstream.
Fill in the blanks for us: Youth culture in the Philippines is defined by ____ and kept alive by ____.
Youth culture in the Philippines is defined by diversity and their sneaker choices and kept alive by people wearing different brands and not just limited to Nike and adidas.
You see people wearing New Balance, Vans, and Converse without being judged. And even so, people would still wear local brands and may dating pa rin siya eh, kahit sabihin mo na it’s not that expensive. It has changed talaga.
Here's another: It’s about time that Complex arrived in the Philippines because ____.
It’s about time Complex arrived in the Philippines because there’s a lot to explore in the local scene, especially with these local brands popping up and showcasing excellent stuff.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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