Sneakerheads and avid supporters of the local street culture flocked to the SMX Convention Center last August 27 for the 13th Manila Sneaker Expo (MSE). With its earlier versions established as stomping grounds for the convergence of influences, it showcases the growing movement through the display of limited pairs, exclusive releases, and festivities throughout the one-day mecca. MSE’s “sneaker” definition transcends the mere showcasing of “what’s on foot”, seeping into fashion and expression.
Vintage curator-designer Sean Wotherspoon and Los Angeles Laker Austin Reaves highlighted the festivities with excitement oozed into MSE’s halls. Multitudes of in-house brands commemorated the event with collections individually theirs, with several catching the attention of their growing fanbases.
Subtly living up to their name, Coziest introduces a Sean Wotherspoon-inspired capsule highlighted through their “Ashburn” Snap Polo Shirt, supplemented with several button-down pieces and graphic tees that mimic their creative prowess. Its lemon wash-light blue fury color scheme draws inspiration from the Nike Air Max 1/97 silhouette, as its corduroy-like textiles are in sync with Wotherspoon’s most coveted collaboration with the Swoosh.
Don’t Blame the Kids
Don’t Blame the Kids’ (DBTK) “All Spark” collection incorporates the galaxies with designs peering beyond the celestial bodies. Paying tribute to its brand’s in-house silhouette, DBTK’s “Spark” highlights their MSE 13 releases in a triple-white “Sky Walker,” with its colorful predecessors slate various pieces. The brand adheres to its continuous vision of growth, deliberately incorporating earthy themes (quite literally) through makeshift clouds, artificial plants, and nature-inspired furniture to culminate their appearance.
Another interesting take on a Wotherspoon-induced rendition, Prettiest introduced the “Bone” Y2 Hoodie’s final form through lettering heavily inspired by the 2018 Air Max Day release. Likened to a Catus Plant Flea Market staple, the piece integrates puff-printing on the front and the rear, partnered with the brand’s “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Pretty” trademark. A subtle Prettiest “P” is sewn on the mantle of the hood to highlight the details.
Local illustrator and graffiti artist Quiccs introduced an MSE-exclusive vinyl figurine that complements its heavy sneaker-fashion atmosphere. Standing at 10” inches, the “JUNGLE KING” GorillaTEQ” tributes the Three-Stripe collaborator through a camouflage print-hoodie, Adidas Superstar-inspired footwear, and a familiar japanese-robot-skull-like headpiece. Teqindustries paired the figurine’s release with two jerseys (“OG Black” and “Jungle King”) as its designer pleasantly greeted eventgoers at the booth.
Richboyz ushered a glimpse into their “Signature Series,” first unveiled to the public during the expo. Grounded on an empowering “Have the Life You Want” mantra, there’s a certain sophistication when donning their pieces, witnessed through the solid hues and minimalist text. Highlights from the drop include the “Signature Half Zip Pullover,” “Signatube and mini skirt,” and the “Richboyz Full Zip Hoodie,” coupled with an in-house “Pufferino Bag,” which highlights its staple intent.