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Expo Exclusives To Grails, Here’s What You Missed At MSE 14

James Francisco

The biggest gathering of sneakers-culture in the Philippines continues to leave a lasting mark on the community, with the return of the Manila Sneaker Expo (MSE) last April 28, 2024. Residing in Pasay City’s SMX Convention Center, its doors provided a portal into a Filipino-coded sneakersphere, featuring the latest releases, sought-after pairs, and the spectrum of prominent local streetwear figures under its undying light.

Missed out on the festivities? We roamed the bustling calls and got you covered with a brief recap of MSE’s 14th rendition.

Proudly bred Filipino sound and streetwear

With DJs Nico Yabut, Baby Oliv, Jerik Platon, and Cathy Frey behind the booth for the entirety of the afternoon, MSE presented the nation’s fledgling Filipina rap-R&B artists on its stage. DEMI, DENȲ, Jess Connelly, and Complex Philippines Council member Alex Bruce serenaded the crowd with their sultry and unique anthems that supplemented a light and welcoming atmosphere. While it may have been short-lived, it’s almost certain that those in attendance would be yearning for more (and we mean a lot more), reminiscing, and discovering the growth of OPM to what it is today.

Instagram: @complexphilippines

Whether it’s your first expo or a returning enthusiast, “overwhelming” is an understatement when it comes to the quantity and the variety of vendors at the site. Beyond being a “sneaker convention,” the country’s staple and up-and-coming streetwear brands make their way with booths reminiscent of their visions that complement their MSE-exclusive releases. 

There are just too many to list, but if we were to narrow down the roster, definitely check out our friends at 1300 Streetwear, Coziest, Don’t Blame the Kids, It’s Sole Good, MN+LA, No Rich Parents, Prettiest, Revibe Culture, Richboyz, The Hustle Club, and Shoesters (They’ve got some big things coming up).

Iconic-ness of Virgil Abloh’s Jordan 1

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via Complex Philippines

Nearing the third anniversary of his passing, the influence of the Louis Vuitton Creative Director, Off-White founder, and esteemed Nike collaborator doesn’t seem to falter. Since the introduction of his original “The Ten” in 2017, Abloh’s take on the Swoosh’s evergreen staples showcased the creative lengths of sneaker designers—slating their storytelling expertise on sneakers that are bound to stay. Among his silhouettes featured, the Nike Air Jordan 1 remains at the front and center of his portfolio.

A Dior-filled Sunday

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via Complex Philippines

To many’s surprise, one of Nike's most iconic (and expensive) collaborations managed several appearances on the floor. As rare and honorable as it is to see the Jordan 1 Retro High “Dior” on foot (We can’t justify wearing a nearly ₱600,000 sneaker but hey, you do you, buddy), Tang Sneaks’ pairs were a sight to behold. Flexing the French luxury fashion house’s iconic monogram intertwined with the iconic Swoosh, StockX reports that only 8,500 pairs exist—as the sneaker vendor had six on display.

Enrique Gil’s Mache Nike Air Mag customs

via Complex Philippines

MSE’s star of the show came in the form of Enrique Gil’s previously owned Mache “Iron Man” custom of the 2011 Nike MAG “Back to the Future,” now owned by Flip Phenomenal Sole’s Dane Grospe. The Quezon City-Las Piñas reselling chain acquired the pair together with Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” from Gil earlier this year for ₱1.5 million, as the customized self-lacing icon is being sold for ₱2 million at the convention. There have been no confirmations of a sale as of writing, but according to Grospe, he stands firm on ₱2 million, noting a previous highest offer of ₱1.7 million.

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