“My shoe tells me that I’m growing up,” says young professional Raymund Villanueva, head of marketing and analytics for Voyager Innovations, Inc. (the digital unit of Smart-PLDT) of his carefully edited shoe collection. “It tells me that I’m now looking for long-term investments rather than trends.”
He lived in San Francisco for a decade and credits the city for influencing his sartorial sense. Working for The Gap, Inc. further opened his eyes to the importance and intricacies of proper dressing.
The “old rules of fashion” inspire his style, in reference to a time when dress codes mattered. “When a spread collar was worn with a tie,” he says. It was a time when people dressed up for the occasion; when there was an appropriate look for every event. Thus, he started his collection because he wanted to ensure he had the “right” pair for every occasion.
He used to sport sneakers all the time, and had a dozen of them. Once he started earning his own keep, refining his style, he realized he needed more than just sneakers.
Now, his collection has grown to include exceptional pairs of double monks, Oxfords, and loafers that go well with his every look.
His prized pair: Adam Derrick’s To Boot New York double monk strap shoes in Astor tan, made in Italy. Its wing tip paneling adds sharp texture to the bold monk strap shoe, fashioned from burnished calfskin. The handmade shoes capture his style, “classic that never goes out of style,” he quips. He waited four months just to have them, and ordered them online.
“I never used to fathom how you could purchase a $500+ pair of shoes, but now, I know that you buy quality. I now see shoes as investments. They should last at least 10 years, so I go for the classics,” he explains his choice. He knows exactly what he wants and invests in just what he needs—shoes to last for years, and shoes he can wear again and again.
When talking about comfort in fashion, Raymund believes shoes are the biggest factor. “Shoes should really be comfortable,” he stresses. “If you can’t wear them walking all day, they are not worth it!”