Popular Japanese footwear brand Asics has collaborated with Commonwealth, a Filipino-owned streetwear boutique, to create a patriotism-inspired shoe for discerning sneakerphiles.
The shoes, named Kultura, integrates native Filipino tribal art in the design aesthetic of the iconic Asics sneakers, the GEL-Lyte V. The line features designs derived from intricate tribal body art called batok.
The batok style of body art has been experiencing a resurgence of late, due to the popularity of Filipino tattoo artist Whang-od Oggay. A native of Buscalan, Kalinga, Whang-od is the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines, and is considered the last mambabatok (Kalinga tattooist) among the Butbut people in Buscalan.
“We wanted to honor the thousand-year-old tradition of the mambabatok with our Kultura GEL-Lyte V collaborative sneakers,” says Michael Concepcion, cofounder of Commonwealth PH. “We wanted to show the world the richness and uniqueness of Filipino culture. This collaboration is a celebration of Filipino culture.”
Concepcion points out that this is the first time a Filipino-owned streetwear boutique has collaborated with a multinational sneaker brand. “It’s a dream come true for me. The collaboration is an amazing opportunity for us to showcase the Philippines to the world,” he adds.
The Kultura GEL-Lyte V sneakers has a beige overall color design aesthetic. It features a gel-cushioned midsole, a breathable mesh vamp, and a sublimated print mono sock-tongue.
Batok-inspired designs are strewn proudly all over the shoes.
The Kultura GEL-Lyte V sneakers will be available not only in the Philippines, but worldwide, as well. The limited-edition sneakers will be sold exclusively at all Commonwealth retail locations in the Philippines, while international buyers will find this rare gem at Asics Tiger retailers around the globe. —CONTRIBUTED