Limited edition Vans sneakers sporting Filipino artist Nikko Pelaez’s prize-winning mythology-inspired designs will drop on Friday this week in select stores all over the Philippines.
The kicks are being touted by Vans Philippines as the first-ever Filipino-designed sneaks to officially come off the production line of the American brand, best known for its skate shoes and apparel. Pelaez’s creation, called “Along With the Gods,” won the grand prize at the 2018 Vans Asia Custom Culture Competition, which received over 10,000 design entries from 10 countries, including Australia, China, Thailand, Japan, and Singapore.
The 23-year-old University of the East College of Fine Arts graduate said he didn’t expect his shoe-design would appear on Vans sneakers, and maintained he wasn’t in it for the cash prize — which was a cool US$25,000 by the way.
“I just wanted to join [the competition]. I wanted to do it for art,” Pelaez said.
Last month, Pelaez was also commissioned by Vans Philippines to produce five hand-painted designs around the theme of “Batang Maynila” (“Manila Kid”) on pairs of white Vans slip-ons as a gift to Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno on his 45th birthday. The pairs are not available in any Vans stores.
The American brand has been around since the late ’60s — and in the Philippines since 2009 — and is available in at least 84 countries.
Now in its ninth year, the Vans Custom Culture competition chooses three global winners each from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. Winners are determined by both public voting and judging.
The 2019 edition of the contest kicked off on Sept. 5. Though winners won’t be announced until Dec. 19, this year’s contest has already been marred by controversy after designs referencing ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were yanked from competition in apparent deference to mainland China’s sensitivities.
Vans Philippines is at Ground level, Glorietta 3, Ayala Ave., Makati City
Open 10am – 10pm, and in many other branches across the country
Phone: (+632) 8519 8927
FB: @vansphmanila | IG:@vansphilippines