Julius Babao and the Globalization of Streetwear Fashion

by Lex Celera

It all started with a screenshot. A screenshot of Julius Babao wearing A Supreme hoodie on DZMM TeleRadyo. And then another, with him wearing a Supreme snapback.

By then these lowkey and most likely unintentional flexing got people’s attention. Julius Babao, news anchor and reporter, is packing heat that we wish we had in our closets.

I saw reactions ranging from genuine surprise to disgust. Some people got riled up. Some people made fun of a supposed outsider trying to barge in the world of good thread and bogo tees.

Let’s talk about streetwear culture for a moment. Limited pieces and sudden drops lead to long lines in front of their stores and whole collections getting sold out online in minutes. Those that are sold at retail price are then resold with much steeper prices. This culture of exclusivity nestled in with the hustle of copping a pair all direct to a streetwear brand’s demand.

But let’s not kid ourselves; the label of exclusivity we attach to the big brands of streetwear culture is gone. We’ve always seen stories of closet raiding and WAYWT (what are you wearing today?) threads, and This time, though, Julius Babao and the rest of the world are closing in. Maybe this fascination we have for Mr. Babao is a slow-burning realization of all that.

He answers some of our burning questions in a short but sweet e-mail interview after responding to our Instagram story featuring him:

You switch between streetwear staples and sport jackets and leather shows. How would you describe your style when it comes to clothes?
I guess I wear what I want to wear. It depends on my mood and on the occasion. I’m comfortable wearing street clothing just as I am comfortable wearing a suit, a leather jacket or a simple shirt and jeans.

I see you’re a fan of KAWS, and you sport ASSC and Supreme, among other streetwear brands. How did you get into all of that?
I have long been a collector of KAWS Toys and artworks by artists like Banksy, Ron English, and Yoshitomo Nara. As to my love for streetwear clothing, my good friend Bigboy Cheng of Secret Fresh is to blame for this. He introduced me to the crazy world of streetwear fashion. Since then I have been buying sneakers, streetwear clothing and other collectible stuff like crazy.

What is streetwear for you? Do you consider yourself part of the streetwear scene?
I don’t think I’m part of the streetwear scene though I like streetwear fashion. I do move in the world of the arts where streetwear is heavily patronized. Being an art collector I am exposed to what artists and art personalities wear. But If you consider the arts as part of the streetwear scene then I guess I’m part of it.

Are you aware that a lot of people respond to your posts regarding your fashion sense? What do you think of that?
I’m actually overwhelmed by all the reactions in social media. I enjoy reading their messages and I’m really amazed. I didn’t expect to get so many feedback mostly from the youth. I am happy that I am able to inspire them and their dads or titos on how to dress up. As Hugh Grant once said in a movie, “It’s surreal, but nice.”

What’s your favorite piece of clothing? What are you planning to buy next?
I like suits, leather jackets and anything Supreme.

There you have it. Sometimes clothes are really just clothes, and maybe the hype we’ve attached to Mr. Babao’s fondness for bogo tees says more about us than about him.

Featured image from @kulotsalot3000.