It’s not every day a hot sneaker brand makes a fire shoe based on something from your country—so when something good comes along, something done right like the Commonwealth x ASICS GEL-Lyte V “Kultura,” you gotta take notice.
As the shoe’s name implies, ASICS teamed up with Commonwealth—the sneaker and streetwear store which last year’s Scout Creative Talks entrepeneurship speaker Mike Concepcion brought to Manila—to put together a model of ASICS’s popular sneaker that’s based on the Kalinga tribal culture. Commonwealth co-founder Omar Quiambao spent time in the highlands to draw inspiration for the Kultura’s design, which features artwork inspired by the traditional batok designs (namely on the inside lining, the tongue, and the shoelaces) Apo Whang-Od and her descendants are popular for.
The tan and blue colorway is a quaint, beautiful combination that makes the shoe an auto-cop, but we can’t help but deal with doubts that the culture of Apo Whang-Od’s people are being commodified and appropriated. At the very least, though, it seems as though Commonwealth and ASICS are being respectful and tasteful with this particular teamup, paying tribute to a culture they—and a lot of people—greatly admire and spent time and effort to further understand.
These babies will be officially unveiled on local soil today at Commonwealth’s SM Aura store, after which they’ll be available on all Commonwealth branches starting today. It’ll be available at all ASICS stores everywhere starting next week on Friday, April 14. If there’s any release we really need to be proud of and make sell out, it’s gotta be this one. No better way than to do it for the kultura.
Photos from Purveyr Magazine