Introducing the reimagined adidas Ultraboost DNA in “CITY PACK”
Sportswear brand adidas has always championed creators. This year, we were introduced to the very first Filipino-designed Harden Vol. 5 and Forum Low by Pinoy toy designer and visual artist Juanito “Quiccs” Maiquez. This creative partnership continues with the latest reinvention, the UltraBOOST DNA in CITY PACK, in collaboration with six sought-after creatives from across Southeast Asia—the Philippines (Greg Guleserian), Indonesia (Yeri Afriyani), Malaysia (Jaemy Choong), Singapore (Eman Raharno Jeman), Thailand (Tanit Likitthamara) and Vietnam (Le Thanh Tung). The collection celebrates diversity, a coming together of rich cultures, people and identities.
The contemporary artist better known as Egg Fiasco represents the country with his unique designs—infused with jumbled patterns, textures and bright color pops—heavily inspired by his own childhood and growing up in the Philippines, most especially his relationship with video games.
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The brand has empowered and celebrated many local creatives in the past years. In an exclusive interview with Wonder, adidas Philippines Brand Communications & Sports Marketing Manager JD Cortez shares, “We would love to introduce ourselves as the creator brand. We had a hyper-local initiative back in 2019; this is where we tried to empower the local market [by] really spearheading products and stories that come from the local scene, rather than global top down to the local scene. For [CITY PACK], we really want to highlight local artists who were identified as having unique crafts amongst themselves and [are considered] close ambassadors to the brand…for Egg, it was really the Campus and the Sambas.”
He adds how Quiccs’ first collaboration with the brand branched out for this partnership that covers Southeast Asia: “A proud moment for us…the Quiccs hyper-local story really created a lot of buzz around. It saw the power of creating a story from a local scene and how other regional and global markets would react to it. It’s really that ripple effect, the halo effect…We just really want to have no limits to how creativity can be done, at the same time hero local talents.”
Greg reimagines the well-loved silhouette that consumers journey in, injecting hyper-local signature designs. His interpretation of the UltraBOOST DNA revolves around video games, displayed in the unique sock-liner using design language mimicking that of video games. He was also inspired by virtual items, such as virtual potions and elixirs, which players typically use to regenerate their in-game health. This is represented in pops of orange and gold against the olive heel and navy upper.
Ahead, we caught up with the contemporary artist as he opens up about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Wonder: What were these childhood memories that helped you build the DNA of the shoe?
Egg: It’s a different platform for me as an artist kaya I needed some points of view ng ibang friends ko (my other friends) while doing different things. When we were doing the design, we were just hanging out, barkada lang (just a group of friends). We were just bouncing ideas back and forth. So, ‘yung tumatak talaga na memories na napagusapan namin are the video games (What came to mind that we talked about is the video games). We all had experience with virtual games, so naisip namin, ilalagay namin ‘yung same excitement and energy of designing the shoe, the same as playing the game (We all had experience with virtual games, so we thought we should put the same excitement and energy of designing the shoe, the same as playing the game). At the same time, we kept in mind that the shoe should be wearable. Pwede siyang isuot ng kahit sino, with their own style (It can be worn by anyone with their own style). We focused on that aspect of the design.
W: Since the theme of the design is “connecting past to the present,” did you discover or rediscover something about yourself, maybe about your culture or roots, while creating the design?
E: One thing major na na-rediscover ko (I discovered) in the process of designing, I discovered the palette that I’ve been using in my artwork is similar to the games that I used to play when we were kids. That’s a major discovery na nalaman ko (That’s a major discovery I learned). Sa video games, there’s a lot of perspectives, a lot of colors going on, a lot of linear stuff. Nakakatuwa na I rediscovered saan nanggagaling ‘yung inspiration for my art (It’s great that I rediscovered where the inspiration for my art is rooted from).
W: I’m sure growing up you had no idea that you’d eventually end up designing for and collaborating with a global brand such as adidas. What would you tell young, aspiring creatives everywhere struggling and, you know, waiting for their big break?
E: I’m not really good at giving advice kasi I believe that everyone is unique, iba-iba tayo ng (we have different) starting points in life, with privileges and all that. I can say something na gasgas na (repetitive) and really cheesy, but works all the time—it works for me. If there’s something you really love doing, that’s it. You just have to make time and give love to what you’re doing, and just do your thing.
Adidas and Egg Fiasco treated the shoe as a blank canvas, applying one element after another, which infused the design language of both the global brand and the designer, while still keeping in mind that it “work on pretty much anyone.”
Each UltraBOOST DNA CITY PACK design retails for P10,000 and is available on adidas.com.ph and select adidas retail stores.
Photos adidas Philippines
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver