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Look at that baby and salivate. Sneaker heads, behold the Kultura, the first collaboration between multi-brand concept store Commonwealth and Asics Tiger, the lifestyle brand that highlights Japanese heritage and modern flair—a brand that according to Mike Concepcion, is “the top. The highest point you can go.”

Commonwealth, which hails from Washington DC and Virginia has had two previous sneaker collaborations with other brands.

For their third offering however, they take a look at the Philippines and found a story truly worth sharing: the warrior culture of the Kalinga tribe up Buscalan in the north.

Commonwealth Philippines initiated the collaboration with Asics with the Kalinga, Apo Whang Od, and the batok tradition as one of the ideas pitched. “We pitched the idea to the Southeast Asian office of Asics, saying we wanted to do a story on the Philippines. There were a couple of ideas but the Kalinga was on the top of our list. Asics approved it.”

Fast forward to 2017 and here we are with Kultura, a handsome pair of muted beige sneakers that perfectly displays the tribal art for which the Kalinga is known for.

The Kultura shoe is Commonwealth’s way of paying homage to Apo Whang Od and the rest of the Kalinga tribe

 

It’s made with suede and breathable mesh with the Kalinga-inspired art, subtle in navy blue, on the s GEL-LYTE V’s signature mono sock-tongue.

The midsole is GEL cushioned with a breathable mesh vamp, and comes with solid beige colored shoelaces.

“When you think of products from the Philippines, it’s all very cliché. You think of the jeepney, you think of the flag. We wanted to move away from that and dig deep into something indigenous but still around and still preserved,” Mike continues.

“I think the story of the Kalinga people, the people of Buscalan, and obviously Apo Whang Od, is amazing. It’s something we want to highlight from around the world. She’s not getting any younger and there’s an increasing popularity and new appreciation of her from my generation and it’s something that we wanted to highlight to the world.”

Depending on the success of the Kultura, the other ideas pitched might see the light of day, the possibility of which remains high. Commonwealth is dropping the Kultura today at their pop-up space in SM Aura, right before the slowdown of Holy Week.

Kultura retails for P7,900. There are limited pairs available. Check out more beauty shots of the shoes below and run to SM Aura quick.

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