Streetwear has never been shy of controversy. Courting lawsuits, naysayers and religious backlash has always been part of the game. Especially here in the Philippines where it’s still predominantly conservative and Catholic, brands who are a bit keen on exploring, will definitely get reactions.
This brand/designer on the other hand, offers something different to the table. The brand has caused quite a stir with its latest offering: a “Passion Of The Christ” SB Dunk custom which got more positive reviews from the community which led yours truly to speak with the man behind the shoe and the brand.
For a good reason, as the concept does not feel forced. Theme-wise, design-wise, the shoe, and the accompanying clothing are on point.
First off, how did Kito Wares start out? Was it purely clothing at first then accessories and shoes?
Kito started out as mainly an accessories brand. We made a heat reactive bag that sorta launched and helped us gather a bit of an audience.
What draws me in with your brand is how musicians/celebrities rock them in such an organic way, meaning it’s not a hard sell. How does Kito Wares go about that?
I have a lot of really awesome friends and personal connections that usually introduce them to the brand. This is how people such as Quavo, Billie Eilish, Bella Thorne, Young Thug, Lil Uzi, and many more have worn the brand.
Your Passion Of Christ SB Dunks seems to draw in a lot of attention. I’ve been hearing some people in the Philippines with orders, considering we are a predominantly Roman Catholic country, the idea of Jesus on a shoe is kind of taboo. Why Jesus as a design/graphic for a shoe? Can you give us a backstory?
Yes! The idea came about as a way to compare the act of brand-making to religion and open up a conversation about the idolization of the brand.
How about your clothing? What for you is your best selling piece? Your catacombs print is really iconic.
Our best selling piece of clothing to date has either been our cheetah print sweater hoodie or Catacombs Puffer. Actually, if you count hats it would be the Catacombs Fitted Hats.
Among the shoes you already released, what is the pair that got the most attention? Making pairs from scratch is not a joke, so props for going about that.
Definitely the Passions. They garnered so much attention that it was a really crazy moment. Everyone was amazing, giving honest opinions and really participating in the discussion around the shoes.
Being an owner of a brand/fashion label, can you cite your top inspirations on why you chose this path?
I have wanted to do this since I was 13/14. I took a sewing class in high school ( I was terrible LMAO) and have not looked back since. You can ask anyone who knew me back then and they could confirm this. I really like any art form that I can express myself with and that is the center of my passion for this streetwear business.
Please define “Streetwear” according to you…
The expression of counter-culture individuals via the fabric.
Thanks, Dave and more blessings for Kito Wares!
In other news, Lil Nas X has just dropped his controversial Air Max 97 with MSCHF, read about it here.